Monday, November 5, 2012

Birthdays, Book and Otherwise

Tomorrow is the day PRETTIEST DOLL goes on sale at bookstores and online.  It’s called a book birthday, which is reminding me of other, different kinds of birthdays.

My son was born on December 28.  I was in labor for at least 36 hours, after being told by a chatty sonogram technician on Christmas morning, “Boy, that kid’s got a big head.”  In those days, it was unusual to know the sex of the baby, so my husband and I were in the dark on that score.  Also in those days, they gave you Demerol.  It was fantastic.

When he was born (9 pounds, 2 ounces, 22 inches long, at 7:20 pm), I became almost instantly ecstatic in a completely new way.  It wasn’t just his birthday that day.  In an instant, I became a different person.

My daughter was born three and a half years later.  The delivery was harder, owing to egregious medical nincompoopery.  She was born on her due date—June 3, 10:20 am—and her gender was also a surprise.   I didn’t experience ecstasy right away (owing to the idiots who delivered her), but two days later, there it was again.  She was 7 pounds, 1 ounce and 21 inches long: a perfect little peanut of a girl.

I love all the books I’ve written, and I’m proud of each of them.  I hope lots of people buy PRETTIEST DOLL, and I hope it resonates with them, makes them laugh, makes them think and feel and wonder.

But when somebody says, Having your book published is like having a baby, my first thought is always, No, it isn’t.

It isn’t anything like that at all.