I have four books out now. Four.
There have been days when I never thought I would get this far and that’s what I have to remind myself from time to time.
One of my favourite bloggers and favourite people I know ‘through the internet’, Brittany Gibbons, just announced that she has a book deal with Harper Collins. My first inclination was to be super thrilled and happy for her. I mean, that’s amazing news and I have no doubt that she will make this transition to author with as much grace, humour and intelligence as she handles every other aspect of her professional career. No doubts at all. Plus, I really dig her. She makes me laugh, she makes me feel understood and even though she’s a few years younger than me, there are days when I think, damn, I want to be her when I grow up. She even once, quite wonderfully, reviewed a book of mine. Rarely have I been more proud of what I do than the day I read her amazing words about my work.
Then there is the other side of me. The one that struggles. I was a little jealous, sure, but more than that the feelings of ‘not being good enough’ overwhelmed me for a bit. It’s not only Brittany and her news I feel this from. It happens whenever I see that my own brother is on his ninth book, or that his work is getting infinitely more traffic than mine, or when I hear of a new author that has gone through the roof with a debut, or whatever. It could be something huge, it could be something small. Sometimes it’s nothing more that just reading a new book and enjoying the author so much that I immediately feel inadequate.
I’m not alone. I’ve heard from dozens of self published authors who feel the same way and go through the same ups and downs. We rarely have the budget or exposure that connected (with publishers or agents or both) authors have and that means that unless we’re able to find innovative ways to pimp ourselves on a regular basis without coming across as whiny or needy, we really aren’t getting our books any attention.
It’s kind of a double edged sword. Because even though I’ll go through dry spells where I won’t write for a while, eventually I will churn out work like no one’s business and remember why I love to do it so much. Ebbs and flows.
It’s always my husband who is the voice of reason and my best cheerleader when I feel shitty about myself or my work on the heels of feeling great for someone else’s accomplishments. He always has just the right words to say to remind me that what I’ve done is no mean feat and something thousands of people aspire to all the time but never finish. As I’ve mentioned once or twice before: it’s much easier to look at things through his eyes sometimes than mine.
Anyway, I celebrate Brittany and her accomplishment and look forward to what she will unleash in 2015. I’m sure it will be great.
As for my work, I will keep on at it.
Here is what she had to say about one of my books:
“Love, hate and raw sexuality. Words almost fail to express the depth and ease in which Nuala Reilly constructs such a powerful, gripping, and gut-wrenching tale of emotional carnage and undying love. It left my heart bursting from my chest. An epic follow up to Autumn Violets.” Brittany Gibbons
And, because what kind of post would this be without a shameless plug, here is where you can find my books:
Autumn Violets, the first in the series
Winter Jasmine, the second in the series (Brittany’s review was of this one)
Spring Daisies, the third in the series
Coming soon: Summer Poppies, the last in the series
Keeping the Women
All my books are also available on Amazon and with a Kindle.
And in the meantime, my daughter Kathryn got me to read the YA phenom Divergent, which I loved and so of course I also read Insurgent and am now waiting for her to finish Allegiant so that I can find out what happens. She’s really close to done and she just came in my room crying (the mark of an excellent book) so I’m going to go and snuggle her and talk about books and how awesome they are.