So, my book Reasonable Doubt came out Monday. I'd forgotten it was release day. Yes, I'm that clever. What you don't know is that I was struggling these past months with the "why". Why am I writing if I'm not selling like my averages say I should be? Why am I writing if the very few reviews I get are mediocre or harsh regarding short stories and whether or not they think I delivered. One in particular set me down for quite a while.
You want a look into the writer's psyche? Here's your look. We're mostly solitary people because we hunker behind a computer and pour our hearts into our work. We believe in our characters. We believe in their struggles. We believe they will end up happy, because our faith in those characters is more real than fiction. We hurt for them when they don't understand their lovers. We laugh when we're typing a line that came out of nowhere and surprised us with its humor. You have to understand, we aren't crazy... we just feel and know those characters so well, they are almost real to us. Yes, we know the difference between actual real people and fictitious people. But we created these guys and we care about their stories.
So, when we hear bad things it's like a knife. It's not something easily brushed off. I wouldn't say it's maiming, but I would venture to report that most authors are invested enough in their work that the sting (especially if repeated or not argued against) begins to take a toll. We start thinking, "Well, I haven't heard anything good about it. I guess it's just not a good story." The effort we've put forth, chipped at by the bad reviews, less the missing fan mail, and then the pirate sites stealing what little we do make... yeah, it's not a pretty equation.
Your psyche plummets sharply. But my release Reasonable Doubt has done just the opposite. I love my boys Geo and Mack. Apparently, the readers and reviewers do too because I had a review less than 24 hours from release and I have an inbox filled with fan mail. It's a beautiful thing...like the clouds parting and the sun coming out. "You don't suck after all!! One book is a fluke, but here. See? You're back up again!!"
It's a roller coaster. It's not attractive to throw it out there like that, but this is kinda what happens. We all have our strong moments when public opinion to the negative doesn't bring us down, but sometimes, there's a lag period when the rest of your life has gone to shit and then your passion falls flat per sales/pirates/reviews/whatever and you cling to your dream. Keep clinging. Never give up the dream. There's a bright spot around the corner from you.
Case in point.... Blackraven's Reviews posted this about Reasonable Doubt. Together with the fan mail, I'm on top of the world. Now if the pirate sites would quit stealing from me...
(click the link above for the full review, and Reasonable Doubt for a buy link)
Reasonable Doubt is a short book, but Ms. Watts packs a lot of character and plot development into it. I’m not usually a fan of short books because I typically feel like the author doesn’t give a complete picture of the characters, but that is just not the case with Reasonable Doubt. I was totally satisfied with the ending of the book, but I do hope there’s a third book in the works because I love Mack and Geo so much.
Reasonable Doubt by Mia Watts is a book that has it all-humor, mystery, deliciously steamy sex scenes, a twinky godmother, two hot heroes who aren’t afraid to let their emotions show, and a bitchy ex who gets what she deserves in the end.
Reviewed by Kathy.
Thank you, Kathy. You made my day.