My first instinct is to brace myself for the worst. Squeeze a lime into my glass and pour myself a tall caffeine-free Coke. Grab that remaining hunk of dark chocolate I've squirreled away in the back of the cheese tray in the fridge. And look.
But never too early in the morning, because that can make the whole day suck eggs if it's a clunker. And never too late at night, because then it's hard to get to sleep. And never before going out with friends, because then I'm moody. That is, if it's bad. But most of the time, it's good. Like today.
In the past few days, some readers have messaged me to say one of my books is one of their all-time favorites. Or they say in a review that they've read ALL my books. It still blows me away. As in, my heart feels all warm and gushy and pitter-pattery. And I'm reaching for the tissue box. I pulled myself together this afternoon just in time. Probably because the dogs were barking at the mailman. Good thing, because I'd hate for him to see me all red-eyed and blubbery.
The thing is, it's my job to make readers cry. Because they connected to a character. Because something happened in the book that they could relate to. Because it was so incredibly real to them that they felt like they were there, living the story themselves.
Pushing the 'Publish' button on a book is like sending my baby out into the world. I want to reel it back in, perfect the details some more, proofread it one last time, rethink the ending... You have no idea how badly I wanted to hold onto In the Time of Kings and nurse it awhile longer. For years, maybe. But if I did that, no one else would ever have the chance to read it, right?
Anyway (*scuffs toes in dirt, hands in pockets*), I just wanted to say 'Thank you!' to every reader out there who has written to me, reviewed or recommended my books. You're all so unbelievably nice.
Nothing sends me back to the keyboard quicker than knowing that every word I wrote meant something to someone. Readers rock! I [ HEART ]