I think that everyone at some point has asked their parent which child is their favorite (unless, hopefully, you are an only child in which case statistically you probably already believe you are everyone’s favorite. In the world.) Once I had my daughter Grace (aka Bisky) ‘later in life’ I was fairly certain she would be an only child due to medical and logistic reasons. Then, when I was 41 I became pregnant with twins Aiden and Benjamin. Now, my plan was that ‘they’ would be ‘she’ (Hannah Joy, to be specific). Because they had the temerity to be not only twins, but boy twins, I was reasonably confident that Bisky would be my favorite. 80 days later, she’s still admittedly the front runner, if for no other reason than she lets me sleep through the night more or less reliably, but the boys are growing on me. I can see a time in the not so distant future when I’ll utter the age old, trite “I love you all the same amount” and will mean it! This is not dissimilar to how I feel about my characters in my various books. Each time I start a new novel I love my new protagonists the very best, and can’t imagine ever loving a new one the same.
Something terrible happened to me once regarding my ‘babies’. I think all novelists expect to have a few ‘desk books’. You know, the great novel that you put blood, tears, and more time than you have into but it ends up rejected and eventually abandoned in a desk? I have a few. So far, I’ve written The Dobson Project, Thought Thieves, Chocolate Covered Rice Cakes, Broken Warriors and Grief Inc. The time span goes back over ten years (I took a very long hiatus after Broken Warriors), and many computers. When I wrote the first two, I belonged to an awesome critique group and as such, had my books printed so my group could edit the final copy. For some reason, when one of my computers crashed, I didn’t transfer Thought Thieves over, but it was okay because I had the hard copy. But then, I moved and didn’t keep the hard copy because I had it on computer!! So yes, I actually LOST a whole book that I wrote! And it was a pretty good one, for a desk book. I still think of that poor little guy from time to time. I guess we’re hard wired to not run out of love for our babies, whomever they are!