A couple of days ago, the email arrived in my inbox. My stomach was doing somersaults as I went to open it — to read my first critic review from the US Review of Books. A second later the text was open in front of me and I skimmed through it.
The first paragraph ran through the plot of my novel and the second paragraph got into the meat of things (included below). When I got to the last sentence I stood up and announced it to my husband who’d just returned from the gym. We had a mini dance party in my living room.
Afterward, I could barely focus as I continued to edit my second book, a family drama that takes place in Sudan. All I wanted to do was keep dancing around and celebrating. In that moment of exhilaration, I had to remind myself that while celebration is important, what supersedes it is the time and work that I put into writing everyday. As soon as I remembered that, it hit me like a sledgehammer. Since people seem to like my first book, what if I couldn’t replicate that in my second? Authors strive to continually improve – to always write something that is better that the book before. Now that I’m out in the ring for that fight, the thought made me shiver. Would I be able to keep up with that?
I’ve noticed this cycle happens in my psyche every few days. Sometimes I’m really happy about where I am, but other times, I’m afraid of taking another step. But not pursuing my writing scares me more, so I can never go back. I just have to recognize the cycles and ride them out. They are after all, natural human emotions. The upswing and subsequent return to reality that I felt after I got my review was just another example of that.
I’ve included the text of the review here.
“Inspired by great modern thriller writers like Grisham and Clancy, the author assembles an amazing action-packed narrative here that moves at the perfect pace throughout. Telling its tale in a disjointed chronological order, the audience learns everything necessary at the right time to keep the intrigue high and the story moving brilliantly along. For many readers, this book will prove to be one of the hardest to put down in some time. Fans of spy fiction, political intrigue, and real adventure will want to get in on this series’ ground floor in order to anticipate further outings with these characters. More than just a showcase for cool gadgets or smooth talking, this book shines among the genre simply through superb storytelling.” – The US Review of Books (reviewed by Michael Radon)
My first novel AHRIMAN: THE SPIRIT OF DESTRUCTION (Book I of The Ahriman Legacy) is available as an ebook at all major retailers and a paperback at Amazon.com. http://amzn.to/1rJjjb0.