Worries of the Writer
First of all, I have to admit that I am a worrier of the tenth degree. Not that I’m happy about it, but I am very good at it. And, I come from a long line of worriers.
When I write, I go where the story takes me. Sometimes I have an idea. Sometimes a character surprises me as I write and I follow that lead. I think very little of what a reader might think other than as I write, I aim to present a good story that pushes and pulls the reader along on a pleasant journey. From beginning to end, it takes me about nine months – give or take – to see it from start to publication. Yes, I’m aware of the ironic parallel to giving birth, and while I can’t claim to know the pain of childbirth, for the writer the birth of a book can be as painful as it is satisfying.
When I finish the story and edit the heck out of it, that’s when the worry begins. Will I find a publisher? Will someone actually buy it? Will someone enjoy it? Will someone review it positively and speak well enough about it to cause others to want to read it?
There is a meme on Facebook by Neil D’Silva that goes something like this: “Only a true author will realize the sheer terror of the slight pause that follows the words: ‘So, I read your book . . .’”
Oh, yeah! I know that terror well.
Writers do their best to spin a satisfying story. We take time, choose words and phrases carefully. We plant seeds along the way just like Hansel and Gretel dropped white pebbles and bread crumbs. As Keith Urban called his songs ‘his babies’, the writer gives birth to his baby, his book.
So, on Thursday, January 17, my newest baby, Spiral Into Darkness is born. I’m proud of the story. I moved the characters from my previous books forward into a new adventure. Several themes move the reader along and crash together at the climax. A question is explored: Is a murderer born or is the murderer made? Good question, really. Hope I did a good job exploring the possibilities, and as the terror begins to tighten around my heart, I hope the reader pauses to think long after the last page is finished.