Excuse me for a moment because I'm about to get all sappy...it could just be that Hello Again by Neil Diamond is playing. OR not. It may be...a year and a few days ago, I hit publish on my first novel. With one stroke of a button, I put all my hard work, blood, sweat and tears on the line. My friends bought it, my mom read it, and soon...a small group of unknown-to-me readers read it. Some loved it, others abhorred it. My editor told me to strap on a thick skin (in a much nicer way); my husband assured me that if I didn't receive any bad reviews, I hadn't really gone mainstream; my mentors said to just write another book.
What did I do? I dried my tears and wrote another book. Well, actually two more in a year's time. I just kept typing, dreaming, and marketing. OH, the fucking marketing. It's 97 & 1/2% of my day. Marketing. There are fun parts of this like talking to readers––the ones who like your books––and meeting bloggers. Bloggers are hard-working people who actually do work-for-free most of the time. If not, they make pennies while helping us––authors––with marketing. All for the love of reading and romance in my case.
There are not-so-fun parts like ad placement and reading bad reviews, feeling the need to apologize that my book wasn't your cup of tea (I really do feel this way), blogging myself, running giveaways, etc. Most of these are not all bad just tedious and keep me away from writing. I'm not going to lie, reading a bad review hurts, but I get over it now. AND I have Nicole now. She makes everything better...are you reading this Nicole?
Anyway, I digress (a bad habit of mine). A year after publishing Electrified, it's still growing and gaining new readers/fans (?!?!) and sometimes I run to the mirror and check that I'm still standing...and this is happening. BTW, Pam is going to shoot me over the run-ons here, but it's my party, and I'll clearly run-on if I want to!
I continue to be shocked how Electrified is still moving and shaking. Sienna is special to me...Asher even more so––at times. Smoldered was my most emotional to write, and clearly polarizes audiences to the max. I was still a new & fairly dumb idiot back then, and I made Asher an absolute cheating prick with a heart of gold. I love him that way.
Redemption Lane brought a new set of characters and a less glitzy background. Lane and Bess made me cry, Jake makes me swoon...I'm writing him now. And then there's my soon to be released, Tiberius. He's not what you think, debunks all those preconceived notions you may have, and was totally new for me to write.
It wasn't planned this way, but somewhat ironic that the cover reveal for Vérité fell on the same week as Electrified's anniversary. Yesterday blew me away, toppled me over––and that's not easy when you're 5'10. Thank you so much for all the messages, emails, texts, posts etc - bloggers, readers, friends, enemies alike.
Bloggers who were on vacation reached out, new reviewers sent messages for my current books and wanting to be on the list for upcoming titles, and my mom forgot (I think she did, but she played it off). There's also the other authors I've met and fallen in love with...too many to mention. But they really have circled around me when this author stuff got too hard and celebrated with me when it's going well.
So, just thank you. Thank you so much for making this last year incredible. I look forward to the next few - Rachel XOXOXO