Things are looking good for Sex, Murder And A Double Latte. It will be featured in at least twelve different publications with circulations between 65,000 and 1.7 million. I will be doing readings at more than nine different bookstores and literary venues. I will be interviewed by two radio shows and the pre-orders for the book are well above predictions. In addition to that it is scheduled to hit Europe by the end of September. So there’s no need for me to be panicking. And yet that’s exactly what I’m doing.
Panic isn’t the most logical of emotions so I suppose I don’t need to rationalize it but I will anyway.
I’m sure everyone’s heard the expression “the higher you climb the further you can fall.” Well I’m kind of high right now. Not Dan Brown kind of high—he’s on the literary world’s equivalent of Mount Everest with only J.K. Rowley to keep him company. I’m not there…instead I’m sort of on the top of a three story building. If I fall I probably won’t die but I’ll be seriously hurt.
Have you ever gone to see a movie that was billed as the next big summer blockbuster and then left the theater disappointed? The problem was that while the movie may have been enjoyable it couldn’t live up to the hype that surrounded it. That’s what I’m afraid of.
The worst part is that I won’t know how the book’s doing for a long time. All I’ll have to judge my success by will be reviews and there are bound to be a few negative ones. And while my book is not exactly serious literature and writing it was more of a joy than a burden the fact of the matter is it is still part of who I am. The storyline, the characters…they all came from my imagination. In a very weird way Sex, Murder And A Double Latte is a part of my soul. Yes that’s right, a portion of my soul will be available for purchase on May 1st for the bargain price of $17.95. And everyone out there will tell me what they think of it. Better yet, they’ll publish their criticisms on Amazon. While writing my book I was very open to constructive criticism, in fact I welcomed it. I wanted people to be brutally honest with me so I could improve my manuscript and hopefully get it published. But now they’re going to be telling me what they don’t like and there won’t be anything I’ll be able to do about it. I can’t rewrite it at this point. All I can do is pray that the majority of people will enjoy it enough to recommend it to a friend and that the minority who hates it will keep their mouths shut.
There’s another problem with reviews---they’re one person’s opinion and it’s rarely an opinion that is in sync with that of the general public. For instance, Publisher’s Weekly had this to say about Elizabeth Flock's second novel Me & Emma:
After nearly 300 pages of rambling drama, the twist at the end is revealed so haphazardly that it will probably bewilder readers more than surprise them…instead of delivering profundity, Flock's tough love turns poor forsaken Carrie into a caricature.
Me & Emma made the New York Times Best Sellers list and everyone I know who has read it loves it.
So in other words I shouldn’t let the reviews get to me. I know that logically. But I can’t get my heart to fully buy into it.
Anyway, I’m rambling. That’s what panicky writers do. We ramble and blog.
Sex, Murder And A Double Latte--May 2005