Friday, February 01, 2013

Guest Post: Colby Marshall

Happy Friday!

Hope everyone had a great week. I'll be back on Monday with my usual post, but for now, I'm handing the blog over to Colby Marshall. Take it away, Colby!

The Top Ten Ways Preparing to Give Birth to a Book Isn't That Different from Preparing to Give Birth to a Baby

Giving birth to a book is an interesting thing.  As fate would have it, it was during the time I was in talks with my publisher to sell Chain of Command that I found out I was pregnant.  This sounds like just another "fun fact," but as I sold Chain and began to work with my editor to revise it and prepare it for publication, I realized how similar the two processes really are.  Thus, I present to you The Top Ten Ways Preparing to Give Birth to a Book Isn't That Different from Preparing to Give Birth to a Baby:

10.)  What started as a few long intimate moments between just you and your computer has become visible to everyone around you.

9.)  You occasionally wake in the middle of the night because the thought of impending book reviews has you feeling like you might wet your pants.

8.)  While a new book doesn't require propping your feet into stirrups and having strangers peer up your glittery hoo-ha, the reviews might make it feel that way!          
7.)  There isn't a pain medicine on earth that will make you less anxious about the big day.

6.)   The anticipation builds over the course of months, but you're never quite ready.  Even years after it comes out, you'll still be learning.

5.)  During the months you prepare, you go through some bizarre changes you'd never have imagined you were capable of.

4.)  One minute, you're laughing, the next you're crying.  You yell at people for no reason out of frustration, and then you eat a pint of chocolate cherry ice cream to self-soothe.

3.)  It becomes difficult to determine where your keister ends and the Lazy Boy begins.

2.)  Typing causes your fingers to swell to the size of hotdogs, and both can cause carpal tunnel syndrome to flare up.  Your laptop gets so warm on your legs it causes you to have hot flashes.

And the number one way preparing to give birth to a book and preparing to give birth to a baby aren't that different:

Your child/book is the cutest, smartest, and most important thing ever created.  You recognize that most people are biased, but in this case, it's really true.

What about you—how is reading and/or writing like something you do on a day to day basis?

Writer by day, ballroom dancer and choreographer by night, Colby has a tendency to turn every hobby she has into a job, thus ensuring that she is a perpetual workaholic.  In addition to her 9,502 regular jobs, she is also a contributing columnist for M Food and Culture magazine and is a proud member of International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.  She is actively involved in local theatres as a choreographer as well as sometimes indulges her prima donna side by taking the stage as an actress.  She lives in Georgia with her family, two mutts, and an array of cats that, if she were a bit older, would qualify her immediately for crazy cat lady status.  Her debut thriller, Chain of Command is now available, and the second book in her McKenzie McClendon series, The Trade, is due for publication by Stairway Press in June 2013. 

CHAIN OF COMMAND is currently available
on Amazon here:
Barnes and Noble:
Directly from the publisher with free worldwide shipping:

Have a great weekend, everyone!


  1. Hi, Talli, Hi, Colby,

    Love this analogy... very clever Colby...

    Good luck with your debut novel. All the best!

  2. Gosh, #10 made me shiver and feel really naked; yup, just like child labor.

  3. Clever! Although I never thought mine was most important thing ever.
    Good luck, Colby!

  4. Yes! I've always thought producing a book was close to having a baby! At least emotionally...

  5. What a fantastic analogy.

    I compared writing a book to the first time I had to do long distance running around a park in secondary school. Painful, tiring, bursts of energy followed by slow walking, and no matter how much I wanted to, I couldn't cut across the grass to the finishing line. Such a relief when it was over though.

    Best of luck :)

  6. Very funny, Colby!

    I suspect an addendum to #4 would be that occasionally, just like in childbirth, you might feel the impulse to strangle someone. In labour, it'll be the guy who put you there. In publishing, it might be the editor....

  7. Thank you, Michael!

    SA- it is scary and exposed!

    Alex- my world has certainly revolved around both at one time or another. :-)

  8. Writer Pat, Yep, it's a rollercoaster of emotion.

    Naina- the running analogy is very appropos, as well.

    William, thankfully I had both an amazing husband and editor, so I never wanted to kill either of them. Now, the nurses who wouldn't hurry up with the next dose of the pain medicine post-cesarean section, she and I were about to BRAWL.

  9. So true! There really are a whole pile of similarities aren't there?

  10. Laughing my head off! Fortunately, at the end of it, you DO have both a beautiful baby AND a beautiful book!

  11. I've been saying this for years--writing and publishing a book is very much like giving birth. And like subsequent pregnancies, each one is different. One might be easy, another might be agony from start to finish!

  12. I would say the end results are worth the years the product has taken off your life.

  13. There are more than I'd have thought a year ago, Jemi, that's for sure!

    Kat, it's true. I feel like a lucky girl!

    That's a brilliant point, Norma. I shall gird my loins for my next "child" in that case!

    Susan, I agree with you 100%. They are both tough things to do, but in the end, they're worth all of the hard times.

  14. A fellow workaholic! Nice! I've never been pregnant, though, but what Colby wrote makes sense, especially the part about the mood swings. I think that my characters go through mood swings too, because they often end up being in a bad mood when I'm in a bad mood.

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