Self Publishing, Villains and Virtues

PreOrder for Summoned to the Wilds is Live!

I cut it dangerously close this time, but I’ve made it! The files are all uploaded, and now we just wait. Well, you just wait while I wake up in a cold sweat multiple times a night wondering if I fixed all my editing marks for this manuscript or not. Gods, is it ever going to be embarrassing if one of you Dear Readers finds a note I left myself in this one like “make this part sexier” or “what’s even happening right now?”

Summoned to the Wilds just about killed me. Well, it was actually everything else that happened in the last two months, not the book–the book makes me fucking thrilled–but I’m still feeling absolutely wiped out.

First, though, I would like to put out a warning for this book. I always list trigger warnings for my releases, and I try to include anything that even marginally could effect a reader, but I only list them on my website, not in the blurb or inside the book itself because Amazon has been known to use bots to flag books that flag themselves as having disturbing content. When this happens, the book is silently throw in a “dungeon” and then cannot be found via search. So, while George R.R. Martin writes rape on every other page and Stephen King writes explicit underaged sex, their publishing houses don’t put “content warning” anywhere, so they’re fine, but my attempt to be kind and warn you would get me hidden away forever. See the problem? However, Summoned to the Wilds does have an explicit scene of sexual assault. It’s meant to be visceral and upsetting even though, yes, it’s a romcom, because frankly there is no other way to portray something like that. But it is there, so I’ve included a warning as an author’s note. I hope it’s enough.

Anyway, back to my big whine fest. We’re moving from Connecticut to Vermont on release day, so we’ve been packing and running to appointments, and finishing things up to make the journey, and everything seems to have an additional five steps we weren’t planning on.

For example, we had to get snow tires, so we did, but we also needed new lug nuts because ours are swollen, so I went to an auto store to get them, but apparently they’re proprietary, so I had to actually get them from a dealership, but dealerships don’t carry a full set for an entire car, so I had to drive around to multiple dealerships to get 20, and then I finally got to Costco with my new nuts (hehe), and the appointment that should have taken an hour took two and a half because Thanksgiving I guess (it wasn’t on Thanksgiving, but you know), and I’m fairly certain they fucked up and over-charged me, and now I have to call them on Monday, so it’s still not even done. See? So many more steps.

But we also had an exceptionally stressful couple months dealing with illness–my own (after some meds, though, I’m better!) and both of our cats. Di has been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, which isn’t a huge deal but took a lot of vet visits, and unfortunately Bart was not so lucky to have an easily-manageable disease. After many vet visits, an overnight at the animal ER, ultrasounds, bloodwork, medication trials, and a lot of coaxing with every meat we could think of, it was finally time to say goodbye to him early this month. Bart has been with us since 2010, just a few months short of the entire time Husband and I have known one another, so he’s integral to our family, and losing him has been surreal. But it’s also not something I can expound upon much right now, so I won’t. It was just really hard.

Coupled with all that, life has also just been…life. And Throne in the Dark was received really well, like way better than I expected, which is great! But it’s also terrifying because I have had one constant line running through my head at all times: don’t let them down. That’s about the readers, the characters, and a little about myself. I just want this to be good, it’s really all I ever want, and it’s really scary to put any creative content out into the world, but now there are expectations which I desperately want to meet. “Please like me,” has been my mantra my whole existence, and this self publishing journey is probably the worst thing I could do with that kind of complex, but here we are.

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