Here is a picture of me on release day morning for my debut novel, ‘Will You Still Love Me If I Become Someone Else?’ (still need a copy, click here). I didn’t know what to expect (like a ballon drop when the clock struck midnight or something), that didn’t happen, but it was exciting to get congratulations from friends and family.
It is often hard to take time and appreciate all of the hard work, dedication and sacrifice that goes into writing, editing, and marketing a book. And after all this effort I was holding my breath waiting for reviews. Did I have a typo? Did I tell the best story that I could? Will people get all the twists, turns, and clever writing that I put into the story? Did I— I had to stop and enjoy the moment and accept the fact that my baby is out in the world being read. I finished my coffee, didn’t set anything on fire, and went to work.
By the time I got home, my wife and boys had planned a surprise dinner and carrot cake (my favorite). I also promised myself a glass of Writer’s Tears Whiskey. I have saved this bottle to open once my first novel was published, and I’ll not have another drink until my second (It was delicious). I was all smiles as I reclaimed some of my tears on this long journey from idea to 406 page novel! Cheers!
Launch day was very different than I imagined. I had planned to throw a party and sign books, but that didn’t happen (you know—Covid and all). I am still waiting for my books to arrive from the printer so I can sign them and send them to folks who would have been at the launch party book signing event (the delay is all Covid’s fault). I am sure many creatives had to change their plans and release their work in the electronic vacuum of Zoom congratulations. I am thankful for all the friends and family that made the day special.
I thought the anxiety had been released, but the strangest thing was the next day, self-doubt and imposter syndrome started to creep in. As I held a copy of my book in my hands I felt overwhelmed with dread that people are reading this thing. Is it a good book? Will people like it? Will they throw tomatoes at me? Why is my Amazon sales rank going up and down like a yo-yo? What, I’m 9th on the New Release Metaphysical Fiction list? Is that good? What does that mean? Arghhh—
All day Wednesday I was tormenting myself with these type of thoughts, even as the congratulations were rolling in. It all came to a head on Thursday morning as I was waiting in my car for my dental checkup and cleaning. My phone dinged with notifications that 2 editorial reviews from Readers’ Favorite had arrived. My heart thumped loud in my chest and the voice of self doubt was screaming between my ears, preparing me for one star reviews and negative comments. My trembling finger pressed the link and all the air in the car was sucked into my lungs—I saw the reviews—Both 4 stars and gushing with praise on the construction, the story, how the characters moved them. I had to stop reading the reviews because my vision blurred with tears, and, thankfully, I started breathing again. I wiped my eyes with the heel of my hand and the call for me to go into the office came—
Why was I so effected by this? I had dozens of friends and advance readers already tell me the story was good. My publisher and editors said the story was good. And I knew I had written and put the effort in to craft a great story I’d be proud to release to the world. But in that moment in the car, holding my breath, that was the sum of my anxiety—
I am still waiting for more Editorial reviews to come in, I’m not holding my breath, but breathing easy and getting started on the next projects—details on these soon!
Also, my mom read my book and sent me a text with her review of the novel (it has some spicy parts in there), but she really enjoyed it, here is part of it: “…found your novel intricate and sultry…With a touch of interludes of one’s mind…your novel…is mind boggling and Captivating… I couldn’t put it down till I reached the end…Congratulations!!”
And now I’m really breathing easy! Am I the only one that feels this way? Let me know, send me a note, I’ll write back!
Not to fear, Rabbit Hole of Research will be dropping on March 20th! Also, the back issues of Rabbit Hole of Research are posted on my website, and If you missed an issue (or you are new to my newsletter) go check them out here. They are a fun take on the quirky science in Fiction books and movies. And I’ll be back in March with an exciting new episode. I have gotten a few reader requests—plasma arrows, Independence Day, Tenet—I am making a list and checking it… You have an idea of quirky science in fiction, let me know!
Personally, I never imagined that my writing career would start to lift off as it has, and I’d be worrying about marketing, Newsletters or launch dates for novel’s and stories. Thank you all and Hopefully one day soon we can all hang out and chat over beverages! Until then—