As a writer first and foremost, I have, understandably, always had a motherly connection to my work. I conceived of an idea, nurtured the idea into a storyline, created the characters. Then I allowed the whole creature to evolve into the story it would become. I am mostly a panster type writer. I start my journeys with a tank of gas and a credit card, with no idea where I will end up. My characters introduce themselves to me slowly, over time. I fall in love with them, and they never fail to surprise me time and again.
The first time I encountered the independence of characters whom I thought I had created, was in my first novel, Remember Me. I set up my protagonists to experience their first kiss – only to watch their dialogue provoke a heated argument that had one storming off in one direction and the other standing there, like myself, wondering what the hay just happened.
It was at that moment that I realized I was a writer.
I accepted that every serious work I create – the ones that take me away and really end up creating themselves – becomes a part of me. I know my characters as well as my own family members – probably better. I travel their path with them, feeling their emotions as fiercely as they themselves do. They are as real to me as anyone else I know.
What never occurred to me until recently, however, is that other writers feel the same way about their works. Just as attached. Just as affected.
So when I received our first query – a professional quality, well-constructed, attention grabbing request to view an authors work – I was in no way prepared for the rush of emotion that came with it.
Here was an author, like me, who was offering to trust me with her work, something she has poured a little of her heart and soul into. She was willing to trust me with her precious creation. She was asking me to be its godmother.
The weight of the responsibility landed on me with a force that took my breath. The urge to run away was barely exceeded by the excitement and the privilege of having her entrust her work to me. Were I able to pick up this new little being, my hands would be shaking and I would be holding it close to my own heart, breathing its scent, holding its hand, stroking its cheek.
It was a little overwhelming.
I reread her query. I printed it out and hung it on the wall. I sat for quite some time just looking at it. And after a good deal of deliberation, I decided that, yes, not only did I want to see her story, but I vowed to treat it with the reverence it deserved, to respect the effort that went into creating it, and to do everything in my power to present it to the world with pride and enthusiasm as if it were my own.
It was at that moment that I became a publisher.