I have done this book thing before.
It does get a little easier with each book, I think. I haven't had any BIG freakouts this time around.
And yet, waiting to see what those first readers think, when only you and your editor and perhaps a couple of others at the publishing house have read the final thing, is a teeny bit nerve wracking. I mean, you just don't know what actual readers are going to think!
So yesterday, not one, but two readers shared their thoughts about CHASING BROOKLYN! And after hearing what they had to say, I breathed a happy sigh of relief.
One reader, who doesn't want to post a review until closer to the release date, e-mailed me and said, "I feel like jumping up and down from the awesomeness of this book. I loved I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and FAR FROM YOU, but CHASING BROOKLYN totally kicked both of their butts."
The other review is over at The Compulsive Reader's blog, as she was the first stop in the Chase Across the USA contest. You can read that review HERE.
I know not all reviews will be sunshine and roses. Did you see this awesome post by Cynthia Leitich Smith about negative reviews? If not, you should read it!! And I also know better than to search for validation of my work too hard outside of myself. But I feel like now, I know it will be okay. No matter what, some readers WILL enjoy the book. I feel like I can step away and really let the book fly by itself.
it's like the baby bird stepping out to the edge of the nest, and looking around and Mama bird wanting to let him go, but also, wanting him to stay just a little longer. Finally, when he decides its time to fly away, she knows her work is done, and life goes on.
And so it does as a writer too. It's time to put my head down and work on the next project. To continue to strive to make each book better than the last, which is hard and scary and exhilarating all at the same time. But it's what we writers do, right?