As you know, this month's Author of the Month is Kelley Armstrong, author of the Women of the Otherworld series. I have contacted Kelley and asked her for an interview as well as for a guest post... so here is the guest post!
I don’t think I’ve ever been as stressed out as I was when my first book came out. I hadn’t expected that. It took two years from the time the book sold until it was released, so I was counting down the days, so excited about seeing my lifelong dream about to be realized. Then someone emailed me and said “Hey, I saw your book reviewed on this website.” And there was a link. So I took a deep breath, told myself that it might not be a good review and, if it wasn’t, I’d accept that and learn from it. Constructive criticism, right? So I clicked the link. It went to a site called Mrs. Giggles. I’d never heard of it, so I expected a standard review—liked it, didn’t like it, liked these parts, these parts sucked. Instead I got something like “I kept hoping Elena [the protagonist] would die.” I was devastated. It was like someone saying they hoped your first-born would die, and no matter how hard I tried to rationalize it as “just one person’s opinion,” it was my first review ever, so I was convinced that this was a sign of things to come and I’d failed as a writer.
And so began the release of my first novel. I spent the whole month worried sick about how it would be received and how well it would sell and whether I’d be allowed the chance to publish a second. Not exactly the exhilarating launch I’d expected!
So now it’s book seven that’s coming out next week, and I’d love to say that I’m totally confident about how it will be received. I can say that I’m not as stressed out as I was the first few times. I know that my career doesn’t hinge on how well this particular book does. And I know that this book was as good as I could make it, and I’ve learned that’s all I can ask of myself, that I do the best I can with each book.
I know there will be readers who love it and tell me it’s my best so far, and there will be readers who hate it and vow never to read another Kelley Armstrong novel, and that either reaction probably comes down to a matter of personal taste. My hope, then, is that the general opinion--among my readers--is that No Humans Involved is a worthy addition to the series. If they think that, then I’ve done my job.
So, with less than a week to release date, what am I doing…besides trying not to worry about the book? Working on edits for book 8, which really helps because I’m very happy with it and focusing on “the next one” helps alleviate the stress over this one. I’m also frantically trying to get my website ready for May. I want to do some special contests…and haven’t had time to come up with anything!
As for my “release month schedule,” I just got back from two days in Montreal, meeting booksellers and signing stock. Off to an advance signing this Sunday. Two interviews Tuesday and guest blogging. A writing workshop to give Wednesday (oh God, have I even written out my notes yet?) Signings all weekend. Off to Ottawa for meetings and signings, then Vancouver. Back for a conference that weekend. Got a break for Mother’s Day—I’m taking my mom, mom-in-law, siblings, etc to Mother’s Day brunch to celebrate selling a YA urban fantasy trilogy
Between obligations I plan to finish those edits, write a new batch of scenes for another book, and proofread pages for an anthology short story. Very busy, but you absolutely will not hear me complaining because I love it. Being busy means I’m doing just fine. My dream career is still chugging along nicely and I’m still as happy in it as I ever imagined I would be.
*me again, Nath :) If you're interested to know more about Kelley Armstrong, you can read the story of Her First Sale over at Dear Author. In addition, Kelley will be guest blogging over at The Good, the Bad and the Unread on May 1st. And last thing, don't forget to come back to TK on May 1st for Kelley's interview with us!! You'll have the chance to win a few goodies!