I thought this picture really mirrors what I feel inside about the third volume in The Legacy Series. I'm standing at the beginning of the picture and way down there at the end of the hall is where I need to be. Through that door is publication, but I'm overwhelmed thinking of the journey that stretches out before me.
This past month, I've gone through a lot of doubt about being able to pull off the third book. Yes, it's true. I think a lot of it stemmed from the tirade of reviews that hit Amazon on the first one and the tough reviews on Goodreads, as well. Since one of my latest reviews called me "lazy" and suggested I'd make a better prostitute than a writer, these things do tend to make you say "ouch."
Let's face it -- it was my first book. Yes, it's not the best, but I've edited and changed that puppy at least four times. The story is what it is, and I refuse to do anything more with it. Love it, like it, or leave it.
I know some readers enjoyed it, though I don't always get the feedback that I need to stroke and validate my low author self-esteem. Not that any other authors have that problem. (:inserts cough:) However, from watching people who hit my website worldwide constantly plugging in the term, "The Price of Love," I know they've read one and two, and are waiting for number three. The thought has crossed my mind, unfortunately, not to finish number three. I think, though, I would be doing a great injustice to my readers if I curled up and felt sorry for myself over this series.
With my latest release, "Dark Persuasion," and the positive comments and five-star professional review, I know in my heart that I'm growing in my craft. Each book gets a little bit better and that is really what I want to strive for in the end. I need to understand deep inside that book number one probably does deserve a lot of the criticism, but it still averages out on all sites as a "good read" and not a totally "suck read" by everyone's accounts. It's just interesting how that book elicits such a reaction from one extreme to the other. You would have thought I wrote "Fifty Shades of Innocence."
I will say that recently I heard E. L. James on her 20/20 interview respond to a question about how a number of readers think she stinks as a writer. Her response was frankly right on - "You cannot own someone's response. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion." Touche E.L.! So, I'm trying not to own one woman's suggestion I should become a whore instead of writer. :inserts snicker:
I am thankful that "The Price of Deception" has received good reviews and is my number one best seller. That's probably because I've offered "The Price of Innocence" free, and when readers finish, they buy number two, and start searching for number three.
So here I am standing at the beginning of this very long corridor. I have a penciled-in appointment with an editor for November to do copy editing on "The Price of Love." For the most part, it's very disjointed right now, and I've been struggling on where to focus the story, let alone where to begin. Oh, I have begun it already, but I may trash what I've written so far. It just isn't doing it for me.
The book really needs to be focused upon Angelique - the baby kidnapped by Jacquelyn Holland at the end of book two. She's on the cover already, so I guess I owe her story the spotlight. I'm trying to develop who she will be, as a character, how her story will unfold, and how I can integrate her back into the lives of her rightful family. Just as getting Robert and Suzette out of their previous marriages happened to be a great challenge to me, so will rearranging everyone's life in this book. You already know the theme - the price of love; and as usual, I will probably torture a few characters like I always do with struggles, decisions, and various outcomes.
Well, so much for my update! I'll keep you informed as things progress. Be assured that I am getting closer to where I need to be, and as soon as the muse returns from his latest celebration over "Dark Persuasion," I'll tackle this book. On top of it, I have two others - maybe three brewing inside of my brain. It gets pretty crowded in there. As authors know, you just gotta let the characters and their stories out, or they'll make you go insane.