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It seems lie it has been months since I’ve put together a good personal blog post, but honestly the last few months have run together in my head to the point that it has all gone to mush.
So, a brief update…
In July, I released my first big selling book–as in the first book to not only meet, but exceed what I was making at the day job. And then, I made a huge leap of faith by quitting my day job and writing full time at the end of August. Since then I’ve added two more books to my line up–one was released in October, Beyond the Divide, and one to be released this month, Bend, Don’t Break.
That’ll make five books total since I started publishing, and I’m still edge of my seat, scared out of my mind at every step.
With the paranormal books, it’s not as bad, because those aren’t yet my big sellers, and that’s more my fun, lower stress, play time. I enjoy writing the romance just as much, but there’s more pressure there, since right now that’s my livelihood.
In September, Irrevocable became a bestseller on Amazon (peaking at 27 overall) and Barnes & Noble (peaking at 6 overall), and it was the most astonishing experience of my career. I laughed and cried, and everything in between. And now I come down to releasing the sequel, Bend, Don’t Break, and it’s utterly terrifying. I think the second book is exponentially more intimidating than the first because you go into it knowing that readers are going to have preconceived notions and expectations after reading the first book and getting to know the characters.
And it’s all exacerbated since the second book feels so different from the first book–a different character’s POV and very different circumstances that aren’t as gritty or dark as the original. I let it get to me for a while, but then I sat down, knowing that I had to write the story that my character had to tell. And after letting go of my own preconceived notions, I ended up with a story that I love, and after all the fretting, the advance readers so far are enjoying it as well.
What I’ve learned…
- Trying to force a story in a box will simply leave me banging my head against a desk–I have to go where the characters go.
- No matter how much I love and believe in my story, sitting around and waiting to see how it will be received will probably always drive me crazy.
But there’s only one writer I can be. I can improve the craft and learn new things, but I’ll still be me–and I love that.