Today is a release day for me. It’s the fifth book in my Matilda Kavanagh Novels, Cursed. That’s kind of an appropriate title.
I work really hard for each book I write, there’s no question in my mind about that. I know some people might think because I can get 2-3 titles published a year I’m probably just churning out some formulaic trite, but I really do try to make each book different from the others. And, since I write Paranormal Fantasy, that’s not always easy. Since I write full time and self-publish I don’t have to go through the hurry up and wait process a lot of traditionally published authors do. You may have to wait 12-18 months for a sequel, but that doesn’t mean it took a writer that long to get the story written. Luckily for me, I write my first draft, snag a spot on my editor’s schedule, she focuses on my book for a couple of weeks, ripping it apart, then get’s it back to me. Once I go through her edits, I send it back for one last proofread from fresh eyes, then it’s ready to go.
Well, not really. While it’s away in an editor’s hands I’m working on the cover if I’m doing it myself. For my Mattie books, I have done all my own covers. They aren’t so complicated that I can’t work my own magic on them. And of course there is the horrible couple of days I spend formatting the books for eprint and paperback. That’s the worst part.
But I digress. Being self-published is difficult in more ways that one. One of the biggest ways is feeling like you’re celebrating all on your own. It’s awesome that we can do pre-orders now because, at the very least, you can see ahead of time that other people are excited for your book to come out too. But once the day comes, you’re kind of struck with a sense of… “so what?” It’s like there should be some ticker tape parade for you, but there’s not. Or flower deliveries or a flood of notes congratulating you because, damnit that was a hard book to write! But really, it’s more waking up, shuffling to the coffee pot, checking your email, making sure the book is live and doing fine and then getting back to work.
I titled Cursed before I even knew what the story was going to be about. I thought it would make a cool title, so I made a note of it over a year ago so I wouldn’t forget. Then, as I was outlining this book, I knew that was the title for this one. And boy was I spot on.
Cursed is a summer read. It’s a story about our main characters getting away for a long weekend in wine country to recharge but, of course, things go horribly wrong. To research this book, I packed my hubs and dogs up in our car and drove to the same location I was basing the book to have a look around (and a few glasses of wine, you know, research and all) and figure out where this book would be set.
That day was awesome. It was beautiful and picturesque and I found the perfect winery to base Wyvern Wines on. So thrilled it all worked out.
Then a few weeks later, in the middle of the book, we’d been a little stressed and my husband got an afternoon off. He asked me if I wanted to play hooky and drive back up, just the two of us for the afternoon and check out the little town the wineries were by. Of course I did! More research!
It was a horrible mistake. It was cool in our part of the world, but a good 20 degrees hotter up there, so I dressed entirely wrong with knee-high boots. The town, as it turns out, shuts down for a few hours between lunch and dinner so our food choices were limited and would be my downfall. We picked this cute sandwich shop and sat outside in the lovely sunshine to enjoy lunch before strolling the picturesque street and the little shops and wine tasting rooms.
It was all fine for a little while, until it wasn’t. We were in the first tasting room and I was so, so hot. I almost laid down on the marble counter top when the girl helping us wasn’t looking. I thought it was my boots and I was just over-heated because my hubs was fine. But after that first stop, we walked outside and I just couldn’t. All I wanted was to get to the car and take off my boots and crank up the AC. I just felt off.
So we left. We made the 2 hour drive home and I struggled to stay awake. It was like my body was shutting down. When we got home, I remember something came up in the office I just had to do, but now I couldn’t tell you what. I just remember taking care of it for about 20 mins before walking out to my hubs and telling him something was wrong and then I threw up for the first time.
I’ve never had food poisoning before. I know this because now I’ve truly had it. I would spend the next 72 hours in bed, in pain, unable to eat lest I threw it all up again and again, sipping 7-Up, sleeping to escape the pain in my legs, with a 103* fever. All for a damn sandwich. I’ve said in the past, “I don’t think such-and-such agreed with me.” I will never say that again. Until you’ve had real food poisoning, you just don’t know. But through that, I had a little chuckle that I was writing a book called “Cursed” because, right then, that’s exactly how I felt.
So see? I suffer for my work, even if I don’t mean to, no matter how fast or easily you may think I write. So, please, buy my books, read them, leave a quick review – even if you didn’t like them.
If you’ve read this far, cheers dear reader! If you take anything away from this, know how much authors give to their books and return the favor with a review. Yep, I’m saying that again. My Mattie books get pre-orders every time I put a new one up, but there are not the reviews to prove it. I need those reviews like I needed 7-Up to get me through those 72 hours.