Thursday, June 29, 2017

Why You Shouldn't Listen to Your Writer Brain

I want to tell y'all a story that I haven't shared with very many people.

The story starts with a confession: I wasn't super proud of All Laced Up when I finished writing the manuscript. I had attempted some things in it that I wasn't sure I'd pulled off. I'd been in a rush toward the end of writing because I'd missed a deadline (again). My writer brain just knew there were 4,912 things wrong with it. Despite all of that, I sent the manuscript to my editor, because did I mention the deadline thing?

Even though it was part of my three book deal, I kept waiting to get a response that said, "Yeah, sorry, but this is awful and we're not going to publish it." Somehow as time passed, I went from being afraid that was true to being convinced it was true.

In fact, the next e-mail I got was from my production editor, asking a question about the book. I don't usually hear from my production editor until later in the process, which fueled my theory. Poor thing, I thought to myself. No one told her this manuscript isn't being published! So I responded with something along the lines of "Oh, that book is crap and isn't happening anymore. Sorry to waste your time!"

Maybe I didn't use those exact words, but I did basically tell someone who works for my publisher that my book wasn't being published without actually hearing it from anyone at my publisher.

Almost immediately I got an e-mail from my editor saying that the book was, in fact, happening. I hadn't heard from her because she'd been (*gasp*) busy, but she loved the manuscript. The reason I'd heard from the production editor first was because there weren't a ton of edits needed.

Of course, I took my foot out of my mouth, apologized, and pretended to be happy. That's right. Pretended. Because even after all of that, I had my doubts. Did they feel bad that I obviously had some kind of mental break, so they were giving me a pity publication? Had my editor run out of time and she was just saying there weren't many edits needed, when really I was going to put out a subpar book?

Ridiculous thoughts, but again, I believed them.

Writer brain. Impostor syndrome. Whatever you want to call it, it hid me hard with this book.

Regardless, the edits happened, and the book was published.

When the early reviews rolled in, they were good, but I knew there would be terrible ones. My family and friends said they loved it, but come on, they're my family and friends. They have to say that.

But the positive reviews kept rolling in (even from people I'm not related to!). Usually when someone asks how a book is doing, I have no clue, but I could tell this one was doing pretty well.

Now, All Laced Up is my best-selling, most reviewed, and highest rated book, even though it's my newest release and has been out less than a year. It's a finalist for the YARWA Athena Award. It recently earned one of those "Best Seller" ribbons on Amazon.

Is it perfect? Nope. Did it get some terrible reviews? Yep. Is it a work of literary genius? Certainly not.

But is it something I can be proud of? Yes, if and only if I don't listen to my writer brain.

We writers are good at imagining the worst case scenario. It's kind of part of the job description. But when it comes to judging your own writing, shut off that part of your brain. Send the manuscript to beta readers or your editor. Trust that they'll tell the truth.

And if the truth is that it's good?

Believe it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

TIED UP IN YOU: Five Facts + Cover Reveal!

My next book, Tied Up In You, will be out on July 10! To prepare, I thought I'd share five facts about the book/writing the book with you. Scroll down after that to see the (ADORABLE!) cover!

1. TUIY is book 2 in the All Laced Up series, but you don't need to read All Laced Up before reading this one! It's a companion novel that follows Luke Jackson, one of the other hockey players from the first book, and can be read as a standalone. (But if you DID read ALU, yes, Pierce Miller and Lia Bailey do make appearances!)

2. The scene that was the most fun to write is a shirtless workout session turned make-out session. Enough said.

3. I did more research for this book than I have for any other! The reason? The main character, Malina Hall, is Hawaiian and also very into STEM. I researched Hawaiian foods and watched videos on weaving and learned more about astronomy and astrophysics than I thought I would ever know and enjoyed every second of it!

4. One of the characters' local hang outs was inspired by real life. The hang out is part coffee shop, part ice cream store, part whatever-the-owner-feels-like-making-it (Cereal bar! S'mores bar! Pancake bar!). It's called The Melting toP because it used to be called The Melting Pot before the fondue conglomerate made them change their name (which actually happened to one of my favorite coffee shops in Michigan!).

5. Malina's best friend, Izzy, was one of my favorite characters to write. She's not based on anyone in my life, but I wish she was because I'd want to hang out with her!

You can add Tied Up In You to your Goodreads TBR here.

You can request an ARC on NetGalley here.

You can pre-order it via Amazon here.

Now for the cover and summary!

Isn't it adorable? I mean, look how cute it is next to ALU! All the laces!


Everyone says hotshot goalie Luke Jackson is God’s gift to girls, but the only girl he wants is his best friend, Malina Hall. He’s always known how brilliant she is, but now that he’s “accidentally” kissed her, he can’t stop thinking about her...or wanting to kiss her again.

Problem is, things have been a little...awkward since the kiss. Because she likes him, too? Hopefully, but even if she did, their futures—and the ridiculous schedules that come with them—are in the way. And now one of his teammates is showing interest, and the guy has more in common with Malina than Jackson ever will.

As her best friend, Jackson should get out of the way. But if there’s one thing he’s learned from hockey, it’s that you have to go for what you want, even if it means falling flat on your face. And he’s definitely falling for Malina.

Disclaimer: This book contains a hot hockey player who goes after what he wants, a super-hot, super-distracting shirtless workout, and the kind of best friends to lovers romance every girl in the friend zone has dreamed of.

Can't wait for July 10! I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it!