Do you remember your first ride on a roller coaster? The anticipation as you climb to a peak, the stomach dropping fear as you descend down the other side. The sound of people screaming with delight. Being a first time author is just as exhilarating! And terrifying!
As the release of my second novel, Being Jade, draws near, I'm reflecting on how my debut, The Yearning, fared. Like any other first, a debut novel is fraught with dizzying excitement, confusion and bewilderment. There's a lot of testing things out, exploring and experiencing and I was very aware throughout I was unlikely to experience a release of any future book in quite the same way.
A lot of things affect the success of a novel when it's released into the wild. There's a jungle of reviews, stiff competition with other books, the general mood of the populace - do people feel like spending money on books this month or not? It's baffling to watch the ever-changing madness of Amazon rankings and best seller lists, seeing other books swamp the pages of the newspapers and magazines. Authors spend a lot of time comparing themselves with others and ultimately it's wasted time, because the world of publishing and books is brimming with variables a long way out of an authors control.
I wasted a lot of time last year worrying about how The Yearning was standing up against other titles. Looking back now I realise that, for a first timer, she did pretty well in holding her own and I needn't have worried quite so much. A month ago I discovered The Yearning been nominated for Best Erotic Romance Award with the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA).
The ARRA awards have twelve categories and are voted on by members of the Association. The voting is online and is open until 5th March. If you love your romance, it's well worth the membership. They have a very active blog with lots of reviews, author interviews and new releases. ARRA is a clan of people who understand the passion for reading about love and they are hugely supportive of those who write their drug of choice.
To have The Yearning nominated for one of these awards is a huge and unexpected honour. She is up against some pretty stiff competition with some very popular writers and strong titles in the mix. Whether she gets a Guernsey or not, I'm just chuffed that readers thought enough of the book to get her nominated - so thanks to you and loads of kisses for putting her on the list. xxx
The other great accolade The Yearning gained was a mention on three writers/reviewers Top 10 reads of 2013. The Hoopla's Meredith Jaffe has a knack for picking long shot prize winners and I was pretty excited to see that she included The Yearning on the top of her Best Books of 2013. Monique at Write Note Reviews also listed The Yearning in her top 10 as did author Rebecca Berto on her Novel Girl blog.
I've come off the 'first release' ride with my hair all messed up and a big grin on my face. I've had time to catch my breath, look back at all the highs (and tiny handful of lows) of 2013 and ask myself, 'Kate - are you ready to go again?' The answer is unequivocally - YES!!