On Career-Ruining Books and Moments of Panic

CjVEzFzW0AAwjEOAt long last, THE PAGES OF THE MIND is out in the world!!

That was a long stretch, huh?

Sometimes it works out that way. Because this book and the next, THE EDGE OF THE BLADE, were part of the second contract I signed with my publisher, this series got bumped out a full year from the previous novel, THE TALON OF THE HAWK

I hope the long wait was worth it!

So far, it seems like yes. This book is selling gangbusters and you’ve all been *awesome* about posting those reviews thick and fast. I love that you all embrace Dafne’s story like family. It’s one of the best parts of writing these stories. 

Plus I’m amused by the debates over whose story should come next. I’m contemplating what direction to take after Jepp & Kral’s story in THE EDGE OF THE BLADE, so now is a good time to chime in with your wishlist! I’m totally taking notes, as there’s several paths open in the overall arc to my mind.

Another cool aspect of having you all *finally* get to read this book, is hearing the reactions. I’m fascinated by who chooses which book, which hero and which heroine as their favorite. There’s so much variety! And each book is difficult in its own way to write. I don’t blog regularly about my process because it’s so up and down. One day I’ll be thrilled with how well it’s going and the next I’ll be convinced THIS is the book that will ruin my career. My close friends and critique partners (CPs) have gotten quite good at weathering my despair moments – which can last a week or two, quite frankly. They’ve learned to tell me, “Jeffe, you always do this. Just keep writing.”

With PAGES, I got all the way to the second volcano scene – if you’ve read, you know the one I mean – when I abruptly panicked, quite sure that the book was All Wrong and I needed to go back and… I dunno. Start from the beginning? Scrap it entirely?? I even briefly entertained that Kral was meant to be Dafne’s true love, until my editor gently but firmly informed me that I was Not Allowed To Do That.

And in retrospect… yeah.

So I made my CPs read it at that point and tell me if it sucked. Instead they all said, “how dare you stop there – keep going, dammit!” 

Which really helped.

At any rate, this story was a big departure for me. The title of the next phase of this series, The Uncharted Realms (my editor’s idea), turned out to be strangely prescient. I’m not usually much into fated mates, but this story insisted. I worried to death that all the gesturing would be too much. I fretted that Nakoa was too impenetrable. 

As usual, all that angsting turned out for the best and my CPs were right, as always. It seems I did okay by Dafne, which was hugely important to me. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, here’s all the current buy links!

Thanks ever so much for your love and support. 


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7 Replies to “On Career-Ruining Books and Moments of Panic”

  1. I get this. I so get this. I swear that 80% of the writers in the world do this, and it’s messed up. Neuroses R us. But I’m so glad you soldiered on—with Pages of the Mind you gave me many hours of reading pleasure.

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