Wednesday, 11 September 2013

New perspectives, and those new-book nerves...

It's that time again - I'm sitting here staring a new book launch in the face, only, this time, I'm feeling strangely calm about it all. Well, okay, maybe calm isn't quite the right word, but, because I've taken the pressure off myself, I'm not letting the stress take over.

This has been a year of getting things into perspective, really. You see, I let myself get sucked into the old submission stress again at the beginning of the year, and subsequently lost a good few months of my life worrying about that, wondering if this year would be the year I struck lucky. It wasn't. Once again I'm experiencing that feeling of deja vu as months roll by with no word from publishers. So, submitting manuscripts of any kind has now been put on the back burner. I'm not writing what publishers want, okay. Fair enough. I'm writing what I want to write, and that's all that matters to me, and the upshot of rejection, and the positive side of still being an indie author, is that I can continue to try different things, something I intend to do a lot of next year. And it also means I'm not wasting precious writing time sorting out submissions, covering letters, etc. I can just write. And finally allowing myself to do that, to know that that's okay; to just get up, sit at my desk and write, that's a nice feeling.

Coming soon...

So, after accepting that being traditionally published is a dream I'll put away for another life, I got on with that writing, and I've finally managed to finish Extra Time - which would have been finished a lot sooner if I hadn't allowed myself to be distracted by all of the above! But, it's finished, and it's almost ready to put out there. Why aren't I panicking, then? Why aren't I worrying that people won't like it, that it won't sell, all the usual things writers (most of us, anyway) worry about as we prepare to launch a new book? Well, I am worried about all of those things, of course I am. I'd be pretty conceited not to be. But, the thing is, I've got it all into perspective now. I'm not Jackie Collins. I'm not a major bestselling author (although I can actually call  myself a bestselling author, having had all of my books in the Top 100 of various categories over the years), and I'm not expecting to sell hundreds of thousands of copies. I know I'll sell a few, because I know there are people out there waiting for this book, and that is a lovely feeling, believe me. Makes writing these books totally worthwhile, just knowing there are a handful of people who want to read them. But I'm not expecting sales to go through the roof. Once again, I'd be conceited to even think they had a chance of doing that. It'll sell what it sells, and I'll try my best to get the word out there, because I'm extremely proud of how this trilogy is progressing. But the marketing side of things is something I really dread. I'm not good at it, I'm not a natural salesperson, and I'm incredibly uncomfortable with blowing my own trumpet. I know people say that if you, the author, isn't excited about the book you've just written then how can you expect anyone else to be? I am excited. I just find it very hard to jump up and down and shout about it, which is odd, considering I'm a Leo and someone who is supposed to love the limelight. But I actually hate it. Mind you, I was born two weeks early and technically should have been a Virgo, whose traits are much more me. Anyway, I'll leave all of that major marketing to those who enjoy it and can do it well - I don't really enjoy it, and I'm not very good at it, so I'm going to concentrate much more on the writing side of things from now on. I'd like to get Final Score, the third and final installment of the Striker Trilogy, out early next year, and then crack on with a few other projects I've got planned. I haven't really got time to market. Not when I'd rather be writing. I guess this has been a year when I've realised where my priorities lie. And in doing that, I'm a lot calmer about things than I was this time last year - or even a few months ago!

Anyway, enough of the rambling. Extra Time is due for release VERY SOON (official launch day will be during the week beginning September 23rd, but I'm hoping to have the book live on Amazon sometime within the next few days... watch this space...), and yes, of course I'm slightly nervous about how people are going to take to it. I've never really written a series of books before - No Matter What and Illusions of Love are, technically, connected, but those books could, in reality, be read as stand alone books. You can't really do that with the Striker Trilogy. So, yes, those new-book nerves are there, especially when I get to this stage, when I become obsessed with finding typos and mistakes, and wondering whether I did the right thing in changing the ending slightly, but that's all normal, isn't it? I'm very critical of my own work, and I'll never be 100% happy, but that's just me. I want to send those books out the best they can possibly be, because I want people to enjoy them. I loved writing them, so it stands to reason that I want people to love reading them, too. But I'm also nervous of alienating certain readers. Some who've read my other books weren't too keen on the amount of sex contained in Striker, book one in the trilogy. Some said it didn't need it, others thought it all a bit too much, and that's fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. And because Striker really is the book that marked my entrance into the more erotic side of romance, well, I suppose some readers will fall by the wayside, if that kind of thing isn't what they're a fan of. That's the risk I've taken in writing these new books. And I certainly haven't toned it down in Extra Time. If anything the sex is hotter! Oh, we're not talking full-on erotica here, but it's just a few steps away from that. Some of the sex in the book is pretty graphic, although not half as graphic as some of the books I've been reading lately! But, if full-on sex scenes aren't your thing, you might want to leave the Striker Trilogy alone. 

Book one in the trilogy.
Okay, I'm rambling again, but that's just a sign of the nerves kicking in as release date for Extra Time draws closer. Will people like it? Will they think it a worthy continuation of the first book? Will they read it and want to complete the journey with these characters? Will people find the sex too much? These are all questions I can't answer just yet, not until the book is out there. And speaking of which, I'd better get back to it. The sooner I get Book Two out there, the sooner I can get on with Amber, Jim, Ryan and Ronnie's journey in Final Score... I know how it's all going to end - will you want to find out, too...? 

Striker - Book One in the Striker Trilogy - is available now from Amazon and Kobo.

Details on when - and where - you can get your hands on Extra Time will follow very, very soon!


  1. Whooo hooooo! I simply can't wait Michelle :-) xx

    1. I really hope you enjoy this second installment, Sara. :-) xx