Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone. The turkey was juicy. The ham was succulent. My amazing wife makes the most incredible candied yams that I’ve ever had. And I’ve been admonished, upon pain of death, that I am not to give away her secret ingredient.
I’ve posted in the past about my definition of “success”. What it boils down to is that people read my work. I have forty-six reviews of Lily’s Redemption on Amazon, although it’s always sold better on the Nook. I don’t have as many reviews of Invasion of the Ninja but it seems to be selling (slightly) better than the former book in paperback. People are reading them. I’m getting messages asking about BOOK TWO in the Adventure Chronicles series. That’s the reason that I’m taking this rewrite of BOOK TWO so seriously. My editor, Karen, was harsh . . . but fair.
It takes me back to two major events that jumpstarted my writing. In 1996, I’d completed my first manuscript, which was the ancestor of Invasion of the Ninja. But I’d lost interest in continuing after finishing the first chapter of the next book. Then, a friend from church, Anna Raymer, found my manuscript (which I’d printed off and put in a binder) at my house. When she asked to read it, I let her. To my shock, she had a third of it read by the time we met again at our Monday night youth meeting. She liked it. She gave me feedback. I blew the dust off of my computer and completed the next book. And the next.
Then I went off to college and studying took priority.
I did go back to writing in 2000, when I decided to rewrite my first story into what became my first published work. After the second book was published, I lost interest out of the frustration that I felt toward my publisher.
I did write again and, due to the influence of A.P. Fuchs, self-published my next book. But I didn’t light a fire under myself to republish Invasion until last year, when my stepson found my copy of Invasion of the Togakura and read it.
And enjoyed it.
Readers are important to me. Feedback is important to me. I read every review. Even the bad ones.
Thanks Anna and Jayson. You guys rock.