Friday, April 20, 2007

Taking stock and…a huge sigh of relief..

Another week gone! It’s probably because I’m knee-deep in deadlines and working right through weekends at the moment, but the weeks seem to be flying by. RECKLESS is the big WiP at the mo, and it’s coming on well. It could be going a lot faster on the word count front, but it’s steady and productive so there’s a glimmer of hope I’ll meet these deadlines. :)

It’s been a great week for me overall, though. It may not come across on this blog but I’m a real worrier. When I stop to think about it, I also have very little self-confidence in my writing. Never a day (hour!) goes by that I don’t worry about readers enjoying my stories, selling copies, writing well enough, reviews, and all those things that can eat away at writers. It didn’t really change when a New York publisher signed me, in fact it got worse.

I feel as if I’ve been holding my breath for over a year now, waiting to see what will happen. It's hard, not really having any real idea how the first novel is selling. I can’t even walk into a bookshop and see my book because it's not shelved in the UK, so the whole thing often feels unreal to me. Before it went out, I knew I had readers who enjoyed my short stories. I’d also had many positive responses to my novellas for Red Sage, and my e-novel was selling well, but this was still a debut novel.

This week brought two positive bits of information that proved to me I should try to worry less, and concentrate on the writing. Being listed as a finalist in the Passionate Plume contest was such an amazing surprise, an honour that really gave me a badly needed boost. This week I also received my first Penguin statement. Boy, was I scared to open it! It would list how many sales I’d had for DOUBLE DARE from the time it came out in October, up until end of December.

I felt nauseas with nerves, really bad. When I did get it open, the first thing I saw was a cheque/check. I stared at it in disbelief! To be honest, I never even expected to earn out my advance. I can’t begin to describe the HUGE RELIEF I felt…

Wow, thank you to all readers out there who have bought my first book. It means so much for me to get over this threshold and have the chance to go on and entertain readers some more. It’s been a great motivation too, and I’ve been able to really enjoy my writing again. There’s nothing like a huge lump of stress about sales figures and all the rest that comes with being an author to put a kink in your writing stride!

I also heard from my Juno editor that advance orders for UNVEILING THE SORCERESS are looking good, and that one of the book buyers had been "intrigued" by the cover copy. All fab news for this here worrier. A big weight lifted off me.

So, it's back to work with a bit more oomph :) I love how RECKLESS is turning out, and hope that everyone who’s enjoyed my stories so far will enjoy this story even more. I’m learning and growing all the time as a writer, and this one feels strong. Still not sure exactly when it’s going to come out, but I’m sure I’ll find out soon. Not long until the deadline! I better get a shift on.

Have a great weekend!


Portia Da Costa said...

Well done, chum! Looks like things are nicely on track for you... :)

I'm dying for Reckless! That intro excerpt you posted really whetted my appetite... that was such a hot scenario, and the characters immediately attracted me to their story. Also, knowing there was another hot guy in the works only upped the ante even more!

Saskia Walker said...

Thank you so much! And thank you for being such a good pal and getting me through all these first novel stresses :)

So glad you like Reckless!

Cynthia Eden said...

Saskia--you are such a fabulous writer--there is no doubt! So, please, don't doubt yourself! I'm not the least bit surprised your first big NY book is doing so well--the next will do even better! :-)

Saskia Walker said...

Cynthia, thank you, angel! Your words mean such a lot to me.