I’m delighted to welcome Helen Buckley with a guest post as part of the Book Blitz, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources, for her novel, Star in the Shadows.
Over to Helen…
Book babies – conceptions and creativity
Authors often fondly refer to their books as their “book babies”. The period of gestation may be long, even years, as each writer patiently forms their beloved creation.
My book baby and my actual baby are both important to me, in very different ways, but they are also bound together, linked by the circumstances leading to their creation.
In March 2018 I was in a pretty low place. My husband and I were trying and failing to conceive a baby and I wasn’t handling infertility particularly well (not that there’s a right way and a wrong way to handle such a challenging situation). We were approaching the start of IVF treatment and I wanted to be in the best possible place mentally, physically and emotionally, to go through it. I needed an escape from the crushing emotions I felt every month when the inevitable occurred and my period arrived.
A voice in my heart told me to try writing – to put form to one of the many stories I carried in my head, stories I had long silenced through fear and uncertainty. And so I began to write, getting up at 5am to have time to write before work.
I had always told myself I could never write a novel, but the months and milestones passed – 1k words, then 10k words, then 40k. IVF started and daily injections were required, but writing soothed and consoled me, kept me calm, and allowed me to focus on my characters rather than myself.
The impossible became possible – I had written an entire novel. It was rough and I wasn’t sure it was any good, but there it was. 80k words, all my own. Then I patiently edited, took my medicines…. And found out I was pregnant on our very first cycle of IVF. It felt like winning the lottery.
There’s nothing like the concrete deadline of a due date to help one’s creativity – so I wrote another novel too. My son’s time in the womb was accompanied by the sound of the keys tapping on my laptop, him kicking away merrily in the shadows, as I wrote another story from the collection in my head. I finished it just before Donovan was born in March 2019. He was technically over a week late, but his timing was actually impeccable – he was born on Mother’s Day.
My first novel – Star in the Shadows – is dedicated to him, because I don’t think I would have written it if it weren’t for the journey I went on, waiting for him. That’s why at my pregnancy photoshoot I demanded the photographer use the bookcase as a backdrop rather than the usual pregnancy-related backgrounds, to bring together the two things I never thought I would have – my book and my baby.
Thanks so much for a lovely post, Helen. Many congratulations on both your book babies
Now for the book description…
The world thinks that pop superstar Kiara Anderson has it all, but she spends her nights drinking away memories of her childhood and life as a teen runaway. The Jacobs family are desperate to see the girl next door again and discover why she ran away, especially their son Shane, who blames himself for her disappearance. When Kiara’s manager forces her into a reveal-all TV interview she knows the family she loved more than her own will finally discover the truth. Can she overcome her demons or will the shadows of the past rob her of fame, fortune, and a chance to finally fall in love?
Purchase Link ~ Amazon UK
To Win a signed copy of Star in the Shadows, a beautiful dreams and goal planning journal, a star print scarf, and three yummy chocolate bars from Creighton’s Chocolaterie (UK Only) please click on the Rafflecopter link.
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