All Kinds of Confused

Monday, January 23, 2012
I always hate it when I know a book I really want to read is coming out soon and then five months later, I'm like ack, I was so going to buy that on its release date but totally missed it. Bummer.

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!


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.

Here's why.

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: Thanks!!


  1. Oh Linda, I know how you feel. I'm very worried about what people, esp. blogger friends will think. It's inevitable that some people won't like the story.
    You know what though? Most readers give authors second and third chances. Even if that reader hates your story, if it sticks out to her and she remembers it, then another book down the line might grab her/his attention and he/she might say, "Oh, yeah, I hated her one book but I'm going to try this one out." Better a reader remembers you than doesn't remember you...I think. :-) Take heart! You have tons of stories and it will all be fine. I need to get one of yours too, but a less steamy one. :-) Any recommendations?

  2. Thanks, Jessica! That's a great idea. Now that I think about it, it didn't take her long to read the story at all, so something must've pulled her in and kept her interested!!

    I have to stories now that are steam free!! A MAN FOR MIA is my adult story and THE STILLBURROW CRUSH is my YA story. In September, I'll have another YA romance called THE COLOR OF GRACE that doesn't have any sex scenes. Thanks so much for asking.

  3. My head says you'll be fine and most people will love it and don't worry and when your next book comes out nobody will remember any negative reviews.

    My heart is going pound-pound-pound because I'll have my first novel out late spring/early summer and this is the kind of thing I'm FREAKING OUT over.


  4. I worry all the time. We always want to see 5 star reviews. Just remember to breathe, you are an excellent author. I'm going to be practical for a moment. (Here is where the husband would roll his eyes.) The publisher would not have contracted it, within 24 hours mind you, if they didn't think it would make them money. To make money, people have to buy it. So they believe in you, try and believe in yourself. It's hard sometimes. When things go wrong, one after the other, it's hard for us not to throw up our hands and say, "REALLY?" I wouldn't worry about the sex scenes, obviously this publisher isn't into that, so you know the next time, no sex or at least less heat. Some people like the sex. Cough, cough! Believe in yourself, they way we all believe in you!!!

  5. OMG, Carol, I had no idea you had a novel coming out this year? How did I miss that? This is so exciting. Congratulations.

    But anyway, you guys are too sweet, and very insightful. Thanks for your wonderful support. I'm not so upset about any of it anymore. I totally understand a negative review. I'm reading this book as a judge for a contest and I wanted to throw it against the wall at one point because the hero kissed a woman who wasn't the heroine. But that's just me; Someone else may really love the entire story because its so well written. I'm actually lucky to get a review on the other side of the spectrum and see things from a different perspective! I'm glad she was honest too!

    And my editor is truly very sweet. No hard feelings there at all!

  6. I'm a brand new fan - I just found you this morning, Linda, but from what I can see, you seem to have a pretty good sized fan base, and fans are loyal to our authors ;-)

    I am just a reader, and recently became a reviewer for several of my favorite authors. Let me just say first that Goodreads is BRUTAL. I personally think that there are folks there that intentionally thrive on bringing down anybody's day that they can. Lot's of poisonous people out there. I choose to review books that I know I will like. If I happen to get a book that I don't like, I won't write a review on it. Better to say nothing than to tear an author down. What's not my cup of tea may be someone else's!!

    So please, worry not! Just the title alone makes me want to snap your newest book right up. The cover has me drooling, and I've got it on my to buy list ;-) I am sure it will shoot right to the top of the charts!

    Gena Robertson

  7. Hey Gena, It's so nice to meet you! Thanks for the great support. I'm starting to think being a reviewer is some hard work. Anything you say could crush someone else or give them false hope. It could so easily go either way.

    But still, think of all the books you get to read!!! Have fun with your reviews. I look forwad to following them on Goodreads!

  8. Being a reviewer is wonderful, it really is. I truly do my best to not build false hopes - I think I've posted a couple of 3 star reviews (which I felt bad about). But if I felt a book warranted anything less than that, I just wouldn't post a review. I can't stand the thought of crushing someone's dreams! Especially because I am not a mind reader - my opinion is certainly not the same as the majority, so who am I to say if a book is "bad?" If it doesn't appeal to me, that's just my personal feelings. And I've found that my mood can sometimes affect how I feel about a book. I've come back to one that didn't appeal to me at one time and loved it a few months later!
    If I gush about a book, I mean it. Oh, and I hate spoilers! Why buy the book if you know the whole dang story!! So, I do try to review without giving anything away ;-)

    Gena Robertson

  9. My mood definitely dictates my taste in a story, too! You're so right. I think it's cool that you gush about what you love and just kind of ignore what you don't. Great motto on life too!

  10. I know I get worked up when a book comes out too and I second-guess myself. But you'll be fine and I'm sure the book is enjoyable. You're a great writer!
    I can't write an alpha male to save my life but I love reading them. :)