It’s been nine days since Not A Mistake released and boy have they been a whirlwind. (Remind me to maybe NOT release a book three days after Day Light Savings Time and two weeks before Easter again would you?)
I still can’t wake up for the #5amWritersClub and my kids want to cuddle for an hour after bedtime. I’m feeling like this:
Fried, and like eating fried things to feed my feelings.
But you know what? I had a blast and learned a lot!
Here are some things I discovered:
I really liked being on social media regularly leading up the release. Time wise, it got harder this week (It’s Holy Week, after all), and I missed it. Emotionally, it got harder too, as I was carrying around some heartache for people in my pastoral care and for a dear friend. I’m not always good at setting aside concern for others or the world to be chatty. I guess that’s something to work on. Hence, I share pictures of my experiments in cocktail-making instead 🙂
Also, I kinda developed a Canva.com addiction. If I let myself, I could make endless promo graphics on that baby. Too fun!
I also really like self-publishing. At first I was scared of being completely responsible for everything, but on the other side of my first Indie release, I now enjoy that feeling. Of course, I hope to keep having books published the traditional way too, but I can apply what I learned on this book to that partnership as well. I have another book–The Siren’s Dance–coming out next month, after all!
Not A Mistake has received a lot of great reviews, and that is thrilling! Yay! It turns out, some people really wanted to read a book about a pair of priests getting it on!
And I suspect some readers who received ARCs have been hesitant to post a negative review in spite of my assurances I have thick skin. The thing is, I DOOOOO want those reviews published! Critical reviews really help the right readers find the right book!
Click cover for blurb & buy links.
Of course, the positive ones feel good too. Here are just a few of my many favorites.
I’m in a reading funk. I’m starving for something new, something different. Then this little gem falls into my lap and I am happy…Educational, thought provoking, and highly entertaining. –Sunny, Love Affair with an e-Reader
I always enjoy the emotion Ms. Belldene brings into her characters and this was no exception. Man, their story is definitely rocky and has plenty of ups and downs but it is such a beautiful one and I just loved it. Oh, and the ending? Totally perfect! —Jillian, Read-Love-Blog
I really like this author’s voice. Great pacing and a sexy romance. I’ll read her again. — Mandi, Smexybooks
In her review, Mandi mentioned being annoyed that Dominic got “butt-hurt” over Jordan’s “mistake” and I agreed so hard I laughed out loud! Oh, how I wanted him not to feel that way, tried and tried to wrangle him into more calm acceptance by that point. Honestly, I don’t like to write super angsty, emo characters prone to grand drama. I like to crack a joke before things get too heavy. But he of all my characters is very real to me–right out of the world I inhabit in my day job. The Dominic I know simply refused get on board with a more understanding response.
I love this kind of criticism from a thoughtful reader! It’s made me wonder if I could have strengthened his characterization at other points in the book to make his response more predictable or sympathetic, and how doing so might have had a domino effect on Dominic later. Great readers definitely help me become a better writer! (And of course I’m glad she liked other aspects of the book enough to want to read me again.)
The second book in this series, Not Over Yet, will come out this summer. I wrote it about a year ago, and what a luxury to sit on a manuscript for a year! I had all kids of epiphanies when I returned to it, the flaws practically leaping off the page they were so easy to see! I’ve just begun those revisions–they’re my post-Easter project. That and sleep, cocktails, and fried chicken!
Wait for it…
Here’s the yummy again. Nom, nom, nom!
For those of you that get into the whole Holy Week thing, I hope new life finds you on the other side of Good Friday and fills you with much joy!