Writing is a very personal thing. Every word, every thought, every action of the characters comes from you, the author. It is easy to say "oh, well, the character chose to do that" but ultimately you are the one pulling the strings (or, as the case is here, typing the words).
My real job is managing a horse farm. I also teach riding lessons. Fueled with excitement and crazy energy over A Brooding Beauty getting out to 2,700+ people on Wednesday, I finally gathered up the nerve to tell one of my student's mothers (whom I have grown quite close to) that I:
A. Wrote a book
B. It is available on Amazon
I didn't blurt it out of the blue. She brought her kindle with her and was reading it while I taught her daughter the intricacies of posting on the correct diagonal. While fat Tuck the pony was being walked out we got to chatting. One thing led to another, and I (nervously, palms sweating, cheeks blushing) told her about ABB. She, of course, asked all the right questions.
Oh my goodness! What is it about?
Uh... well... it's kind of... you know... it takes place in Regency England and... you know... two people fall in love. And stuff.
How long did it take you to write it?
I think... around... like three months... I think.
Have you written anything else?
Well... Kind of... I have a young adult book I'm working on... and the second novella in the quartet is coming out in May.
Wow! What is the YA one about? I just read The Hunger Games. I loved it!
I don't... I mean... You know it's kind of... well, it's about this girl... and she does this stuff... I guess.
Absolutely brilliant, right? Thankfully Sheila ignored all my mumbling and bought ABB on the spot. She's reading it right now, and my belly is in knots waiting to hear what she'll think of it. Because if she doesn't like it (which is fine) will it make her think less of me as a person? A silly thing to think about, but the thought is there, pin wheeling around in my brain. And if she says she likes it, will it really be because she doesn't want to hurt my feelings?
Like I said, writing is an intimate thing. I truly believe it is easier to both sell books to complete strangers and take their criticism than it is to have people you know and talk to on a daily basis read something you have written. At least for me. I suppose with anything else writing takes confidence. Heaps of it. ABB is not the first book I have written. I have loads of stories tucked away in hidden places on my computer. God awful stories that I thought were absolutely captivating at the time that now have me rolling on the floor in stitches if I try to reread them. Still, ABB is the first book I have sent out into the public for friends, family, and complete strangers to read. I have sent my baby platypus out to face the world (for reference, click HERE).
I just hope she doesn't get swallowed up by a fish.