Yesterday feels a million miles away from me now.
I sent out a ton of ARCs yesterday, and not once did I stop and think about what I was doing. I just attached the files and pressed send. I didn’t even give myself a second thought about what I was sending and how I got here, I just smiled and clicked, smiled and clicked. I actually don’t think I even realized that my story was out there, until I was texting back and forth with Steph, and she was skimming through the book again. I told her I was a little nervous that it was out there now. Then it all hit me.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Releasing a book never gets any easier. Ever. It’s still a battle of nerves and concerns for me, and not so much in regard to what people will think, more so of just putting myself out there.
So let’s talk a little bit about Devil Town and why I wrote Every Pane.
I toyed around with the idea of a contemporary romance novel last fall. It was shortly after I had finished Finders Keep Her, and I knew I needed to take a break from the world of Vance and Charlotte for a while. I played around with writing something entirely different. I had an idea for a story and the title came to me quickly. That usually doesn’t happen. The title usually comes later for me. In this case, it popped in my mind and I rolled with it. The story I began writing, was difficult and felt forced. I sent three chapters to my editor because I didn’t understand where I was going with it, and I needed a little light to shed onto my thoughts. Elaine gave me the best advice. She liked it, but she said she was waiting for that “darker” or “creepier part” to come out. She praised me for the types of stories I write, and with that, I knew I didn’t have it in me to force a contemporary romance novel with a happily ever after out of my veins. I can’t do it. I applaud authors who can…I can’t.
Once I knew that I was changing the game, the story fell out of me. It was as easy as breathing. The setting, the characters, and the plot…it was all super clear at that point. Writing it became fun. If you’re writing isn’t fun, or it feels like a chore, you’re doing it wrong. I looked forward to writing about Val, and I looked forward to coming home to Devil Town at night. Which takes me to a few questions I’ve been asked.
Why Devil Town? Two reasons actually. It’s a real place…at least it used to be. It’s an unincorporated community about a half hour north of me. Sometimes, it still shows up on maps and if I log into Facebook when I am near Wooster. It was a small community in the 1830 era and now there isn’t much left of it. I’ve been intrigued by Devil Town, and its name, since I went to a party there when I was 19. The other reason is simple. I needed to name a town near Devil’s Lake, and I really didn’t like any of the names of the towns around it. Besides that, the beauty of creating a story, is you can create anything you want. FICTION is an awesome thing. So Devil Town…seemed to fit the location of Devil’s Lake (also a real lake in Michigan) perfectly.
Are the characters real people? Sort of. They’re based on traits of certain people I know. But that’s about it. Maybe if the right people read it, they’ll disagree with me on that.
Will there be a sequel? This is a hard question for me to answer…and it’s my own fault for how I left things. I don’t know. Originally, I would have said absolutely not.When I first typed “the end” I was ready to wash my hands of Devil Town. I was like…yep…done. And then people who had read the story, and the small blurb at the end, started asking questions. I can’t give anything away, because it will spoil the whole story for anyone who hasn’t read it, but with the way things are left…there probably could be a sequel. I just don’t think I have it in me. Maybe a spin-off. As more time goes on…I realize that I miss Devil Town…and I miss some of the characters. I find myself wondering what they are doing. So maybe there is a story there…but I don’t know if I can consider it a sequel.Time will tell?
Now that it’s been shared with some people in the world, and I know my story is out there, I kind of feel empty. For a long time, this was a secret I kept to myself. The story, the scenes, all of it I held close to my heart. Now people are reading it. I used to find myself worrying that they would hate it. I used to worry that it wouldn’t be understood or people would get bored with the way I write…but now, now I just want to hug myself. Even if the whole world hates it…I really like it. It’s taken me a lot to say that. It’s taken me a lot to stand up for myself, and my work and pat myself on the back in the process. This story, these characters, all of it…it was written from the purest corners of my heart. I’ve never written anything so deep before, and with that, I will forever be proud of myself. I will always love Val and Anderson. I will always feel a little homesick for Devil Town…especially now, when the promise of summer comes rolling in. Or when I drive by a lake town. There’s always a tug at my heart when I think about all of it. That’s how I know for sure, that writing this story, and releasing it despite what people may think, was the most necessary thing I could do for myself.
I want to thank all the people who contacted me about ARCs. Some of you are all over the world, and I am so humbled that you reached out to me and wanted to read my tale. I want to thank everyone along the way who has been so supportive or just kind in regards to the story. I am nervous for people to read it, but it’s the first time in releasing a book that I have felt so calm. Maybe it’s because I’m really doing this from the very bottom of my heart, or because I feel the story so much. I don’t know…but I feel good about this.
I’m ready to share DT with you. I’m ready for you all to read it. I’ll post the link to the Amazon pre-order below. You can pre-order it for $2.99 until May 31st. After that the ebook will run $3.99. The print version will be up on release day.
I love you all…and I will see you in Devil Town. I’ll be the one in the back eating Orange Push-Ups and drinking. You’ll understand this soon 🙂