by Janis Patterson
It’s been said before, but writing and launching a book is uncomfortably like having a baby. There is a considerable gestational period, followed by a protracted and unexpectedly painful effort to bring it into being. Then there are the anxious checks to make sure it is perfect followed by the seemingly never-ending concentration and work to do your best to set it up right in the world.
About all the author misses is the diapers. I guess there are some things to be thankful for.
And it doesn’t get any easier with subsequent books. Each is an individual effort and each must be handled in the way best for them. One thing is true for all books - and babies, for that matter - each is a heck of a lot of work.
I know whereof I speak. In 2014 I released (all re-releases except for one) a book every two weeks from 1 June to 31 October. Madness. In 2015 I wrote four books, but only released two. (Hey, I had an excuse - due to various business reasons The Husband and I were gone for what seems like half the year.)
One of those trips was to Egypt, where we were invited to come stay at the excavation headquarters for an archaeological dig. The director – a dear personal friend - had long suggested that I might want to set a book in that fantastic house. And fantastic it was - terraced, domed, set high above the Nile – built in 1906 by an English Egyptologist named Somers Clarke. So, after our stay there and a lazy holiday in Luxor, we returned home and I started to work on A KILLING AT EL KAB.
They say you aren’t supposed to have favorites among your children, and I guess that’s true, but it’s not possible with books. This one is special to me - not just because it’s a cracking good story, which it is - but because it brings back so many special memories.
Now it’s just about time for it to go out in the world. I’ve agonized over the edits and rewrites, and driven my cover artist (the inimitable Dawn Charles of Bookgraphics) and formatter (the superb Rik Hall) half mad with my pickiness. I’ve sweated over the metadata and keywords, both of which I regard as toys of the devil. I’ve decided on 15 March as the formal release date - assuming that the proofs for the paperback edition arrive by that date - as that will make it a year since we departed for Egypt.
And so my book - this very special book - is waiting offstage to go out into the world and try its wings. Please be nice to A KILLING AT EL KAB. You see, it’s my baby.