It’s been somewhere in the ballpark of 48 hours after the release of Water’s Wrath.
It’s no time at all. And, in this time, some have already finished the book. Some are savoring. Some are waiting for weekends or sunny summer beach days to crack it. And, some aren’t even sure if or when they’ll start it.
It’s a weird feeling to know that after years in the making (despite only three months between releases) my work is out there in the hands of people across the world. What started as a passion, a hobby, has evolved into a life-changing event that I will be forever grateful for.
Writing is a fairly solitary process. You sit down at your computer and it’s just you and your word processor. I spend hours doing everything I can to block out this world so I can create new ones for my readers. I toil and I craft, I hum and haw over this and that, I spend days and nights in a constant state of debate of if it is “good enough”, if I have used every word I can to encapsulate the story I’m trying to tell.
And then, I just let it all go.
The release day happens. Reviews start to come in (I try not to read them, sometimes I fail). And I move on to the next story.
My life as an author.
But every now and then, on a rare occasion, I am blessed with a glimpse into that fact that my stories are reaching others. That these wild emotions I have tried to wrap up neatly between two covers are actually being transferred from my heart to a reader’s. A reader who I have likely never met. That’s utterly amazing. And I have felt it at no greater time than the release of Water’s Wrath.
Since the release of Earth’s End, my life has been non-stop. Planning signings and appearances throughout summer. Finishing up the last few rounds of edits on Crystal Crowned. Working on and wrapping up a huge announcement that I will make next week, that is also turning into one of the worst kept secrets ever (oh well ;D). I didn’t think I had the time or the energy to make Water’s Wrath a big release.
“It’s okay, it’s only the fourth book.” I told myself. (Despite it actually being my favorite book in the series) “Who cares about fourth books anyway? They’re just kind of there. It’s okay.”
And then, something miraculous happened.
People began approaching me offering to help with the release, without even knowing the stress I was under. The lovely @Emren on Twitter asked if I was arranging a blog tour. When I said no, she put one together full of amazing blogs that had all kinds of posts celebrating Air Awakens. (You can find links to those wonderful blogs who participated here – please check them out) @Library.Luv on Twitter asked if she could put together a hashtag for Air Awakens on Instagram. Bewildered, I said, “Sure”. She teamed up with @BooksAndLatters to see it as a reality (who I believe had a HUGE hand in coming up with all the prompts and making it wonderful, as she does with everything she touches). Even the ARC reviewers were on point with the best turn-out of reviews posted when asked (NOTE – I only mean they posted a review “on time”. I do not judge any of my ARC reviewers on what score they give the book). And then there’s my dear Tower Guard, who are amazing and nothing but supportive of me at every turn with all their pictures and posts on social media and blogs.
What I thought would be a tiny release that just sort of “happened” became a “thing”. Water’s Wrath currently sits in the top 20 in YA Fantasy books on Amazon, top 10 for Fantasy Romance books. But numbers will fade with time.
And this is more than the numbers to me.
This was one of those rare moments where I sat in extraordinary humility of the kindness I have been shown by my readers. Where I pulled my head out of the writing cave, and saw everyone who was standing with me. This world can be so harsh, and hard, and I believe that the only way we will survive is when we help each other.
So this is my open love letter to you, dear reader. If you’re one of my beloved Tower Guard, a blogger, or just someone who took a chance on my books. You are so, so precious to me.
And, more than ever, I will throw myself into my craft. I will keep trying to be better for each of you. I will keep trying to give credit where it’s due. I will keep trying to make the next page more beautiful than the last, all for you.
Forever your author,