The rewards of all my work on my book, Fractured, flow towards me slowly, but they do flow. I don’t know how to make the process move more quickly. If I had more friends on Facebook, I’d probably be better off, but I don’t and that’s just the way I am. And yet, the word moves, a person at a time, and I am being read, just not by millions. Yet.
The interesting thing about marketing a book by an unknown author that appears to be just like any other young adult fantasy novel with a female hero but really isn’t—the interesting thing is that the few people who have read it are committed to it. Admittedly, they are all friends, or friends of friends, or relatives of friends, so they took the risk on the book out of friendship. But they come away with a real sense of my vision, and they care. This means I’ve succeeded. The words I put down on paper (or into the computer) have connected appropriately, as has my hero, Lisen.
Case in point. One reader, a woman whose vocation I can only describe as somehow connected with helping people in third world countries because I don’t know much about what she does, admitted that while attending a conference (or seminar or some such), did something she never does; she missed a meeting, and she did so in favor of finishing my book. That’s an amazing sacrifice made on behalf of a book by an author she’s only met once, an “unknown author” who is still struggling to get someone, anyone, to read her book.
Something in Lisen’s soul speaks to the reader. Something in her journey stands out and offers readers a voyage of discovery. Which is great! It’s everything I wanted, and more. Well, it’s almost everything I wanted. I’d hoped to have a few strangers joining the rest of us on this road by now, but it’s possible that the strangers will show up after the second book is published.
Fractured blew the people I know away because they really hadn’t expected it to be quite that good. The second book with its prohibited romance, life-threatening situations, murder and mayhem, and eventual clinging-to-the-cliff-by-the-fingernails ending should catapult my few very devoted readers into conversations with their friends and the young women in their lives about this gem of a storyteller and Lisen, the girl who does what she must to survive even when it may not be the most honorable path.
My reviews on Amazon—all four of them—are fabulous, and not because they are five-star reviews. (One reviewer offered to give me four stars instead of five, even though in her mind I deserved five, so it wouldn’t look like what I believe she referred to as the “friend effect.”) These reviews amaze me because each of these individuals GOT it. They got why the book is titled Fractured. They got Lisen’s broken state and how the mending is what this story is about.
One other thing these reviews have in common. They want more. All my readers want more. They ask, “What happens next?” They bug me to finish the second book (which is likely to leave them even more frustrated). They keep me going when I feel like I’m getting nowhere. Like children on a road trip, they keep whining from the backseat of the car, “Are we there yet?” Soon, I’ll pull to a halt, put the car in park, set the brake and let them out to enjoy the next stop on the tour.
(With thanks to N. for the whining-kids-in-the-car metaphor.)
Keep at it. I’m in similar straits. Starting out authors have it rough. I have to keep reminding myself “Slow and steady wins the race.”
So, so true.