Helena Woolf is out thanks to Matthew Sylvester over at Alternative Realities who believed in this enough to not only publish it but make it their first novel. Matthew worked so hard to make this happen and without him I can honestly say it’s unlikely that A Family War would have seen the light of day.
Instead, Matt’s now faced with sorting out availability in Japan! Thats what we call a quality problem.
This is kind of by-the-by. I want to talk about a feeling that’s been creeping up on me since last week, the day when the kindle version sneaked onto the web because I persuaded them to release it a little early so a friend of mine, Rebecca, could get it early.
Since that day, as people have begun buying it I’ve started to look at the text and worry that it’s no good, that what I’ve written it completely rubbish, that it’s got errors, flaws, weaknesses and basically bad writing. In short I’ve almost come to hate it. I look at stuff I’ve written since then and think ‘but that’s better’, wondering if I should have skipped straight to that instead, frightened that people will read this and hate it so much that they’ll not read anything else I’ve written ever again.
I’ve gotten a bit of a grip this morning. I’ve reread some random sections and I think it’s not too bad. It was the first novel I’d written that I thought worked (it was actually the third novel in total) both from an ideas perspective but most importantly from a character/progression aspect. It helps that there are now 3 reviews and they’re all positive – only one of which is from a family member (who has read the book btw, but you can forgive them for being biased).
Yet I can’t help sit there when I see it selling feeling like I’ve inevitably let people down, that I won’t meet their hopes or expectations. It’s a very weird feeling and, if you know me, not one I’m prone to.
Fortunately I’m also feeling totally excited about it. I’m so happy that it’s made it into the world with good formatting and a great cover. So. Now I guess I’d better get on with editing book 2, A Corporate War.