Release Day Eve

Shortly after midnight, DSP Publications will release The Case of the Missing Drag Queen. Readers who preordered the e-book will wake up tomorrow to find a copy in his or her inbox. Paperbacks should reach readers in the next week or two.

As release day nears, I’m like a child awaiting Christmas. Imagining happy endings goes with being an author. Will my fifth novel be the one?

Experience has tempered my expectations. Oprah isn’t going to mention The Case of the Missing Drag Queen. Nor will NPR’s Terry Gross reach out for an interview. Andy Cohen won’t fall madly in love with me after reading my book either. That’s okay. Fame and fortune would mess with a strong desire to simplify my life.

I enjoy writing novels. Creating characters, coming up with subplots, and putting the story together keeps me entertained for months. That even one reader enjoys my work is icing on the cake.

I read reviews of my books. Nothing beats a good one from someone who loved my story and gets what I was trying to do. Interesting observations about underlying themes and other connections sometimes make me look smarter than I am. Praise is great and very much appreciated, but criticism is often more helpful.

Two years of face-to-face critiques from members of the Athens Writers Workshop was good training. A negative comment from one person is an opinion. When others say the same thing, it’s a problem.

Bad reviews can be hard to swallow, but every book ever written has received at least a few. Why should mine be any different? I try to understand what the reviewer didn’t like and why. More often than not, I’m inclined to agree and am unlikely to repeat the mistake again.

The harshest reviews come from readers who were offended or otherwise put off by choices I made. Pushing buttons that take a reader out of the story is never my intention. Whether I agree or not, the reaction is duly noted and taken into account in future works.

I’m looking forward to reviews of The Case of the Missing Drag Queen. No doubt, some readers will like my fifth novel and some won’t. Either way, I appreciate that someone took the time to read my story and write a review.

As always, thanks for stopping by. See you next week!