Fear Less

In case you missed the incessant posts and announcements, my second novel "Popstars, Friends & Lovers: a dreamer's tale" went live yesterday. It was an exciting and very emotional day for me. The best way I can describe the feeling is that it's kind of like sending your sweet baby off to kindergarten. You are launching part of your heart into the world and once done, there is no going back.

As I've mentioned on this blog, this book was harder to write than the first. Because like a lot of authors, I didn't know if anyone would ever read the first book. I didn't write it with the intention of publishing. Then I finished it, wanted to share it, wanted to try something new and exciting, and I put it on Amazon. 

I was laughing last night remembering how I was sure there would be a mad rush to buy my first book. But what I got, after I hit publish, was a lot of silence, for quite a while. It turns out that I'm not the only one who wrote a book and put it on Amazon (go figure). 

Then the really hard part started. I had to promote my work--my work, my words. I had to tell people, "Hey, this is really good and you should read it." I could do that all day for someone else, but for me? Skin-crawlingly uncomfortable. I love "Burnouts, Geeks & Jesus Freaks: a love story" but that didn't make it any easier to put myself (a dyed-in-the-wool introvert) out there into a world of critics. I was inviting them to say, "Your book is crap and you are too." Scary shit of epic proportions. 

But I did it. I relentlessly sent requests for reviews and put the book on read-to-review lists and begged people to tell me what they thought. 

And, because I have a very active imagination (writer's curse/blessing), nothing that happened was nearly as bad as I feared. I got one 1-star review, and I survived. I cried, swept the porch, then blogged about it. What actually happened was the opposite of my fears. The book got great reviews. So many people wrote to say how much they connected with my characters and the story. Back to the kindergarten analogy, that was like the teacher calling to say, "You have one of the most wonderful children I have ever met." It's a high that is hard to describe. I can float on that connection for days. 

I self-published Burnouts nine months ago. It feels like years ago. Because I have grown and changed so much in these past nine months. I have learned a lot about being an authorpreneur (self-published author). And in the process, I have met some amazing, helpful, supportive people. 

So yesterday was such a different experience than my last book launch. I was surrounded by people who had read my first book and loved it and other authors and reviewers and bloggers who I've connected with. It was scary, but so much better than the first book.
My official Author pic.(Also better)

I got a review for Popstars this morning. (See Pretty Little Pages.blogspot.com) And the reviewer talked about how I have grown as a writer. That made me so happy because I have grown as a writer and a person and it was heart-warming to have someone acknowledge it. 

I'm in the process, again, of promoting my work. Only this time I am out there waving my author flag loud and proud. I'm a much stronger person now. To celebrate this novel I bought myself a ring. It say "without fear" in Latin. I might not be completely without fear now (or ever), but I do fear less.