Friday, October 5, 2012

Cue The Nerves

By Laura Bradford

If you could mount a camera inside just about any writer during the single digit days leading up to their latest release, I would imagine you'd see a real push/pull in terms of emotion--excitement that their latest creation is almost in the hands of readers, and worry that their latest creation is almost in the hands of readers.

For months, we sit at a keyboard creating and interacting with characters who become real to us. Their lives twist, we twist with them. They suffer a loss, we feel it along with them. And then there's the world in which they live, a world that becomes as real to us as the actual room we're sitting in as we write. Eventually, we reach the end and we ship our creation off to be critiqued by our editor, hoping they like what we've done and sighing with relief when they do.

For some writers, that's the end of the journey. They write to write. For others (like myself), we write for our readers. We want them to like the twist we made, we want them to cheer a particular character's triumph or mourn the loss of another. Because (like us) they care about this world and these people we've written into being.

And then the reviews come in...

The good ones make us smile, but the bad ones cut to the core. It is, in some ways, like sending your child off to school only to find out they didn't fit in. You hurt for them. You hurt for yourself.

I've been at this writing thing for a while now, and I've had my share of releases (thirteen at this point, to be exact). And you know what? The excitement is still there with each and every one. But so, too, is the worry. My fourteenth book comes out on Tuesday and I'm as worried about this one as any I've released thus far, maybe even a little more. You see, STORYBOOK DAD, was about creating a world and characters just like any of the other mysteries or romances I've written to date, but this one was also about something different. This book follows a young woman who has recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and how she finds her path in life despite her illness.

Everything about this book is special to me. The disease it portrays (I have M.S., too), the lessons the character learns (lessons we all should learn regardless of what may ail us), and the person I dedicated the book to--my own personal hero during a tough time in my own life.

I know the criticism will come. It always does. But I'm hoping that they are few and far between (a hope all writers share, I'm sure).

So on Tuesday, I'll be trying to go about my day like any other day--working on my latest creation. But I'll be crossing my fingers, too. Hoping that readers, who take the chance on STORYBOOK DAD, love the story as much as I do and that maybe, just maybe, it makes a difference to someone at just the right time.

**You can find STORYBOOK DAD wherever the Harlequin American line is sold (Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, all online venues, etc). The book goes on sale October 12th and is only available in stores for a month.


  1. Good luck, Laura! Boy, did I identify with this post today as I got my first review on my latest and although everyone said it was great, I am still nervous. For me, I know that I give it my best every time but some people hold you to a standard you'll just never reach. That's why I'm glad we have our group here at Stiletto, both contributors and commenters. It's a safe place to land after a stressful stretch of writing, revising, and editing. Can't wait to read the latest book! Maggie

  2. Maggie, I can't wait to read the latest Alison. I know it's going to be awesome simply because you've made these people come alive for me.

  3. I doubt that you have to worry--this story is close to your heart and it will show.

  4. Good luck and I think that this one also will be loved by the readers !!

  5. I am so looking forward to reading this. :)

  6. Good luck, Laura! As Meredith noted, this is a book especially close to your heart. This makes it harder to take if someone doesn't like it, but it also means you've probably infused it with an extra dose of passion to make it a great read.

    Sorry I'm late replying, but I'm at Bouchercon and lucky to be getting on the internet, at all. Can't wait to read your new book--and Maggie's.

  7. Thanks, Linda! I hope you had a great time at B'con!!!