Updated: Aug 24, 2022
Let me say from the outset there is no way I will ever understand the full and unique process of birthing another little human. From the little bit of experience I gained watching my wife push out each of our four boys, I am forever thankful I was not the one hooked into what could only be described as a medieval torture rack while trying to expel an 8 pound mini-person. Each birth was, and each son is an honest-to-gosh miracle.
Having acknowledged the supremacy of actual birth I use the term "birthing" lightly as I apply it to the experience of finishing my second book which I believe—fingers crossed— is finally ready to be “pushed out”.
The “birth” of my first book —Theo the Mouse. A Christmas Story—seemed so easy. There were a few complications, but Sam and Bekah Frith, the husband and wife team who tended to the details of delivery, made the process nearly painless. ( By the way, if you need their illustrating and publishing services, you can reach them here: https://www.baintonhousebooks.co ). I guess, to carry the analogy maybe a bit too far, they were the epidural for that first publishing experience. I hardly felt a thing. I came up with the story, Bekah illustrated it beautifully and Sam formatted and connected with the publisher and, Ta! Dah!, out came the book! Just as cute as it could be for a first-born.
Then came my second book-birthing. Since I was now “skilled” at book-birthing, I thought a more hands-on approach would be a great experience this time around for its delivery. So, I went a slightly different route for A Halloween Warning and found the process to be not what I had planned for at all. For one thing, it was quite a bit more painful. There didn’t seem to be an epidural anywhere in sight for this birth. Tal Burdine, the illustrator and formatter, and I worked through several delays, complications and repeated requests from the printer. I was ready to give birth, but the printer kept saying, "Not yet! Stop pushing! We are not ready!" Delay after delay. There were times I was ready to try home delivery using my black-and-white Brother desk printer and a stapler. Anything to get this book delivered! But, after a great deal of frustration correcting images, resubmitting pages, and explaining the intentional blurred background on some pages, I think my second book is finally ready to appear. (By the way, if you like Tal’s style of book illustration, you can contact him at https://www.tbeeillustrations.com/about . He is a great person and artist.) So, suffice it to say, this was not as easy a birth as Theo was. This was not the easy birth I expected.
As I'm writing about the process of birthing A Halloween Warning, or really “birthing” anything, I bet we can agree that while we all hope for as few complications as possible, a smooth, painless delivery of any life experience or plan is a rare experience. Any life process has a path of its own and often enough the detours, potholes, accidents, delays and poor decisions along the way tend to take the shine off the trip. (Sorry to change analogies on you there.) But, even with all of those complications, the journey can be very valuable - certainly in terms of experiencing the process, but maybe even more so in understanding ourselves. We learn about our capacity to “push through" when we encounter the setbacks, potholes, and careless decisions, for example. We can gauge our levels of pain tolerance and patience. We might even learn some new pathways to the same goal never before considered, and so on. And, even after we reach that destination, there may yet be waiting some new frustrating or unexpected outcomes—results that could not have been foreseen. That's what birthing is after all...it's “life”.
Birthing A Halloween Warning is just the beginning. (Switched on you again. Sorry!) Now comes the hard work of sharing it with the world —also called marketing. You can order your signed copy of this entertaining Halloween children's book on this website or just click on the title above. Help me give this baby a long and prosperous life.