The Island Child is out today, but why do I have publication day blues?
This is my 14th fiction title and you’d think thatI’d be used to the whole publication routine. The writing, editing, deciding on the cover and making plans for the launch. But you’d be wrong.
The publication process is alwys equally demanding. It also seems that even though I think the feelings I’m having are unusual and unique to this title (I’m calling it Publication Day Blues), it has happened before.
In the past week, I’ve been reminded by people who’ve worked with me on all of my books, that my reactions are pretty much the same each time I publish. The ever-supportive Englishman and my sister (among others), have pointed out that the emotions I go through are equally dramatic each time.
A Literary Drama Queen?
The thought that I’m a bit of a drama queen has occurred to me.
But I don’t seem to be able to stop the predictable cycle. Whilst writing the story, there’s first elation, then complete submersion into the plot and characters, followed by despair and finally horrible panic that I will never finish the book in time. In one of my non-fiction titles, I equal writing a novel to falling in love, but each time, I conveniently forget how all-consuming the feelings are.
The editing is yet another hand-wringing phase where I am convinced that I’ve written the most awful book yet.
Now, on the actual publication day, I feel quite exhausted and slightly empty, when I should be celebrating. I have Publication Day Blues.
A drama queen or not, the emotions are real.
And then I get the first reader reviews and I can breathe again.
What the Readers Say
Each time I publish a new book, I send a number of Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) to people who’ve kindly agreed to read a rough copy of the book before publication. I’ve never met most of these readers. Many of them live thousands of miles away, but we share a love of books and stories. And we exchange emails on books, and, sometiems, on life’s various challenges.
You can imagine that I am on tenterhooks until I hear from these first readers. These Advance Readers are like guardian angels to any writer, and I couldn’t do what I do if it wasn’t for a small, but loyal group of them.
Here is are a few comments I’ve had on The Island Child, which have warmed my heart and have somewhat alleviated the Publication Day Blues.
“I really liked the blending of romance and Noir. Helena Halme balances many different storylines skillfully in a way that’s easy to follow.”
“A good, entertaining story with some twists and surprises along the way and a real Christmas feel despite the almost total lack of snow!”
“All of the couples interacting in each other’s lives kept the story really interesting to a page-turner level.”
Of course, like the early reviews, holding the first proof copy of the book makes me happy. But each time I look back to images of me with the first copies of my books, I can see a slightly mad look in my eyes. Perhaps it’s just tiredness, but I would diagnose my mental condition now as Publication Day Blues.
Do you recognise the similarities in these photos? I’m looking a bit crazy, right?
Oh well, at least now I know what’s coming next as I start the whole writing and publication process for Book 6 (yet untitled) in the Love on the Island Series. Wish me luck that the emotional roller coaster will be a little gentler on me this time. Although, is that what I really want? Isn’t it the thrills and spills that make us writers thrive? Discuss …
THE ISLAND CHILD
A Christmas baby should give hope and joy to everyone on the starkly beautiful Scandinavian islands …
While Brit awaits the arrival of her first child, a visitor to the islands threatens to reveal an uncomfortable secret from her past. To add to her woes, her partner, Sea Captain Jukka, runs his cruise liner aground the night before Christmas, just as the baby decides to be born.
Meanwhile, Alicia’s ex-husband, Liam, has made the leap of faith and moved to the islands from London to rekindle their relationship and start an exciting new business venture with her. However, a small part of Alicia’s heart still belongs to the Swedish journalist, Patrick. Two years ago, they began a passionate affair.
Alicia knows she can’t trust Patrick – his betrayals have been heartbreaking and destructive, but when Patrick is rushed to hospital in Stockholm she races to his side. Liam fears this means she still has deep feelings for the journalist.
But unbeknown to Liam, a threat hangs over Alicia and everyone she loves. With Patrick in hospital, her best friend, Brit, alone and vulnerable, how can Alicia say no to an offer made by an old and powerful nemesis?
Talk about impossible choices …
Read The Island Child, the page-turning Book 5 in the ‘sensational’ (NetGalley) Love on the Island Series now.