|Yes, nail-biting takes place|
in the run up to publication
I never appreciated how frightening publishing book two in a series could be. If I thought the days and weeks leading up to the book birthday of In the Shadows was nerve-racking… No Safe Home has trumped it.
It’s a strange feeling, because I know an author cannot please everyone, or cater to all reader’s tastes, or might miss a hook for a blogger. As a reader, I’m fully aware I’m not going to enjoy every book I read, or relate with every character I meet. Yet, despite this knowledge, I still found myself in author limbo – and it’s a scary place to be.
I’m the kind of person who needs to know. I like answers and reasons and feedback (I was called nosey as a teenager, but I prefer the word inquisitive). I love to know why. I love hearing people’s thoughts and reactions to things and, no surprise, this includes my books.
At the end of last year, In the Shadows received a one star review on Amazon.com, and while it’s never a joyous occasion, sometimes you can learn something from them. However, this time I was left mostly disappointed. The review, in its entirety, read: “very strange.” That was it. Just two words and one star. The desire to understand what exactly felt strange to that reviewer – was it the whole book or just snippets – left me questioning my writing ability for quite some time. It’s amazing how just two words can distract you for so long.
I soon moved on from that one star review, of course I did; I had too, if there was any hope of writing the next book, and the next, and the next… But, every so often, I’ll revisit the review pages for my books and remind myself what it is readers love – or don’t – about my work. They always entice a concoction of emotions, and they always spur me on.
When I started writing In the Shadows last March, I had no concrete plans to create a series. But, some bloggers and reviewers said they wanted more of DI Denis Hamilton – and by the end, I did too. It was great to have that endorsement – to know that other people yearned for more of my characters’ story. And that's why I have to keep thanking the readers who have taken a chance of my books and spurred me on. My second book in the series was born because of the readers.
I’ve learnt that whatever stage your series is at, or whichever number book you’re publishing next, the feeling never changes – I’ll always be waiting to know what you all think. And know this, butterflies would have been fluttering like crazy in my stomach on publication day.
If you'd like to see what No Safe Home is all about, click here to visit Amazon.