Thursday, October 04, 2012

It's the best I've ever done...

As Molly announced on Monday, One Final Step is now out in stores for the month and digitally forever. Yeah! And so I decided to put it out there and say what I really feel about this book. A lot of times readers will ask writers what is their favorite book they wrote. Many will answer, the book I’m working on now. (I think that’s Nora’s favorite line.) Or they can’t choose between their books, it would be like choosing between children.

I’m not really saying One Final Step is my “favorite” book. That probably would be a hard call. I like them when I write them, but I don’t think about them much when they are done.

But I can say without a doubt that this is the “best” book I’ve ever written and for only one reason. When I sit down and think about a book, the story is always in my head first. I see the scenes, the characters, hear the words. The process of writing is getting the story out of your head and onto the page. And the hard part about that process is getting the typed version of the story to match EXACTY what the vision in your head was. I have never fully accomplished this. It’s usually almost there… but then something is missing. Or I didn’t quite get it right… but it was close.

The hero in this story for me is my Wow moment. Michael on paper, was the Michael in my head. He was everything I wanted him to be and accomplishing that meant I had achieved something with this book I had never done before.

Does this mean it’s perfect? Hell no. Does this mean I’ve reached the top? Absolutely not. If fact many of the reviews about this book talk about loving the hero, but not quite getting the romance. Which is the beauty of writing. I got him right this time. Maybe I get her right the next time. Maybe I get them both right AND the romance right but not the plot absolutely one hundred percent the way I want it.

There is so much growth in writing. I know people who write that first book, and it’s published and it’s a hit. But that’s not going to be my story. I’ve written over 25 books at least, had 15 published and now with this book I’ve accomplished one small thing that I need to learn from and take into my next stories.

And the irony is, just because you love it, just because you know it’s your best, you have no idea what readers will think. Despite a lot of buzz on the internet my Amazon ranking is the worst of all the books for my month.

Now let me be clear I’m not envious of my fellow Superromance authors – I want them to sell zillions of copies and hope they all tie for a number one ranking. What it brought home for me though was the reality that just because it’s the best I did, means nothing. Because once the book is done and on the shelves it’s not about the writer anymore. It’s about the reader and what they want to read.


Karen Whiddon said...

That's exactly the process I'm fighting with right now. My hero is not translating to the page. True, I'm writing the first draft, but he's not coming out the way I envision him in my head.


Guess I'll just keep on working on it.

Anonymous said...

I love that you took something challenging and wrote it so well, your editor had to have it in the line, even though it expands beyond the normal boundaries of category romance.
You should be proud.

Eileen said...

I'm reading it right now, Steph, and loving it. Congratulations. It's a great book regardless of what numbers say or don't say.

Anonymous said...

Stephanie, congratulations on your new book! I hope in the end your numbers do reflect how you feel about it.

Maureen McGowan said...

Congrats on not only the new book but on owning up to loving it. :)

Anonymous said...

Well, don't really care about your hero. There's only one hero I LOVE, DH! But, the characters were good and I do think this may be one of the best stories I read in quite some time. Don't put too much faith in the numbers games (sales). The marketplace has become over saturated. It is and will become increasingly difficult to muster any big sales numbers in this market, but, like any 'starving artist', making money from the work is not the end game.

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