By Laura Spinella
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I’ve never been a fan of the phrase, “book pregnant.” Maybe that’s because I wasn’t particularly good at “real pregnant.” Years removed and my memories still rouse a hazy sea of green swells, my stomach rolling on the thought, not to mention the cumulative 27 months of my life spent on my knees at the porcelain altar. I didn’t glow, I didn’t nest. I didn’t do much of anything but puke. Friends and family, not to mention my husband, are amazed that we have three children. I attribute them to the same you-never-know audacity that makes writers’ write book two, after book one fails to sell. Granted, in some circles this might be perceived as stupidity. The first pregnancy was the worst. We were in the midst of building a house, traveling back and forth between Long Island and Maryland. By the time there was drywall, I’d tossed it up in every rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike.
I say the first pregnancy was the worst, and it was. The other two weren’t a terrific improvement, but I knew what to expect, so in some regards it made for slightly smoother sailing. I’m hoping the same holds true for books as I find myself “in a novel-way” again. THE IT FACTOR is in its first trimester, with the father-bird, Penguin, settling in to roost. As you can see from my bright blue mock-cover, I’ve already decided it’s a boy. Like a real pregnancy, a book sale draws a huge round of congratulations, the big difference being you can indulge in the champagne.
We’re off and running (using the term loosely here) on a journey of edits and cover concerns, wondering if they’ll let me keep the name I’ve chosen. Who knows? I am sure, however, that there will be a word-by-word dissection over the back cover blurb, which can be critical in terms of readership. I’m already wringing my hands over this part, separating information that readers will find intriguing from a passage that gives too much away. It looks like THE IT FACTOR will be a late fall book and this can be tricky in New England. But I have solid experience here, having had four babies in raw weather months—November, December, March and January, BEAUTIFUL DISASTER’S pub date. To be honest, that part feels rather fitting; a sunny day in June would just seem strange. When the calendar finally gets around to next fall—which, admittedly, seems light years from now—I’ll fret over Aidan and Isabel like I did Megan, Jamie and Grant on their first day at school. Will people like them? Did I do enough before pushing them out the door? Will they be resilient when labeled a frothy romp? Okay, so I wasn’t thinking about my kids on that one. Regardless, there will be no turning back. Of course, I do have an advantage with the book. I can always ignore my Amazon page. Live children make this a tad more difficult.
So let the countdown begin—Aidan Royce, my rock star protagonist, waits calmly in the wings for his cue. His elusive love interest, Isabel, is probably not as anxious—but isn't this what we strive for in a complex character? I'm still not fond of the phrase, “book pregnant,” though I can’t deny the similarities, right down to that queasy feeling of expectation.
Laura Spinella is the author of the award winning novel, BEAUTIFUL DISASTER and the upcoming novel, THE IT FACTOR! YAY!! Visit her at lauraspinella.net.