To avoid that for all you avid Linda Kage fans (all zero of you!! Okay, maybe there's one or two...hey, a girl can dream!), I'm having a couple countdown posts for my peeps who are eagerly anticipating the release of The Right to Remain Mine.
On the other hand, I also hate it when I hear so much about an upcoming book from an author. I start thinking, shut up already, I heard you the first million times. Your book's coming out soon. We got it.
That's why I'm attempting to find a happy middle ground and am only going to write a limited few countdown posts. ERGO...For the next two Mondays, I'm going to blather on about this book until its release date on February 6th. See, only two countdown posts, that shouldn't be too painful!
LET THE BUTTERFLIES BEGIN!
Every author out there gets the butterflies stirring around in her belly when her big release day draws near (right? please tell me I'm not the only one). But I have a little more uneasy flutters than usual for this project.
One place that initially rejected this story asked to read the full manuscript and then wanted to read it again after I made a few suggested changes. This is good news because it's farther than one of my submitted stories had ever gone with them before (yay!). I actually made the changes, but instead of re-submitting to them (and I have no idea why I didn't re-submit...silly me), I sent it off to another place.
More good news. The next place--the lovely Champagne Book Group--offered me a contract for the story within twenty-four hours--yeah, I said hours not days or weeks--of receiving it, plus the acquiring editor even thanked me for keeping her up half the night to finish it. Wow!
So, okay, at that point, I'm feeling pretty good, got my optimism cranked to full throttle. Then my line editor got a hold of my manuscript.
She didn't suggest any major changes to the plot (yes!). Actually, she had less revision suggestions for this story than she did for Hot Commodity, which is a 2012 Epic finalist. So, cool, that gave me another happy high. But apparently, it was a little too steamy for her taste. Strangely, I had tried to bump up the sensuality heat before subbing to them, thinking they needed it hotter. Boy, was I wrong! She actually said she'd prefer not to receive any future submissions with that level of sexuality.
Pretty much the only thing I heard was "I'd prefer not to receive future submissions from you... Period" which isn't what she said at all. But it still wounded--or more accurately CRUSHED--my delicate little author feelings. It also made me feel like a big ol' fat pervert for writing such dirty scenes. I know, I can be a bit dramatic in the hurt-feelings department, huh?
Anyway, I worked hard to cut out most of the steamy heat, while trying to actually keep the lovely tension. In the end, it really didn't seem like my story any longer and I mostly just felt sick about the entire ordeal. But I eventually brushed it off, moved on, and decided to start pushing promotions despite all my new insecurities.
I contacted a few people and set up a few interviews and guest posts (which I'll go into more next Monday). And I sent complimentary ARCs to reviewers for an honest review. People wanted to give the story a try, which helped my optimism began to rise again.
An honest review is definitely what I got! One reviewer has already looked it over and given it a two-star on Goodreads. The full review isn't complete--so I couldn't tell you everything that turned her off--but her only comment so far is that the hero is a real jerk.
Seeing that, I was like, "Well, yeah. That's the point." Then I froze with horror. Uh-oh, what if I didn't redeem him well enough? He and the heroine both are supposed to be very strong, dominating characters. They're supposed to butt head and create lots of friction. Neither are the type to apologize for what they do, and they do plenty which need apologizing for. Double, uh-oh. What if I didn't even put in a scene where he apologizes for being such a jerk? Do I even infer that he's sorry? Geesh. I totally loved him for his alpha maleness when I was writing him; it made his non-jerk scenes ultra sweet. But did none of that shine through to readers?
I'd been so worried about the stupid sensuality level, I'd forgotten about the actual heart of the story.
I'm afraid to re-read it again (because, well, it's too late to fix anything now!!) to see if I made my hero likeable enough despite his somewhat overbearing attitude.
Optimism plummeting, I've returned to the phase of "long, excruciating, bite-all-my-fingernails-off wait" to see if anyone else enjoys the story.
Here's what I know I'm supposed to say to all this. This is my story and I like it. I had fun writing it, it gave me a grand sense of completion to flesh it out, and I feel good about how far it's come. But seriously, who am I kidding? We all like to see that little thumbs-up from other people and a receive that good-job sticker, that five-star review.
But at this point, I feel too uncertain. I put one of my babies out there for the world to see, and I'm just so afraid it's going to be ridiculed into an early grave.
After all your hard work and effort to see a project through, do you ever get the butterflies just before the big moment your project goes live?
Maybe we can all worry together!!!
To start my mini-blog tour, I will be interviewed tomorrow (1/24/2012) at the lovely BOOKS-N-KISSES Blog. That's at link: http://www.books-n-kisses.com/. Thanks!!