In some ways, being a published author is harder than being a parent–and being a parent, being a good parent, is really, really hard. You do the best you can with the resources available, and you worry–a lot.
And yet, if I want to tell my daughter not to enroll in so many classes this fall, if I want to ask her how the new job is going, all I need to do is call her. If I want to make SURE she knows how proud I am of her, I can toot my mama-horn all over social media, post on her wall, and otherwise get that sentiment across.
By contrast, once a book is published… it’s gone, baby.
This is awful. I cannot console my book when the reviewers don’t like it, I can’t celebrate with my characters when words of appreciation come their way. The books I’m most nervous about often do just fine, and the ones I thought would be solid performers end up making me fret–and there’s nothing I can do about any of it. The story has been released into the wild, and that’s… it.
Except for some give-aways, my job is abruptly done. Months of writing, more months of revisions, copy edits, galleys, back cover copy, titles, covers, sales rankings, blog posts, social media tub-thumping, and then… CRICKETS?!
I am certain in my writing bones that this author’s version of post partum bewilderment is where the series romance was born, because as much as I love Once Upon a Tartan, (and I do!), it’s easier to shift my focus forward to Gabriel, Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait, and next year’s new Regency trilogy because I know Asher and Hannah’s story will come out as The MacGregor’s Lady next February.
And Lady Joan and her swain will provide Christmas cheer next year.
And maybe Tiberius Flynn’s other two sisters are in need of swains… because I am certainly in need of more books to write.
When that combination of satisfaction, bewilderment, fatigue and relief comes calling at the end of a big effort, how do you re-establish your balance and get moving forward again? When the Christmas tree comes down, the relatives go home, the prodigy goes off to college, or the big move is behind you…how do you pat yourself on the back and get enthusiastic about the next goal?
Profuse thanks to all who’ve participated in this blog tour with me. I’m always amazed at readers’ willingness to take time from their busy days to drop in on this interview or that blog post. If there’s a question you’ve had that hasn’t been answered in previous posts–about Tartan, about anything–feel free to leave that in the comments as well.
And to one person who comments before Monday, August 19, I’ll send an iPad… though I wish I could send one to each of you. And for my print readers, another two weeks of signed book giveaways still await us, details here.
PS: Want to hedge your e-reader giveaway bet? To one person signed up for my newsletter before the next edition goes out at the end of the month, I’ll also give an iPad.