Something I didn’t do when I published Lost Voice was give it a chance to bake a little bit. The excitement caused me to rush into publishing and before I knew it, before it was truly ready to be put out there, Lost Voice was in circulation.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I don’t regret it. Publishing my first novel at such a young age gave me the ability to be something. To do something with my writing. But it wasn’t ready. The book wasn’t ready and I reflect back on it now, three years later, with a heavy heart. Lost Voice took me two years to write, so you can imagine my excitement when I finally finished it. I should have given it time to be edited and really made it good. And before you go telling me “you were published at seventeen, that’s impressive enough” or “It is a good book, I enjoyed it” hear me out.
Here’s the thing. I have been able to look back and really see what I did wrong in terms of a lot of things. I’m proud of my first novel, as every writer should be. I have been able to use it as a platform to see what I should and shouldn’t do this time around.
A week ago I did something that I never thought I’d do before: I sent the file for Shadows to three beta readers. My hands were shaking before I even began typing out the email, and I hesitated before pressing send. I finally did it, and then the nerves ran through my body. What if they don’t like it? What if it’s terrible? What if the plot is aweful? But I let it be, knowing that I would embrace the feedback and use it to my advantage.
I wanted to say thank you to Nate Auron, Chris VanderReyden and P.G Shriver for taking the time to not only read through the skeletal copy of Shadows but for also carefully laying out your feedback with honesty, suggestions, comments and concerns. I truly believe with your feedback I’ll be able to make it even better. I look forward to sharing it with all of you.
As a thank you, I would like to present each of you with a free autographed copy of Shadows this summer when it’s released. If you could each email me an address that I can send your copy to, I would greatly appreciate it.
Anyone else, please check out and enter the Shadows Cover Contest. Deadline is May 4, 2014