It has long been theorized that birth order within a family affects a person’s personality as well as plays a role in overall development. Even though siblings share the same genetics and are raised in the same household environment there are going to be major differences. I have learned that writing a book is similar to bringing a baby into the world with its labor pains, nagging uncertainties, and optimistic hopes. Birthing a trilogy is much like having three children. And each one presents its own set of challenges and rewards.
The first one is a grand experiment, filled with worries and concerns. Just like a new mother is nervous, vigilant and over protective as she studies the baby books and plays close attention to the rules, I spent many sleepless nights worrying about Angelique’s Storm, wondering if I had constructed a believable storyline and compelling characters. In spite of my diligent editing, I let mistakes slide. In the end, writing it, like parenting, became a mixture of instinct and trial-and-error. And I certainly learned some valuable lessons.
By the time the second one was conceived, it got easier. I relaxed a little, fell into a writing rhythm that was familiar and comfortable. And like most mothers, I worried about my middle child, wanting to be sure that I was fair, that it received the same time and attention as the first.
But Angelique’s War proved to be an easy baby. I tried new ideas, experimented with images like the blue butterfly, which was inspired by one which greets me most mornings outside of my back door. And in spite of the stereotypes, my middle child was not nearly as problematic as I had anticipated.
Somehow, when I sat down to write Angelique’s Peace, I felt like a seasoned veteran, ready to write a book that would bring the series to a satisfying conclusion. Like many who are the youngest in the family, this book felt bigger, more adventurous. Its spirit refused to be contained. While I explored plot twists, I was willing to be less cautious, take more chances. Perhaps I was a lenient parent, but ultimately, I was pleased with the risks I would have never taken when I first began to write.
But this is only part of the story, of course.
As I finish the last round of edits, it will soon be time to release my baby to the world. I have to trust that I have done all that I can in preparation and that it can hold its own among the many choices available for readers. It is hard not to be a mother hen, not to worry and fret. But that’s what giving birth is all about, isn’t it? Ultimately, you have to let go.