Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sophomore Efforts, and the Fear of Being Farmer Ted

It's a curious feeling that comes with a second book.  Like the awkward hope that comes when you ask a dude way out of your league to the prom.  In this scenario, I am The Geek from Sixteen Candles, and the book-buying public is Jake Ryan.  And I guess we're gay...

(I'll begin by saying I'm so grateful to have curious feelings and a second book -- when I was unpublished I might roll my eyes at "published author problems."  They are good problems to have, in many, many ways -- I get it!)

I'm a mid-list author, meaning that if you ran into the street screaming about the latest Lucy Woodhull book, 99% of folks would say "who?"  Our heroine, The Geek, valiantly waves her hands in the air, begging for a couple of bucks.  In turn, I'll show you my underpants in the boys' restroom.  So to speak.  There are panties in my books, anyhow (or a lack of them -- Juliet doesn't much care for such vadge-restricting clothing.)

I'm scared no one will pay.  I'm scared that my sophomore effort will disappoint fans of the first book.  I'm scared I'll never have to worry about this feeling about a third book, which I have yet to sell.  I'm scared most of all that there are people who spend their hard-earned money on me and walk away not laughing with a spring in their step, but annoyed that they wasted their bucks or Euros.  And it will happen.  I can't please everyone, no matter how many zit jokes I beleaguer my heroine with.

Most of the time I feel like a loser, twirling my tassels on them thar Interwebs, dancing to try and get one new reader to take a chance on me amongst the well-established and wonderful romance authors out there.  I Tweet, I blog -- I've even crossed over into my personal hell, Facebook.  Ugh.  The things I do for love!

But then I think to myself... all those fancy authors like Julia Quinn or Tessa Dare had to start somewhere, too, right?  They must have had that feeling of being a total nobody, building up their audience a person at a time.  Maybe they still get that terror with each and every new book.  I hope I get to find out one day, typing my eightieth book as I sit on my porch by the sea, while my monkey butlers serve me mimosas made with unicorn tears, because I am so rich from my sales.  (In this scenario, I write all my books while drink on unicorn mimosas.  Not all that different from today, except now I'm drinking 40s from the corner store, and they are served by my cat, who is crap at it, frankly.)

Until then, I guess I'll keep shining up my pasties.  Or straightening my head gear.  And flirting with Jake Ryan, even though he's on the other side of the cafeteria sitting with Eloisa James.  They look so cute together!

Farmer Ted never gave up, and neither should we.

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