Today, I’m thrilled to introduce debut author, Kelly Gay. Her first book, THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS, hits the shelves on November 24, and you should all run out and buy it immediately! (Okay, I’m slightly biased, because Kelly is my critique partner, but really, the book is fantastic. Trust me!)
To celebrate the release of her first novel, Kelly will give away a signed copy, as well as a cover flat, bookmark, and CHOCOLATE (in the form of Lindor Truffles, either milk or dark chocolate). See the end of the post for more details about the giveaway. Without further ado, here’s Kelly!
Ever wonder what it feels like to have your first book release?
My name is Kelly Gay. My urban fantasy novel, THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS, drops this Tuesday. And, I am a total wreck. Should anything you’re about to read be confusing, contradictory, slightly maniacal, and/or schizophrenic then please refer back to this paragraph and the total wreck part.
I liken this week to all those sensations that surge through your body when you’re on a roller coaster ride. Fear, exhilaration, stress, joy, confidence, disbelief, adrenaline overload… As of a few days ago, my gut has taken permanent residence at the base of my throat, and where my gut used to be is a hollow, airy void. This, I can assure you, is not a pleasant feeling.
You see, this moment, this first-book debut, will only come once. I want to do everything I can to get the word out, to have it do well for those who believe in me and this story. My editor. My publisher. Everyone who has the same hopes I have. And, it’s this endeavor, this “getting the word out” that evokes much of the fear and worry I’m experiencing. Promoting a book is harder and scarier than I thought. Let’s see, we have:
On the pleasant side:
- Interviews: Easy to talk about a world and characters that I love!
- Guest posts: Also, easy. Although, I might run out of things to say at some point… (And those who know me—don’t laugh. It’s possible).
- Mailings: Time consuming, but I hear well worth it, and I have cool bookmarks that I’m determined the entire world should see.
- Contests: Fun. I love doing contests and interacting with readers!
On the scary side:
- Meeting booksellers: Why am I so nervous introducing myself as an author?
- Book signings: For an introvert, this one is going to be hard!
- My checking account: Any author who has ordered bookmarks, business cards, paid for postage, and placed ads knows how fast all this can add up.
- Interviews & Guest Posts: Yes, I know. Double foul for putting it both places, but with the fun of doing these things comes the worry that they won’t be well received.
And still, believe it or not, I wonder: Is it enough?
Anyone want to grab me by the shoulders and shake some sense into me yet? But, you know, I’m being honest here. And, I’m gonna take a wild guess and say most every author out there goes through this kind of fear, worry, and jubilation with their first book, and, to a lesser extent, every book thereafter. (Or maybe not to a lesser extent…authors, what say you?)
Here’s the thing: I know it’s basically out of my hands at this point, I know that I need to take a deep breath and enjoy the ride, which I am doing as well (that whole rollercoaster thing applies here). My friends tell me don’t stress it. Much of the work I’m doing will get the word out, but, in the end, there’s no guarantee it will translate into sales.
So why bother? Why not chuck the promo, take a deep breath, go have a few margaritas, and chill?
I will tell you why (and I will still have those margaritas). I bother out of love, as corny as that might sound. I love my book. I want to shout it from the rooftops and let people know it exists. I want to share Charlie’s story with the world. I love this book because it’s the manifestation of a dream, of years and years worth of manuscripts, rejections, and all those ups and downs we writers experience. I have a book, a real, honest to goodness book that I can hold in my hands. Love, you see, is stronger than the fear.
I suppose I’m either a glutton for things that frighten me, just along for the ride like a woman who got on this roller coaster without realizing how fast it went, or I can handle more than I thought. (I feel like it’s the roller coaster one, though).
So, whether my efforts work or not, *I* will know that I did what I could, that I gave an honest, ‘no regrets’ effort to get the word out, with the help of some amazing friends (Thank you Deadline Dames for having me here!) and readers. And whatever the outcome, I’ll be happy with that.
And when the time comes to give another debut author advice, I will say the same thing: Give as much effort as your heart tells you. Turn your fear into determination. This is your moment, so hold on to those handle bars and start screaming.
If you’d like to win an autographed copy of THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS, along with the other goodies, leave a comment sharing one of your fears. You have until midnight EST to enter. The winner will be selected at random from the eligible comments and will be announced on Sunday afternoon. Good luck!