As a teacher, I was aware that I mustn’t have ‘favourite’ students. Each one was special in their own way. As a mum, I wouldn’t dream of loving one of my children more than another. I love all three of them to bits. As a writer though, I have to admit to having a favourite amongst my books. It was my first born, but that’s not why I love it the most. I can’t even claim it’s the best written – only my readers can judge that. However, there’s a special place for it in my heart, because that’s where it came from – my heart.
That’s not to say my other books have been written in a half-hearted manner. I put my whole effort into them and I think they’re good stories. That’s what they are, though – stories. Treespeaker, on the other hand, was written from a different place than the others. I didn’t write it because I wanted to tell a story, I wrote it because I wanted to tell that story. I had to tell it. It was my way of sorting things out in my head. Sometimes I surprised myself by coming up with answers that I didn’t know I had in me.
Sometimes I have felt sad that Treespeaker has sold the least of all my books (apart from the short story, which understandably hasn’t sold many copies in the short time it has been out). In fact, before this past couple of months, I was beginning to wonder if there was any point in trying to sell it at all. With the birth of KDP Select however, I’ve found that it has been selling along with the others, even though it isn’t enrolled in the programme. (I object to the exclusivity clause, so won’t take it off Smashwords, B & N, Apple etc.) In fact, on one lovely day this month, I sold a whole 12 copies all at once. I’ve no idea why and it certainly hasn’t kept up, but it was a buzz while it lasted.
The truth is, though, that some books have a different sort of readership. There have been people who have reviewed Treespeaker who have obviously found whatever it is that makes the story different, and appreciated it. Check the comments after one of the reviews on Amazon US and there is a lovely word used to describe these reviews. So rather than ruing the fact that it’s not selling millions, I’m grateful for the thoughtful readers I have had.
I wish I could come up with another story like Treespeaker. Yes, I’m still working on that promised sequel, but I don’t know if it has the depth of Treespeaker. It has taken me far too long to write to have come from the same place. But I think it will be a good story nonetheless. Time and readers will tell. Meanwhile, I’ll cherish every sale of all my books because each one is proof that it can happen and there was a day, not very long ago, when I thought it never would.