Liquid Gold Blog Series 11: Picking a Favorite Child

This is a specialized Blog series I am posting about the process of publishing my next book from Inspiration to Publication. The working title is Liquid Gold and it is a sequel to my second novel Freedom’s Treasure which is available from Amazon for Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EAY37B6 and now in paperback.

I am a middle child. I have an older brother (by just over 2 years) and a younger sister (by 7 years, a decade in between the two of them), both have kids of their own now but that’s not the topic of today’s posting.

When we were kids there was a constant battle over who was Mom’s favorite. All siblings have this debate and there’s never a clear winner. Or loser. Ultimately the oldest and middle will claim a majority that it’s the youngest or the oldest and youngest will decide it’s the middle child or all three will decide Mom must hate them equally.

Ultimately the answer depended on what the topic was under discussion. Which should be true anyway. Not all children are created equal. In the same manner that you prefer certain friends to others, you can prefer one child to another. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that so I hope there aren’t parents out there feeling all that guilty. There should be some guilt, I mean, what parent favors a child over another? But if it’s kept under control, then all is fair. Or something along those lines.

My older brother is a solid guy. He has strong morals and a backbone to go with them. He’s a loving and fair minded father and is a trustworthy friend. He’s a bit of a rule breaker but only in the best ways. He stands for himself and his family and I love him desperately. We’ve grown apart some due to time and distance but the connection is always there. At 40+ years old he’ll still ensure his little sisters are being treated with all of the respect that is their due.

Being the middle child I can only tell you what my family tells me. This particular middle child is a little lost but very smart and very creative. The morals are there but so is the ability to understand the lack of them. The rules are believed in but the creativity is generally used to get around them. Strongly oriented towards family I will work to make sure we can all get together for parties and for no apparent reason. I, too, stand for my siblings to ensure they are treated by others as expected.

My baby sister (who has babies of her own, oh my!) is one of my favorite people in the world. I would love her if she weren’t related to me. She’s smart, funny, and has a strong will. The rules are to be followed, indeed with children around she creates new ones. She’d stand up for her siblings in a heartbeat and is as protective as a doberman when it comes to family.

Three different people, one woman who’s supposed to love them equally. Seems like an unfair demand to me.

I’m starting to feel that way about the three books that I’ve written. I have an oldest, middle, and youngest and they all have their own attributes that make me like them.

Extremity was my first and, obviously, that makes it my oldest. The book, for me, was a rule breaker. I took everything I thought I knew about writing and applied it to the manuscript; much as new parents apply everything they thought they knew from their own parents and friends when their first baby was born. I didn’t listen to much advice and I let the book grow. I self-published it at the request of my companion. I don’t promote very often as Extremity generally takes care of itself. Not an American hit, it tends to be downloaded in Europe.

Freedom’s Treasure was my second and is currently the middle child. Like me, it was a little lost but creative and smart. I liked the book well enough when I wrote it. The truth of this one is that my sister essentially challenged me to enter a competition. Because I was writing Freedom’s Treasure during the competition it ultimately was not entered. For some reason, knowing it wasn’t the book I totally wanted to write but did anyway, makes it feel like it’s not my creation. It is, don’t doubt that people who may want to try to steal it, but I don’t necessarily feel an attachment to it. It’s probably good that I’m not an actual parent haha. When I put this book on promotion I’m always stunned by the number of downloads. My companion is confused by this. It should have that many downloads because I wrote it and it’s awesome. But I can’t ditch that feeling of detachment. When I see a sale pop up on my Amazon page I will be frustrated (for no real reason) that it’s this particular book. But I want this book to do well because it helps the rest of the “family”. Oy, it’s rough being torn. When it came time to start issuing a print book, this is the one I chose so, favoritism or not, at least I can recognize what works (or doesn’t) for the benefit of all.

At Wit’s End is my youngest child/work. I love this freaking book and it’s not simply because it’s the youngest. While I was writing it I completely lost myself in these characters. Don’t get me wrong, I also hated them at the end but that’s mostly because they were leaving me for a while. No fears, they still check in with me every now and again like a “good child” should. I didn’t know how this plot would go. It’s like I would black out and when I came back to there would be words on the page, REALLY GOOD words. This is the book from which I expect to have sales instead of Freedom’s Treasure.

I submitted the At Wit’s End manuscript to CreateSpace in order to bring a softcover version to the world, similar to Freedom’s Treasure. That same day an author I am familiar with posted a question about a publishing company on FaceBook. Intrigued I went to their site and did some research. Impulsively I decided to submit one of mine. Normally it would have been Freedom’s Treasure. Again, it’s the one with the better downloads and sales. This time I went with At Wit’s End. Funnily enough I had to rewrite most of the application stuff as, though I uploaded At Wit’s End, all of my descriptors were for Freedom’s Treasure.

The day before I received the proof for At Wit’s End in the mail I received an acceptance letter from that hybrid publisher. Is this not, essentially, encouraging this crazy favoritism? I’m not saying I wanted them to decline the option but it reinforced my own preconceptions of the three books.

I’m moving forward with the publication of At Wit’s End. I’ve already selected an Editor for my team and am currently talking with Project Managers. Proofreaders and Cover Designers come next. My estimated timeline for actual release is approximately three months. It’s very exciting and a lot of work.

This favoritism thought has led me to promise myself that once At Wit’s End was either released or solidly on it’s way, I will submit Freedom’s Treasure. I have to believe that once At Wit’s End is doing it’s thing and I can concentrate 100% on it that I’ll enjoy it more.

Which brings me to this: I’ve been using this series to talk about the writing of the sequel to Freedom’s Treasure. Though I am putting some time into this manuscript (and other projects) the next several months are going to be rather busy. It may be that I use this forum to discuss the publishing process itself instead of our dedicated topic. I hope that you all continue to be patient with me, enjoy the reading, and contact me if you have questions or comments!

You can reach me at:

facebook.com/aklawrenceauthor

twitter: @ak_lawrence

and of course here, through threeoclockjava.WordPress.com

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