Thursday, April 26, 2018

New books

It's been a long time since I've blogged, mostly because after writing books, I don't feel like there is all that much to write about! But I am excited about my newest release, A Mother's Choice, out in June, and I thought I'd share a little bit about how it came to me.

I had the original idea for the book several years ago: a mother who has to give up her baby for adoption, the single mom who is going to adopt, and the ongoing relationship they have over the next seven years. I don't want to say more about it because it's not a straightforward adoption story, and it has several twists that I think are important to keep secret.

The working title was The Other Mother and I wrote one chapter before I petered out, realising I needed a lot more thinking time--and just time in general. Then, last summer, I realised that I was never going to write a 'big' book like this (think Diane Chamberlain or Jodi Picoult) with all my deadlines stacked on top of one another. There just wasn't enough time! So I moved my deadlines and determined to write at least 30k to send to my agent, which, amazingly, I did over the course of six weeks.

My agent loved it, and so did the editor at Bookouture, and so I somehow managed to finish the book (I'm still not sure how; it's all a dazed blur!) in a record six weeks and sent it off. It needed a lot of revisions, but everything I write needs revisions, and so I managed those and then got the official 'call' from Bookouture in November, which was such a thrill. Even with 60+ books under my belt, it's always amazing when someone connects strongly with your story--especially one that is so emotional and personal to me, as A Mother's Choice is.

Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing snippets from the book but I thought I'd leave you with some of the prologue, which was one of those things that just flowed out of me:

Morning light slants through the hospital window as slowly I come through the door of the nursery, my body aching with both fatigue and fear. My heart is beating in a painful staccato as I approach the plastic bassinet. I am swathed in scrubs and latex, due to the possibility of infection, but my arms ache with the need to reach and hold, and then to never let go. But I can’t; I know I can’t.

A nurse smiles at me sympathetically and gestures to the bassinet, as if granting me permission to approach, or perhaps simply pointing out the right baby. But of course I know you, my child.

My child. The words buoy me inside as if I am filled with lightness, with air, so I feel as if I am floating. My child. How could I not know it? How could I not feel it? It inhabits every fibre of my being, every cell. I pulse with the knowledge, the fragile joy. Incredulously, I smile.
And there you are – small, so small, swathed in a white flannel blanket, a tuft of light brown hair under a little knitted cap, your fists by your face like flowers, your lips pursed like a tiny rosebud, cheeks soft and round. Perfect. I know every mother thinks the same, of course she does, but no one feels it like me. No one.
I stand in front of your bassinet, battling both tears and euphoria, because it’s too soon to feel this way, or maybe it’s too late. I reach out one hand and rest it on the plastic crib, longing to touch your soft, pink skin, your round cheek, already knowing how smooth it will feel. I love you. I will do anything for you.

I didn’t expect to feel it so strongly, flooding me with both need and purpose. I’d separated myself somehow, over the last few harrowing months, because I had to. Because it felt safer and stronger, a necessary element of this whole torturous process, to keep myself a little bit distant. But now...
Now everything has changed. Everything. I lean forward, willing your tiny eyes with their sparse, golden lashes to open. To see me for myself, a mother.
And then they do, and I fall into their deep blue depths. I fall and fall, everything in me swelling with love as my heart starts to break.