What’s important for an author on release day

I’m happy to announce the official release of my fourth novel.

Read an Excerpt and Synopsis Here.

This is always both a momentous day and an absolutely terrifying day.

An author rarely knows what he or she has come release day. Let’s talk about the momentous first.

Release day is the culmination of a year’s work (at least in my case). Endless hours of writing and creating, re-writing and editing. Endless hours of just thinking about the characters and the plot line. Endless hours of re-reading, formatting, more editing until the final product is somewhat satisfactory. Endless hours of promotion and contacts, of blog writing and synopsis writing.

Finally, all the work is over, the coddled and over-protected baby has to wobbly find her own way into the big bad world.

Thus, the terrifying part.

A writer really puts himself out there, opening up himself for criticism (which no one likes). One never knows how a work will be perceived. Will it be as “good” as my last one? How subjective is that? Will it surpass everything else I have written? Will it fall short, and will readers see it as a step backwards of where I’ve been.

I always believe that as a writer, the best is yet to come. I always work to surpass what I have previously done, but, of course, that is completely subjective.

So here’s what’s important for an author on release day: the only opinion that matters is your own. Have you put your heart and soul into your story? Have you over turned every plot stone and determined the absolutely best way for your story to flow? Even though you may not be completely satisfied with the end result (what writer is?), and you proud to release it, regardless of the result? In other words, is it ready?

If the answer to all of those questions are “yes,” then sit back and enjoy release day. You’ve made it once again. It’s a moment to be savored, and a negative review won’t even dent your confidence on a day like this.

ALoveStoryforaNation Cover LARGE

Ready to Move On, But Another Revision Awaits

I’m a firm believer in letting a finished work sit for a while before giving it its final revision prior to its final editing.

But there is a problem that arises as well – or at least it does for me – and that is my brain has already moved onto other interests.

What to do?

I’m referring to my fourth novel, A Love Story for a Nation, which I actually really like. It’s quite different from any novel I’ve ever written, and those of you who know me, may be stunned to find out it doesn’t even contain the world Vietnam. It doesn’t contain any reference to any country in the world. It’s unique in that way.

I finished the first draft of it in August 2014. I took the next couple of months revising it until finally in October I sent it out to some beta readers. I have since received some feedback and now am ready to put it through the grinder one more time — except for the fact that I don’t feel like it!

In all that time that has passed, I’ve moved onto other ideas. I’ve written 2/3 of my fifth novel. Just the last couple of days I’ve been struck with the idea of a new play – I came up with the premise while watching “Into the Woods” in the cinema. I’ve also started production on a musical I’m directing for May. And now out of the past, comes my 4th novel, hobbling towards me like an orphan, reaching out in anguish asking to be brought to a finish once and for all so it can be released this summer.

Hmmmph!

If only I worked as a full-time writer!

Back to reality.

The grind of authorship can take no shortcuts. It must be done. I have always told myself that I will not release a book half-heartedly.

It needs one more revision. I need to suck it up and do it. My other creative ideas will have to wait.

So here I go.