Tuesday, 12 February 2013
New-book nerves - they're setting in fast!
"His arms fell around her, pulling her closer against him, their mouths still moving together in that same beautiful rhythm; a kiss that seemed never-ending. His hands stroked her back, his tongue touching hers as that kiss continued to send Amber’s heart racing, her skin breaking out in a million goose bumps as a cacophony of warning signals fired off inside her head, one after the other, all of which she ignored. The deepening kiss was silencing them..."
That's an excerpt from Striker, my new novel that's due out soon. Very soon. Within the next couple of weeks, actually. And I feel sick. I feel so sick that I'm actually having a few restless nights as I await the release of this football-themed romance of mine. Mind you, I'm not feeling sick enough to be off me food or anything, God forbid! It takes a lot to put me off my food, and releasing a new book hasn't quite moved me onto that stage of panicking just yet. Waiting for the reviews to come in might just do it, though...
Seriously, though, I think most writers experience what I'm going through right now. Every time we put our work out there we worry about what people will think, what their reactions will be. And I guess there are a couple of reasons why I'm slightly more nervous than usual with this book. I'm reluctant to say goodbye to these characters, for one. I've become very attached to my gorgeous, bad-boy footballer, his rather attractive manager, and the feisty female sports reporter I've created. But, I have to let them go at some point, and doubtless some people will love them, and others won't. I'm prepared for that now.
But, I'm also nervous about this book because it's just that little bit sexier than the others I've written. Oh, I know No Matter What, Illusions of Love and See You At The Show had more than a smattering of sex scenes in them, but Striker has a few more. And they're hotter than those that may have gone before them. Oh, I'm not talking full-on erotica, and I'm not even sure we're talking 'Fifty Shades of Grey' here, but as I'm only 20% through reading that I can't actually say for sure. All I know is, they're a touch more graphic, a bit more steamy, and possibly a tad more frequent. All relevant to the plot, I hasten to add, just a teensy bit sexier than my other books. But I don't want people to think that the book is one non-stop round of dressing room sex with hot footballers, it isn't. Although, there is a dressing room scene in the book that doesn't follow match-day protocol one bit, in fact, there's quite a few things going on behind the scenes of my fictional football club that would have the F.A. throwing a major fit, but... Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah... It's not just a load of sex scenes put in for their gratuitous value, there's a story. But it is a book with more than a few hot scenes in it. And I guess I want people to be aware of that.
I mean, if some readers have only read Christmas Without Icing, for instance, and liked it, they might not like Striker because it is so far from the sweet and gentle romance of my Christmas novella. Could give some people quite a shock, actually, if they go straight from that book onto Striker! They're two completely different books.
Striker is pure escapism. It's not a book that's going to change the world, it certainly wouldn't win any high-brow literary awards, and it definitely won't appeal to everybody - I just hope it finds its way into the hands of readers who will take it for what it is and enjoy it. It is, as I said before, pure escapism, nothing more nothing less. But I'm still as nervous as hell about putting it out there, even though I, personally, am really, really happy with it. I love the characters, I'm pleased with the way the story went, and I'm incredibly happy to say that a sequel is already in the pipeline.
So, I guess all I can do now is continue to get the book ready for publication, cross my fingers, and just hope that people will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
But the nerves will always be there, that stomach-churning moment when you realise it's now out there for the whole world to see. Those feelings will never change, whether it's your first book or your fiftieth. But it's also an exciting time, because, yes, I'm excited to get this book out there. I can't wait to see what people think, whatever their opinions.
So, now that I've got all this off my chest I'd better get back to making sure Striker is ready for release - hopefully sometime during the week beginning February 25th, but watch this space for more details. And get ready for what I'm dubbing Fifty Shades of Football! Kick-off is imminent...
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