Literary Labor Pains

Some people birth babies; I launch them. True, I don’t have stretch marks, but the agony and bliss I’ve experienced while ushering my newborn out the door is just as real. I joke that if I’d given birth to a human child, she’d be fitted with a leash and helmet every time she left the house. Unfortunately, you can’t fasten those safety devices onto a new book. Once it goes live, it’s vulnerable to all kinds of things: reviews, comments, chatter; and as an author, so am I.

In this new day of publishing and social marketing, authors enjoy close contact with their readers and this has many wonderful benefits. Forging that one-on-one communication can be a fulfilling connection for both sides. Readers are able to ask questions, relay the elements of the story that spoke to them, and get a more personal perspective on the book and the person who wrote it. Authors can see how their characters and story affected readers: who they loved and related to, and what made them laugh, cry, seethe, or tremble. When appreciation for your work is expressed in such a direct way, it’s a very gratifying experience. After years of investing your blood, sweat, and tears, this is your big pay-off, even more, in my opinion, than any monetary reward.

But, inevitably, there is another side to this dynamic. Any writer or artist of any sort who puts their personal masterpiece out for human consumption will eventually find those who do not appreciate, relate to, or “get it”. I say this is inevitable because it is humanly impossible for the same book to appeal to everyone. When you think about it, each reader has a unique personality, a special set of likes and dislikes, religious or spiritual beliefs, political ideals, personal preferences, and so on. They come from myriad backgrounds and sport a variety of temperaments. So how can we possibly expect each of them to love the same book (or painting, or sculpture, or poem, or movie, etc.)?

I remember reading that Vincent van Gogh’s paintings went totally unappreciated by almost everyone when he was alive, and that included his mother! I try to keep that astounding tidbit in the forefront of my mind as I release my second baby, Neurotically Yours. The anticipation of letting go can be excruciating, but as long as there continue to be those readers and book critics who do “get it”, who do appreciate your stories in the ways you intended, then any negative commentary from others is worth bearing. I remind myself that I’ve done my best job instilling all the right stuff into my “baby” and now I just have to trust she’s going to do just fine out there on her own!

Neurotically Yours launched on Wednesday, April 25th at the World Literary Cafe and has now commenced a month-long blog tour:

Allison Merritt interviews me on her website:

Read my WLC post Who Among Us Isn’t Just a Little Bit Neurotic?

Elizabeth Cassidy interviews me about neuroses and my new book:

Cheap Kindle Daily features me and my new book:

Gina’s Library reviews Neurotically Yours,  (5 STARS!):

Digital Book Today interviews me:

Great review of Neurotically Yours and interview on Emerald Barnes’ Blog:

My interview with Elizabeth Cassidy is featured on Skirt!:

My interview with Karen Baney on her blog:

Meet the funny heroine of Neurotically Yours in this great character interview!

My interview with Kathie Shoop on her blog:

My interview with Micheal Rivers on his blog:

Christine Cunningham reviews Neurotically Yours:

Kaira Rouda hosts my post How I turned Dating Hell into a Romantic Comedy:

I talk about writing from my life experiences on Wendy Young’s blog:

I talk writing, reading and NEUROTICALLY YOURS on Amy Manemann’s blog:

Everything is copy. I’ll tell you why on Matt Patterson’s blog:

Read a funny excerpt from NEUROTICALLY YOURS at the WLC:

Find out the top 10 reasons virtual book tours blow actual ones away on Peter Adler’s blog:

Get to know what makes me tick and much more on Keith Weaver’s Blog:

I ‘m Living to Tell the Tales (and what tales!) on Linn B. Halton’s website:

I talk Romance, Comedy and Me on T.M. Souders’ blog:

I answer three great questions on Van Heerling’s blog:

Love a Happy Ending celebrates NEUROTICALLY YOURS! Read an excerpt:


2 Responses

  1. Kat Morrisey Says:

    Great post, and something I really needed to read this week. I do wish we had those safety devices for our ‘babies’ but then again, at some point, we have to let them go. Even if my hands have to be pried off the pages to do it! Congrats on the book and the upcoming blog tour!

  2. admin Says:

    Thank you, Kat. Glad I could help and that others understand the feeling. Good luck to you, too!

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