(This post is based on the afterward that I’ve written for the book. TL;DR: You can now pre-order Words of Power on Amazon.)
A few years ago I read a vampire novel.
I don’t usually read vampire novels, but this one was cowritten by one of my favorite film directors and I figured it was worth giving a try. That book turned out to be pretty good, as far as vampire novels go, so I decided to give the sequels a try. The second novel in the series was enjoyable and, while I could see fans of the original being turned off by the sudden introduction of fantasy elements to their very serious medical procedural, I personally enjoyed the addition of fallen angels and ancient half-human half-vampire monsters, partially because I was writing books that dealt with similar themes.
Then I read the third novel in that series and everything went to hell.
I don’t even remember how the trilogy ends, except that it involved a nuclear bomb and I hoped for half of the third novel that all of the characters would be caught up in the blast. I’m sorry, Guillermo del Toro, but you and Chuck Hogan kind of lost me somewhere in the hazy transition between The Fall and The Night Eternal. It’s OK. I still love Pan’s Labyrinth.
So you can see my concern that I may have made the same mistake.
The third worst thing about being an indie author, just behind having absolutely no marketing/promotion that I don’t do myself or pay for out of my own pocket and having to hold down another job to pay for the “art”, is the dread of wondering whether my few trusted beta readers are just being nice to me. What if the book that I’ve spent months writing is so bad that readers might actually prefer to have spent their time looking at some word art generated from the text of the novel?
What if I have recreated the disaster that I so loathed in another author’s work?
Which is part of the reason why it took so long for Words of Power to come out. I was simply too afraid that the book was a disaster.
But that’s just my inner critic speaking. Just the voice that sits at the back of my mind telling me that I need to give up writing and spend my evenings watching reruns of M*A*S*H with a nineteen pound cat sitting on my chest, slowly smothering me with his furry love. And while I do love my cats and enjoy a good darkly humorous war drama that aired for more years than the war lasted, that little voice is one that I have got to ignore. It’s been there criticizing everything I do for years and (most of the time) I’ve been happiest when I manage to ignore it.