An author’s book is often called her baby in this business. That is okay, but my imagination doesn’t work like that.
First of all, I have real babies. Lots of real babies. Four massive real babies. That’s what I get for mating with skyscraper.
My imagination is visual and cluttered. When I create a story, it’s like dumping a huge pile of jigsaw puzzle pieces on the floor and telling me to put it together. With no visual guide and no freakin’ idea what it’s about. So, creating the story is a process of sorting through the mess and putting it together in a readable and enjoyable manner. That’s how I fly.
I think this is why I tend to think in terms of characters and their fictional universes, rather than as individual books which I would call my babies.
Some children have imaginary friends. I have imaginary children. They’re born out of my imagination, each individual. I love them each dearly and they drive me up the wall and down the other side and outta my freakin’ mind. I go to hell and back with them and I love them all the same.
I also have dolls, cats, and pet chickens.
P.S. In case you’re wondering, yes, that is, in fact, duct tape holding the Mama Llama book together. It was that particular daughter’s absolute favorite book. I think we wore out five copies before Kindergarten.