CONFESSION: After two crazy years, I have finally completed the first draft of Book 2 in the Phantom Island series!! (And there was rejoicing in the land…) I mean, good lord… writing a sequel was a totally different experience than writing the first book. In fact, one of my Secret Squirrels (teenagers who read the manuscript and give me feedback as I write it) commented about a week ago that she felt like I was in labor and she was waiting to hear if the “baby” was here yet…

That metaphor stuck with me because writing these books might be the closest experience I have to birthing children anytime soon… So, I’m gonna go with it for now. For those of you out there who’ve been pregnant or been around long enough to observe pregnant women, you know that every pregnancy is different. When I was “pregnant” with the first baby (writing the adventure that became Book 1: Wind), I was happy and excited all the time. Every day was a new experience and “the baby” was all I thought about. The story flowed quickly and the whole birthing experience was an empowering and beautiful thing. I loved being “pregnant” with those ideas and dreaming of what life for this new baby would be like…
And it was so great that I immediately wanted a second baby.
I started on Water about a month after the first draft of Wind was finished and in the editing/revising process. The euphoria of having the first baby was driving me forward. But being pregnant a second time was not as much fun… this baby was difficult and stubborn and made me sick A LOT. Pregnancy seemed to DRAG ON… and the longer it took, the more that due date felt like it was never going to arrive. The lack of time, the writer’s block, the challenge of tackling difficult issues and themes – all of that could be compared metaphorically to a pregnant woman’s backaches, swelling, and mood swings. It wasn’t that I loved this new baby any less or was any less excited for it to get here… it was just a DIFFERENT kind of pregnancy.
Last weekend I thought I was going into labor and the baby was coming… but then, guess what? No baby. Fake labor pains. That darn kid was just so happy in my head that it didn’t want to come out. Stubborn little child of mine! A week later (at 1:00am on my first day back to school this week, to be exact), that second child of mine was completely birthed. (I guess you could say my WATER broke… get it? Huh??)
And it was love at first sight for me.
All the misery (sickness, labor pains, emotional highs and lows) has been totally worth it. This baby is beautiful in ways I never conceived possible. Right now it needs my nurturing and attention to get it ready for the rest of the world. I am blessed to have a very capable nanny (my editor, Katrina) who will be helping me adjust. But right now, this child has exhausted me… I definitely need a break before Baby #3… haha.
Thanks for helping me welcome Phantom Island: Water to my family (and hopefully to yours, too, very soon)!