Guest post by Dawn Colclasure!
The Mother-Daughter Book: A Treasure to Cherish
When I received a review copy of Between the Lines, a new novel by Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer, I had to smile. Seeing yet another mother-daughter book reminded me of my own newest book, which happens to be a book that my daughter and I co-wrote.
Admittedly, when I asked my daughter, Jennifer Wilson, if she wanted to co-write a poetry book about dogs with me, I did so on a whim. I thought it would be a fun project for us to do. Something just for her and I to share together. I never imagined that one day, our little collaboration project would turn into an actual book. But Jennifer knows that I am not someone who just writes a book then tosses it to the wind. I have been writing books since before she was born, and she is well aware of how I write books on the computer that turn into real books that people can hold in their hands. And so it happened that she asked me if our little book will be sent off to a publisher, just as she knows I have sent my own books off to publishers.
At first, I wasn’t sure about doing anything with the manuscript. Because it was short, and because it had her own hand-drawn illustrations of dogs, I wasn’t sure if there was a publisher willing to take this manuscript on. But I remembered how an author I know had her own mother-daughter book published recently, so I asked that particular publisher if she was interested in this book. She gave the green light and we were soon on our way to getting Dogs Forever: Poems for the Dog Person into print.
While Jennifer and I worked on our book, we did not work on it as mother and daughter. We worked on it as two writers. I was impressed by how, at the age of 10, Jennifer acted mature enough and professional enough to work with me, accept my feedback on her poems and understand the need to meet deadlines. I had to wonder if these habits were ones she adopted after years of watching me work on my own books in such a way. She also drew pictures for the book and I was even more excited about how she was going to debut not only as an author but also as an illustrator.
After the book was published, I felt like I was walking on air. Wow, I now joined the ranks of all the other mother-daughter authors out there. Our book was in the same league as all of the other mother-daughter books out there, because ours was a mother-daughter book, too. Jennifer was also excited when Dogs Forever was published. Her teacher showed it off to her class and we donated a copy of the book to her school. Now she has her very own book in her school’s library!
This became a book that was very special to both of us. It was special because it was something we, as a mother and a daughter, created together.
Of course, this new experience in our lives has not changed us. Jennifer and I still have our mother-and-daughter moments – and not always the pleasant kind. We still have our own boundaries and we both pursue our own interests.
Still, writing a book together has become an experience that the two of us will always cherish. This is something special for us and we are grateful to our publisher at Great Minds Think Aloud Publishing for helping to make this happen for us. It was a dream come true for my little girl, and the start of her journey into the world of writing and illustrating books.