|Anne and Karoline's apartment. Slightly modified by imagination.|
Last night I gave birth to book baby # 5. Her name is Sweet Karoline. After all the pain and suffering it’s a bit of a relief. It does mean that I have to send her into the world now, though. All this time she’s been protected in the womb of my imagination.
Her siblings wait for her to join them on bookshelves and online. They are all girls, too. Just like Michael Jackson I gave my children the same names. They all end with “An Emily Taylor Mystery”. They’ve got so many traits in common you might think they’re quadruplets. Except that they were born a couple of years apart.
Karoline, however, is completely different. She’ll always stand alone.
I’m about to enter my new baby into the world. First I have to register her birth. Next I’ll give her to my first readers. They will be gentle but nevertheless they will find flaws with her. They’ll poke and prod her and do all kinds of checks on her. Like examining all her commas and inner dialogues and clues.
After that she’ll go off to publisher’s school. This might subject her to rejection. Several times over, perhaps. Publisher schools are private and very particular about their students. When she does get accepted she’ll again be poked and prodded. She might even be rearranged. Parts of her may have to go or be redone. She’ll learn a lot. In many ways she’ll be a different book when she graduates.
Once all her schooling is finished she’ll be on her own, out in the world. I hope she receives acceptance, joy, success and good health. But I can’t protect her forever. She’ll be at the mercy of reviewers, bloggers, random media and readers around the world. She’ll get to travel a lot.
Her sightseeing missions could be short lived. Or they could be wildly successful and blessed with longevity. I can only dream that she'll be awarded and feted. You never know what your children might do. You love them no matter what.
Meanwhile I’ll be at home. I’ll enjoy her successes from afar. Grieve for her failures. Work on sibling six, which has already germinated.