Friday, 14 June 2013

Raising a Book

Today I would like to welcome fellow Liquid Silver Books Author Kimber Vale and she is going to be talking about Raising a Book.

Raising a Book

What happens after the last chapter?  Can’t we just be done with a project and move on?  Let’s consider the upbringing of a book as it relates to a human one, and see if there is an ending in sight… 

That initial spark of idea—whether it’s a snippet of plot or the entire beginning, middle and end, or if it’s a character so intense that he/she seems to be living and breathing in your head—that first burst of a story, let’s call conception.  If you‘re a plotter, the next bit of note-taking and thinking will be your gestation time.  The longer it goes, the more pages of penciled musings you’ll fill, (or, if you’re high-tech, the more cyber sticky-notes you’ll pin all over your e-cork board) and the heavier your story becomes.  Careful you don’t gain too much weight, or you’ll never lose it all in the end.
Soon, your story feels so cumbersome, you have to get it out of your head and your notebooks.  You give birth with the typing of Chapter 1.

The next phase is a joyful struggle.  You have those newborn pages, where it’s still so fresh and your characters so new, you’re just getting to know them.  It can be fun.  It can be daunting.  There are, of course, the late nights when they wake you up, practically screaming in your head.  There are the endless feedings and changings, and all the baggage you need to carry around for them.  But sooner or later you get that stuff down on the page, and it becomes second nature.  Your mental diaper bag is always packed—Ray has brown eyes and loves to dance the mamba.  He’s afraid of spiders--not Candy.  Candy is the one with the intense allergies who is always blowing her nose and knitting scarves for the homeless.  You figured these people out.  You can do this.

You get into the flow, the routine; know exactly how the day is going to go, and it all falls into place (or so we hope). It’s still a daily grind. The homework must get done.  Someone needs to cook dinner. You have to sit your ass down and type. But, it’s doable, right? 
And then the rocky teenage years hit.  Son of a gun.  You know you only have this final push, and then you can relax for a bit.  There are lots of tears and tons of swearing, but your pride and joy gets her driver’s license and survives prom without getting pregnant (the dénouement).
The kid gets into a great college and packs her shit (the glorious ending—break out the champagne!).  You write The End and click save, and that sweet sigh of relief is fantastic and so fleeting.

Because the bill for college comes due (self-editing).  The kid is not happy with her new roommate and calls bitching all the time (betas).  You have to drive four hours every weekend to bring Sunshine home again (revisions) and it feels like it will never end.
But it does.  Eventually.  Your precious bundle finds a boyfriend and settles in (accepted for publication) and you hunker down and start worrying about a whole new set of potential catastrophes.  You meet the significant other, and you’re not really sure he’s right for your little girl (content edits) but you give him the benefit of the doubt, and when he’s still around for Thanksgiving, you invite him to dinner and find out he’s great (and your story is way better now than before your editor put it through the ringer).  You send them both off and say, “Thank god that’s done.”  Now you can clean your house or start a new project. Make some turkey salad with the leftovers.

Until line edits show up on your doorstep in the form of your kid racking up obscene credit card debt just when you thought you could trust her.
You cut up her card and start paying her bills (and toss that book back and forth with your editor a few more times). 
Finally, they’re paid off and your princess has even gotten herself a waitressing job and made the dean’s list! Hallelujah, it’s release day!

Your world can’t get any brighter!  Just sit back and wait for the checks to roll in.
But wait a minute, what checks?  What about promo?  And the next book?  And suddenly you find yourself pregnant with triplets, and a family of stray cats is living under your deck.  Throw a bowl of kibble out there for them and sit your butt down at that computer to start cranking out the next three.

Congratulations!  You’re an author!

Kimber Vale just kicked her first novel-length offspring out of the house.  Find her sexy sci-fi romance “Star Catcher” at Liquid Silver Books:
Come for the sex. Stay for the

Thanks so much for being her today Kimber and good luck with Star Catcher!


  1. Thanks so much for having me today, Layne! I love your site---so pretty!

    1. You're very welcome Kimber. And thank you, I am lucky to live in such a beautiful city!