Books are Our Children

Books are Our Children, Guest post by Jeffrey A. Cooper

Ask an author which of their books they like the best, and they’ll say that it’s like asking them to choose between their children.  I have to agree.  My books are very much my children, except for the fact that books don’t leave the refrigerator door open, make you drive them around to sporting events all weekend, or promise not to have a party in the house when we go away for the weekend.

Books are Our Children, Guest post by Jeffrey A. Cooper
Each process can be humbling, often unproductive, and sometimes you’re left pounding the walls with frustration.   Much like parenthood, an author is with a book from the very start, which admittedly isn’t nearly as much fun as the very start of parenthood.  On a similar note, full nudity is not required for either.

Authors are with their literary children every step of the way.  We try to show them the right crowd to hang out with. “Stay away from those adverbs.  They’re nothing but trouble.”  We force our will on them, trying to steer our children in a particular direction, even though it never works the way you think it will work.  You make demands.  You say things like,“You will do this because I told you too, that’s why,” then they do whatever they were going to do in the first place regardless of your original intention.  You know which parents didn’t put the proper time and attention into their children’s upbringing.  You can tell the ones that spent more time at the corner bar than at the keyboard.

I looked at my own experience.  When people asked if they could read my new book during the pre-publication period, I interrogated them like they showed up at my front door to take my child to prom with a half-gallon of Jack Daniels on their arm and with a disturbing face tattoo that says “MOTHER”.  “What are your intentions here?”  I asked.  “Are you just going to toss my baby away in the discount rack once you lose interest?”  “Are you going to talk about my baby to all of your friends online?”  “Can you?”  “Please?”

We want our children to succeed.  We put everything we have into them; our thoughts, love, time and considerable effort all go into making them the best they can be.  They’re never out of our minds.  We nurture, care and grow them.  They’re from us.  They are us.  We try to answer all of the questions.  We try to shield them from the bad things out there like clichés, stereotypical characters, and poorly written sex scenes.  We anticipate everything to ensure their future success, even though each of us knows that at some point we have to let our children out into the world and see what happens.  We’ll always be there to support them, but our child has to stand on their own.  People might praise our child, they might adore our child, or they might write terrible things that sound like they didn’t give any time to really get to know them.  Even worse is for our child to go out into the world and be ignored.  Sure, we could pay thousands of dollars to advertise our child to total strangers, but why can’t everyone just see the beauty of our creation for what it is?

Much like parenthood, the author will lose some arguments.  Your book cannot beat up another author’s book.  Undeserving parents with their undeserving children will still be successful, much to the amazement of us all.  On the other hand, your book won’t surprise you one day to let you know it’s pregnant to a drummer, and it definitely won’t be seen anywhere near a Kardashian.

Authors are proud of their children.  Not all of these children have the same impact, but each brings a uniqueness to the world and adds something to the conversation.  As they age we appreciate them even more, especially once we realize that we won’t be on the hook for a college education or an ill-advised marriage in their twenties to that drummer.  They bring us grandchildren (sequels).  If we’re lucky, these children (and grandchildren) might even continue to make us money down the road.  

But they’ll always be our kids.  Now go clean your room.

Books are Our Children, Guest post by Jeffrey A. Cooper
Jeffrey A. Cooper lives in Los Angeles, CA. His previous novel, “How to Steal a Truck Full of Nickels” was published in 2015. Jeffrey has optioned several feature film scripts and co-­created two shows executive produced by Emmy-­award winning comedian Louie Anderson.
Jeffrey lives with his wife, daughter, two rescue dogs, a rescue cat and a fish who all get along famously.

Catch Up With Mr. Cooper On: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitter, & Facebook!

Books are Our Children, Guest post by Jeffrey A. Cooper



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