Secrets & Deceptions, my first novel is really coming out soon. September 8, 2015 to be exact. The reason it has taken so long is that my husband and I have been serving as editors for the book. We have each read it dozens of times, and each time we do, we find more edits. Names spelled incorrectly, quotation marks in the wrong place, timing inconsistencies, etc. It would have been less time consuming and costly if we had just hired a professional editor. I will do that for the second novel.
But that is not what I wanted to say in this blog. This blog is about fear. I am afraid of what is going to happen after I publish my book. What if no one buys it? What if people make fun of it? What if people say that I am a terrrible author, that I don’t know how to write? What if no one has any reaction to it? What if people think the novel is a true story about my life? What is my friends and family hate me after they read it? What have I opened myself up to by writing a semi-memoir/novel?
I start the book by saying the book is a novel, which it is. But, it started out as a memoir when I thought I wasn’t going to publish it. It became a novel once I realized I didn’t want to write a true memoir, the true story of my life. I made up people, situations, stories, and facts and mingled them with bits and pieces of truth. To people who don’t know me, this confession will not matter. To my family and friends, the idea that I used any “real” stories may make a big difference. They may get angry.
This fear is what kept me from writing a book for many decades. Worrying about what people will think. One of the things I learned from Tom Bird was to just write. To write and write and write and not think about what you are writing. He also advised us to not let your friends and family read the book until you were done with it and ready to publish. I followed his advise, mostly. The first few chapters have been available to anyone who wanted to download them. I don’t think any of the people I know did this. If they did, I never heard about it.
I let a few of my close friends read the last versions, and they encouraged me to continue the process and publish it. They would have been positive about anything I wrote.
Two nights ago, I told my husband I didn’t want to publish the book. After all the time and money we have devoted to this process, I wanted to chicken out. I can’t, though. I would hate myself for getting this far and giving up. So, I am going to be brave with the following disclaimer. The book isn’t a memoir. The characters in the novel may look like real people, but they aren’t. Pleased don’t think all the stories are true. They aren’t. Maybe I will be less afraid now that I wrote this. I hope so, cause the book is coming out. It will be available on Amazon and directly through me. Please don’t criticize it too much. It’s my first attempt and I have a great deal to learn.