I know I have been scarce as of late. You're probably wondering who the heck I am, actually -- it's been that long. I apologize for that. To say life has been throwing me some hurdles over the past few months would be putting it mildly. In short, it's been absolutely one of the most difficult periods of my life. I've been hanging on by the skin of my teeth at times, and yeah... I'm hopeful that I'm approaching the downward slope. I need the sweet relief of racing down the other side of this mountain, if you know what I mean. :)
All that said, the one saving grace in all of this mess has been watching the progress of BTPM--knowing it's out in the world, knowing people are reading it, enjoying it (not in all cases, mind). It's been sort of the one shining light in the rest of the muck. LOL. That said, I feel compelled to blog about what an absolutely terrifying experience this is... because like it or not, I've promised book 2 by the end of May. And I'm FREAKED out that I'm not going to get it right. And nothing...NOTHING...brought home that fear more than what I experienced this morning...
So, for whatever reason, BTPM just isn't doing well on Amazon...while, amazingly enough, it's really starting to take off at Barnes & Noble. I have no real explanation for this--just conjecture. Maybe there are simply more books on Amazon, and I'm getting lost among them... ??? NO CLUE. But, the fact remains that while I continue to climb the ranks on B&N, I see very few sales on Amazon. In fact, for every book I sell on Amazon, I probably sell 15+ on B&N. Hey, I'll take it.
That said, my ranking at B&N is literally jumping by leaps and bounds. The neurotic that I am, I've been keeping anxious tabs on it every morning. This morning, I logged in, per my usual....and saw I had a new review. As I don't have very many, I always perk up at that. It's nice...blah blah blah. And then I see that someone who had previously reviewed it has edited their review to say something along the lines of:
"I have read this book 7 times. Please hurry up and write book 2."
Someone has read my book SEVEN times??
Folks, I don't think I've read my book seven times. (Okay, it's probably been many more times than that...but you get my meaning.)
I will tell you what my reaction to this was. First, TOTAL gut shot. My stomach relocated to my toes. I have to make book 2 just as good--if not better--than BTPM. And HOW THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO THAT?!?! Quite simply, I can't. I doomed to fail. Book 2 is going to suck!!!!
So yeah, I had my little moment of panic...and then I cried. From complete happiness.
Someone loves my book enough to read the dang thing 7 times. HOLY HELL.
That being said -- I honestly don't mean to gush over these things, but I can't seem to help myself -- the sophmore freak-out is definitely a tangible thing. I'm scared out of my mind that I'm going to let readers down with a book that doesn't live up to the first. Whether or not people like my writing, I always want to improve on what I've done before. And WALKING IN SHADOW has been a challenge--it's pushing me in some really fantastic ways, but it's also making me take greater risks. What if I fail? What if it the suckiest suck ever to hit "the shelves?"
I keep telling myself to keep my eyes on my own paper--to just keep pushing through--but it's definitely scary to think I COULD legitimately fail. I know I'm not a great success story--hell, most people wouldn't have the first clue who I am or what book it is that I wrote (most of my friends don't even know), but for some readers, it's the friggin' beesknees. I don't want to let those readers down.
I sure as heck don't want to let myself or my characters or my story down.
Hope all of you are doing well!