Release Day Introspection
But before I get to the hardcore pimpage, I wanted to post a little about writing, and insecurities, and how for every step you take, it seems like you take a half-step back. Sometimes more. Either you get less-than-complimentary scores in a contest or difficult edits from a CP or editor or agent, or maybe a scathing review. Or even one not so scathing. As my CP Taryn Elliot and I like to say, "nothing is worse than meh." I'd almost rather you hate something I wrote than feel nothing.
And sometimes the step back is that you lose the connection with the stories you're writing. We all want to make a little money and get a little attention for our work. Writer's prerogative, right? But what happens when you forget the point? When the stories stop being meaningful to you, when your characters become a vehicle for you to get where you want to go as an author...that's scary. And it happens, because I know it's happened to me.
Not with Ex Appeal. No, Ty and Jenny came out kicking and screaming and wouldn't have relented until their story was told. But it's happened to me with other things I've written in the past. I like parts of them, but the original thread of why I wrote them became lost. It also means that now that I know I sometimes lose sight of the end goal, I need to be super-vigilant. The end goal is to become better at my craft, while hopefully entertaining people, along with supporting myself and my family. And to tell the stories that matter. To me, first of all. If I ever feel "meh" about what I'm writing for more than a little while, either something needs to be fixed in the story or I wasn't supposed to be writing that one anyway. Regardless if my head wants to write it, my heart needs to be involved in the process too.
Having confidence in yourself as a writer is a tough thing - and worse, it's not static. You can be flying high this morning and on a one-way-trip to crapsville tonight. But part of becoming confident in your words is trusting yourself that you can keep your promises and deliver the story you've agreed to. As authors, we're offering a sort of guarantee to our readers. "Buy my book, and you'll get 7.99 worth of enjoyment from me." Well, that's not good enough. I've phoned it in before, because I'm human. You get tired and sick of your story. Maybe your CP isn't available or you're not sure she'll like your latest offering so you don't bother sending it to her (red flag, btw.) So parts of that book become your best at that minute, when maybe you could have given just a bit more.
Well, I'm reaching for more. Truthfully, I needed to give myself this lecture. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and undercapable at the moment, so my way of combating that is to come clean and man up. Honesty is one of our greatest tools, and maybe some other writers understand what I mean. I can't claim not to know my tendencies to give "good enough" when excellence is the only good enough there is. And really, what better day is there than a release day to declare you'll only give your readers your best?
With all THAT out of the way... ;)
Today is Ex Appeal's release day from The Wild Rose Press's Wilder Roses. It's now live here. I love this story, I love the cover - which really fits Jenny and Ty to a T - and I never once forgot my connection with these characters. They weren't about to let me use and abuse them, that's for sure. Here's the blurb:
As the webmistress for one of the Northeast’s hottest dating sites, Hunk Du Jour, Jenny Talbot is no stranger to reading the applications of potential clients. But when the latest application that crosses her inbox belongs to Ty Randall, the guy she broke up with a mere twenty-seven days ago, she does a double take. Reading what Ty wants in bed not only gets Jenny hot, it also makes her rethink ending their relationship. All she longed for was a little more spice in the bedroom—okay, a lot more—but he let her go without an argument. Faced with the possibility that Ty may really be moving on, getting her ex back becomes more appealing than ever. But will revealing exactly what she needs allow Jenny to finally experience ultimate pleasure or will she drive away the man she loves for good?
I'll be posting teaser excerpts over the next few weeks. Won't be hard to find some, because believe you me, Jenny definitely knows how to get Ty all stirred up!
And I also mentioned J.A. Saare's Crimson Moon is releasing today from The Wild Rose Press. Another incredible story from an author who gets better with each book. And I love this cover too!
To celebrate my release day, I'm hanging out with my good friend, the amazingly talented author Lynne Roberts, on her blog. We'd love to see you!