Like to Write Book Reviews?

I’m excited for the release of second book in my very first trilogy. If you like to read and review novels, drop me a line at Mark@mwsasse.com and I’ll hook you up with a review copy of my latest. If you haven’t read the first yet, I’ll get that for you too.

My only request: be honest!

Here’s the tagline for The African Connection:  Fruit, Faeries, & Fascist Dictators. The Adventure Continues.

Check the links below to learn more about the books and the series. Thanks!

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Goodreads

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My Novel is Finished. I Hate This Next Part.

I finished the third revision of my new novel, “Which Half David.” It hasn’t gone through the final editing process yet, so it technically isn’t done, done, as in done, complete, not going to touch it again.

But it is finished as in I need to get some insight into what I have here. Yes, that means one thing: beta readers.

Beta readers also means another obvious thing: I have to send them my book and they are actually going to be reading those words.

That fact sends shivers through me because I literally have NO idea what I have in this novel. I am much conflicted over it. It’s a novel I felt compelled to right. Might be the most open and honest work I’ve ever written, but I have no idea if anyone else in the world will find it even remotely interesting.

It could be a snooze-fest! I hate boring books and never want to write one, but I’ve also come to realize that I have no idea what is boring to other people. I know what’s boring to me. That’s easy. But others? I have no clue.

I’ve had some bad reviews before, but generally, I’ve been very pleased with how my audience has received my works. But every artist has a mis-step or stumble along the way, right? Is this my stumble? Or my flailing fall off the cliff?  What if this book just isn’t very good?

I hate having these ridiculous conversations with myself. It does help to write about them. I guess that’s why I took up blogging because it’s a way to talk to myself about my inner writing struggles – which are tremendous, by the way.

Okay, it’s a simple point. If I want to know what others think, I have to send it to them, right? There is no other way, correct?

No one else in the world has ever read the words of my new novel yet. That’s a beautiful thing in one sense. It’s purely me. It’s as pure as it gets.

But I guess it’s time to contaminate it with the thoughts of others. After all, I can’t make a book sale of blank pages. I need to fill them. I did. So now it’s time to release them and forget about it.

Okay. I’m glad we had this talk. Beta readers, your emails are coming to see if you want to check out my latest. Thanks in advance, even if you hate it.

 

That Sinking Feeling that a New Novel is Almost Ready

I spent part of the afternoon looking over some edits I received back from my proofreader for my third novel, The Reach of the Banyan Tree.

As I was polishing some language and grammar, I found myself analyzing every word I had written. Sudden angst welled up within me, and I started to think that perhaps this novel isn’t ready for a readership yet. I started doubting that I was ready to finish the publishing process with this book. I started wondering if it was any good and if anyone would like it.

In other words, I found myself in the exact same place I had been before just a few months before the release date of my other novels. That thought gave me some comfort that perhaps I needed to calm down and trust the process.

No book is ever complete. I could tweak and rewrite and manipulate this novel for another five years, but what would that prove? Very little, really. I finished writing it about ten months ago. Then I took it through a dual editing process. I sent it to beta readers and received a lot of great feedback. I let it sit for a few months and came back to it again at the first of the year. I heard from some more readers and then went through another editing process in order to bring it to my final round of proofreading.

I’m still not satisfied. I still have that sinking feeling that something is wrong and no one will like it. But I have the good sense to ignore fleeting doubts and move forward. I won’t allow myself to be paralyzed by something that may or may not happen. It’s time to release the novel.

So once the edits are complete, the formatting will begin on the paperback, and I’ll be sending our ARCs to a bunch of reviewers leading up to its release.

But you can be sure in the meantime, I’ll probably sneak in one more read-through just to satisfy me.