Let’s Talk with Lois Winston

It’s a Book!
By Lois Winston

I recently gave birth to a book, A Sew Deadly Cruise, the ninth in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series. Better a book than a baby. I can’t imagine going through childbirth nine times!

However, it’s amazing how much childbirth and books have in common. First, the gestation period is about the same, at least for me. It takes me about nine months to write a book. During the gestation period, both pregnancy and writing have a way of keeping you up at night. With pregnancy it’s hard to find a comfortable position for sleeping. Then there’s the acid reflux. Restless leg syndrome. And a child in utero deciding 3am is the perfect time to practice for the U.S. Olympic soccer team.

With a manuscript, authors are often kept awake trying to come up with a plot for the next book. Once they have a plot, they stress over the characters. The scenes. The dialogue. The pacing. The conflict. And where in the world is that elusive muse when you need her?

Sleepless nights don’t end with either the birth of a baby or the birth of a book. The baby has to be fed every few hours. By the time you’re done feeding and changing a diaper, you fall back into bed, stare at the clock, and groan, realizing the cycle will begin all over again in another hour or so. Once the baby is no longer waking to nurse every two or three hours, she’ll wake from colic, teething pains, night terrors, or ear infections.

Of course, you don’t have to get up to nurse a book every few hours throughout the night, but I don’t know a single author who hasn’t lost sleep over book sales, worrying whether she’ll earn out her advance, whether her option book will be accepted, and whether she’ll sell enough books to be offered another contract.

But there’s also quite a bit of joy common to both births. You marvel and beam every time your baby passes a milestone—that first smile, rolling over, sitting up, a first tooth, crawling, standing, walking, talking…

With a book, it’s much the same. The day your author copies arrive is like Christmas morning. There’s the first editorial review, hopefully a starred one, when you have your very own Sally Field moment. Your first book signing. Being invited to give a talk or take part in a panel at a conference. Making a bestseller list. Winning an award. And fan mail. Few things in an author’s career are as priceless as a total stranger reaching out to say how much your book has meant to her.

So, come join me in a celebration of the birth of A Sew Deadly Cruise. Post a comment for a chance to win an e-copy of any one of the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries. You can find them all here.

A Sew Deadly Cruise
An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 9

Life is looking up for magazine crafts editor Anastasia Pollack. Newly engaged, she and photojournalist fiancé Zack Barnes are on a winter cruise with her family, compliments of a Christmas gift from her half-brother-in-law. Son Alex’s girlfriend and her father have also joined them. Shortly after boarding the ship, Anastasia is approached by a man with an unusual interest in her engagement ring. When she tells Zack of her encounter, he suggests the man might be a jewel thief scouting for his next mark. But before Anastasia can point the man out to Zack, the would-be thief approaches him, revealing his true motivation. Long-buried secrets now threaten the well-being of everyone Anastasia holds dear. And that’s before the first dead body turns up.

Craft projects included.