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Since being published, in a few different genres and with different companies, I now kind of understand that concept. It’s not the work levels that are similar – it’s following their progress, agonising over every step they take, and worrying if you’ve done enough to help them/haven’t done enough to help them/are the worst parent in the whole world!
Taking my first Harper Impulse novel – Cold Feet At Christmas – as an example, it was a strange road. I’d actually written it a few years earlier, then got sidetracked into other projects. When it was eventually accepted by the lovely people at HI, I was ecstatic. And when I saw the beautiful cover they produced to go with it, even more so – that was the equivalent of my baby being dressed in the very finest designer duds available!
If that book was a baby, it certainly attracted a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as people peered into the pram. It was one beautiful looking baba. But as anyone who has kids knows, the most gorgeous of party outfits can soon be ruined when the child in question spills juice on it, slobbers chocolate on it, or rolls in dog poo at the park. Looks are not everything.
I think I speak for all authors when I say having a book released is horrifyingly nerve-wracking –
even if you are famous and well established. But as a debut romance writer, you have no idea how the world is going to respond – in the case of chick lit, it’s taking a huge leap of faith into a black hole decorated with cupcakes and rainbows.
We all start off – like first time mums – obsessing over everything: any mentions on Goodreads, any Amazon reader reviews, pieces on blogs, the lot. There was a great reaction when the cover to Cold Feet was unveiled – but that doesn’t mean people will buy the book, less still like it! So you spend the first few days literally glued to Amazon. You press the ‘refresh’ button over and over again looking for anything new – it is pathetically, tragically needy!
|Click to pre-order on Amazon|
This should have been reassuring. It was the equivalent to a fantastic school report, and a big thumbs up at parents’ evening for my book baby – but could I relax? Not a chance!
Now, with my next book – Pippa’s Cornish Dream – out on July 2, I possibly feel even worse. I mean, not only do I have all the usual nerves about whether people will like it, but it is massively in the shadow of a hugely over-achieving elder book sibling. Will it do as well? Will it sink without trace? Will it disappear without making anyone as happy as Cold Feet did? Like with my kids, I won’t love it less if it does – but it is still very anxiety-making!
I have three children in real life. I was once told my a friend that that the third one ‘raises themselves’ – I can only hope that it’s the same with books!
Thank you so much for joining us on Chick Lit Love- and wishing you well with the new arrival :)