In case you missed it, last Thursday I posted my review of Kylie Kaden's fabulous second novel, Missing You as part of its blog tour.
Today I'm thrilled to bring you this guest post from Kylie. Her first book, Losing Kate, was picked up from a publisher's slush pile. I asked Kylie how the experience of writing as a published author differed from her first experience.
I'd like to thank Kylie and the team at Random House for having me on the tour.
Two Times A Charm?
You did it. You published a book. Sure, millions have before you. It’s not a cure for cancer. But there is a novel being bandied about with your name on it. You’d have to be stoked and ride that wave of confidence all the way to Book Two’s end. Wouldn’t you?
Having mucked about with structure, rehashed scenes, killed your darlings so many times that one would expect you’d be far more efficient with subsequent attempts. After all, ‘published’ authors are inoculated against writer’s block – which is likely a manifestation of self-doubt, and how could you question your competence after a constellation of five star reviews and a folder full of letters from readers eagerly awaiting your next novel? You’ve done it before. You know you are capable of it.
So where the hell is it?!
Some authors are so distracted by their first offering (googling their own name, lurking about their inbox wondering if it was all an elaborate practical joke) that they’re paralysed, unable to contemplate doing it all over again. (I was unsure how I pulled it off the first time). Others spend an inordinate amount of time trying to create a whole bunch of smoke and mirrors on social media (otherwise known as procrastinating) that they don’t actually have time to start a second book.
As for me, I hadn’t really heard of the apparently debilitating condition known as ‘second-book-syndrome’ till I read it in an article the lovely Jenn McLeod wrote a while back, which was about half way through writing the cursed ‘Book 2’.
And, being prone to a touch of hypochondria myself, I instantly self-diagnosed myself as symptomatic. But shortly after, I realised it is yet another bullshit excuse to not get my arse-in-seat, wi-fi disconnected, and Cadbury and Coke Zero supply in reach, and Just Do It. Because -really - writers, having a readership/publisher lurking is not, if you ask any aspiring writer, a condition that I feel deserves any casseroles.
Having said that, once you cross that bridge to the island called ‘published author’ you will never again have the luxury of creativity without expectation. Of musing with no real audience. Of writing with no deadline (whether real or imagined). When I wrote Losing Kate, it was my secret. No one cared. When I made up a character’s names, I had no real expectation that anyone would read the damn thing, so it didn’t matter. With my second book Missing You, there was an invisible audience lurking in my living room, an expectant crowd placing a silent hope on my shoulders. (Cue the violins).
Finding your voice is a rather delicate process. Any deviation from the well-trodden-path for you (like launching a book) may well derail things for a while. It can stifle your creativity, knowing this hobby or artistic pursuit has suddenly gone all ‘commercial’ on you. But when you are in the privileged position to be paid to do something you love, I don’t think you get to call in sick with second book syndrome. Just Keep Calm and Carry On.
Visit the previous stop on the tour: Write Note Reviews
And the next stop on the tour will be another guest post on Friday at 1 Girl 2 Many Books.