Two years ago, I was preparing for the release of my very first novel into the world. It’s easy to compare the feeling to impending parenthood – after conceiving an idea and nurturing it, then toting it around for months, you are so ready to have it out in the world. And once it’s out there, the mama bear instinct kicks in: you will defend this baby (human or book) to the death, you will love it unconditionally and support it emotionally until your last breath. How could you ever love ANYTHING as much as you love this first baby, the love of your life?
Then baby #2 comes along.
For me, the analogy veers completely into book territory. I am the mother of an only child, so I really don’t know what happens when human baby #2 enters your life. But I’ve been told that your heart just expands with an equal love, just as fierce, just as great.
When I wrote the end of Softer Than Steel, the second full-length book in my Love & Steel series, I felt a surge of emotion – from elation to relief, pride to sadness – and surprise. Could it be, I possibly loved this one just as much, if not more, than my first? Louder Than Love had been what I called “the book of my heart.” The one I wanted – no, needed to write, even if no one else ever ended up reading a word of it. I told myself I would be perfectly happy if I wrote just one book from start to finish in my lifetime.
Ah, well…you know writers. We love to lie and make things up.
In the two years since Louder Than Love‘s release, I cranked out a totally different two-book series, and learned more about myself and about my writing. When it was time to sit down and finish – yes, I had started Softer Than Steel years ago, and left it half-baked in the oven – this sibling to my first-born golden child, there was pressure…but there was confidence. There was an ease. I know how to do this gig. I can do this. There will be a resemblance in voice, a familiarity in tone…but a unique personality and soul all its own. You’re gonna go far, kid. Although your mama might be a little biased.
Softer Than Steel is a story of family, of finding faith in yourself and strength where you least expect it. Like a proud mother, I could pull out my brag book and bore you to tears. But I won’t. You can read more about it, and the rest of the series, here.
Just as we hope our children will grow up to make a difference, to make the world a better place, I hope my stories might resonate with people on some level, and I hope they bring joy and spark thought. Thanks for listening to and for humoring this bibliomama!