Release Day Introspection

Normally on a release day, an author pimps their book and advises for everyone to go buy. I will do that, but it'll be at the end of this post. A good friend of mine, J.A. Saare, also has a release today, Crimson Moon, that you absolutely have to go pick up. She's an amazing writer and this book is really a book of her heart.

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!


The Goddess Hathor said...

Many congratulations on the release!

Ladies, you will adore this story! Hmmm, gentlemen, you'll love it too... for sure.

~ Hath

Laurann Dohner said...

Congrats. Your book sounds awesome and I can't wait to read it. I'll check out Crimson Moon too!

As a fellow author... when I lose the thread of what I'm writing... the best thing I've discovered is to save it, open a new document, transfer it over, delete the last chapter or chapters ( NEVER delete the original just in case!!! ) and start from the point where I started to lose the thread. It always helps me 'get my heart' back into the story if it took a wrong turn. Sometimes a nap or taking time off to read a good book recharges me.

Shelley Munro said...

Congratulations on your new release, Cari.

I think Laurann is right in saying that we as writers need to recharge. That helps stop us from getting stale.

Christina Phillips said...

Congratulations on the release of Ex Appeal, Cari!

And I sure know that feeling of flying high one moment and down in the dumps the next. Talk about a rollercoaster ride!

Jackie Ashenden said...

Congrats, Cari! Yep, great post on confidence. Some days being a writer sucks. And some days it doesn't. I'm hoping for less sucky days!

April Vine said...

Cari, I take your post to heart! My own lack of confidence in my writing sets me back daily!
But I can confirm your best to your readers! Read Ex Appeal early this morning, and LOVED IT!!!! Oh, Ty...I adored him from the start but fell incurably for him at that 'catalog' moment - too endearing!!
Congratulations! I wish you tons and tons of sales!

J.A. Saare said...

Hey Cari ~

You know, I feel like I could have written that because recently that's exactly what I've been experiencing. It's so tough when it happens.

Congrats on your new release and for mentioning my release as well. It's so great that we're sharing a release day together!

I'm heading over to my blog to type something up. :)

Taryn Elliott said...

oh my know we have our days of discontent with our writing. and just as i tell you all the time...the day we get complacent with our writing is the day we have some work to do.

the best part of this post...besides that it's release day.....wwwwwwwwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaahooooooo! is that you know you have never and will never release a book that's meh. a.)i wouldn't let you and b.)you realize you might be going down a dark hole and you're turning around before you fall in. (that and I've got a hand waving to haul you out.)

we're supposed to 2nd guess ourselves, we're supposed to wonder if we could do better because this is what it's about. we do want to get better. no matter what. the next book is always going to be better than the last--that's just the way we do things there cp.

we wouldn't have it any other way.

oh and one more thing.

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO it's release day! focus on the good and the blog tour baby. ;)

Viola Estrella said...

Hi Cari!!
There must be something going around because I know exactly what you mean. This is a tough business to be in since writing fiction (especially romance) is such an emotional experience for the writer AND the reader. And sometimes the story just doesn't connect. What more can we do than write from the heart/mind/soul and to the best of our ability? I think that's about all we can do. Well, that and have lots of buds who've got your back. :-)

Now to the good stuff--HUGE congrats to you and J.A. on your release day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lynne Roberts said...


You took the words right out of my mouth. LOL. Thank you for being a shoulder and congratulations on this new release.

Ex Appeal is an awesome book and the characters reach out and draw you into their world. It takes a writer being emotionally connected to his or her characters for a the reader to become emotionally connected. IMO. : )

Congratulations, Jaime! I can't wait to read Crimson Moon!

Kaily Hart said...

Cari, congrats on your release day!! Full Disclosure was awesome and I know this one will be too. I can't wait to read it.

As for the other... Sometimes being a writer is just hard work and for me when the switch flicks, it's difficult to get the emotional connection needed. When we're writing from the heart, it flows, you know? I agree with Lynne. A writer needs that emotional connection with their characters for the reader to be able to feel it. Sounds like you need some time to fill the creative well!