It's my day to post and I'm still thinking about Matt's post on the publication of his second book FIRE FORCE. After I'd left a comment I realised I hadn't even congratulated him, I was so busy commiserating with his 'second book stress'.
I have to say, the rollercoaster ride I've been on since I started writing three years ago doesn't seem to have slowed down with my second book. If anything, the pressure has increased. One difference is that I can no longer hide behind the excuse of being a novice. My latest reviewer on amazon wrote, very kindly: "For a first book this is excellent. A well deserved five stars." Having lulled me into smug security at yet another great review, he added, "Of course the expectation will be much higher with book two." No pressure there, then!
I won't pretend my ego isn't concerned about how my second book is going to be received. (Like anyone would believe me if I did!) But I am also genuinely concerned that I have somehow gained a small but loyal following. Only today I saw CUT SHORT BY LEIGH RUSSELL listed on a blog as one of the blogger's four favourite books. To a new little writer like me, that's huge! CUT SHORT was listed by a Eurocrime reviewers as a Top Read of 2009. I could go on, but I don't want to sound smug when really I'm feeling concerned. Because a lot of readers enjoyed CUT SHORT and, as the reviewer on amazon pointed out, "expectation will be much higher with book two." And all I can think of writing in response to that is, "Oh heck!" I'm going to have to better than that, I hear you think. Well, I'm confident that ROAD CLOSED (published this June) will be a lot more interesting than "Oh heck," but whether it will be enough of an improvement on CUT SHORT to satisfy my fans, remains to be seen. I hope I don't disappoint anyone. I actually rather like ROAD CLOSED. I certainly enjoyed writing it so I hope other people will enjoy reading it. But, as Matt Lynn said, you never really know...
I'm glad I have a third book in the pipeline so once ROAD CLOSED is published, I'll have something else to think about!