Ever wonder what it’s like for an author before their book is released?
I call it Panic Week.
The latest entry in my urban fantasy series, The Phoenix Chronicles, CHAOS BITES, was released on April 27th and it's been personal panic for a while now.
The week before a release is spent pretending that I'm not thinking about what’s happening next week. I keep working on whatever book I'm writing at the time, which is usually 2 or 3 books removed from the one that's about to be released. But I don't get much done. I can pretend all I want that I'm not thinking about the upcoming release. But I am.
Then the day of the release arrives and I can tell myself that I'm not going to go to the bookstore and look for the book. But I do.
Then I start counting how many books are left, trying to figure out how many were there in the first place, wondering if the books would be better placed over there than over here . . .
You’d think that after 45+ books, I’d learn. But I don’t.
But after 45+ books I’ve also discovered that I’m not alone in this paranoid panic. Every author I’ve ever talked to does the same thing. They even had an episode about it on CASTLE. (Love that show!!) I laughed my head off at Rick’s panic, because, at the time, it wasn’t mine. But it was very, very familiar.
Here's a taste of the book that's keeping me up nights, CHAOS BITES--
Megan lived on the east side of Milwaukee, about twenty minutes from Friedenburg on a block of older, closely spaced houses and the occasional corner pub. Back in the day, every neighborhood boasted a tavern—at least in Wisconsin. Murphy’s had been one of them.
Now it was mostly a cop bar, though a lot of locals often hung out. Besides booze, Megan served sandwiches and heart attack producing appetizers such as deep fried cheese curds. For the health conscious she provided a wide selection of deep fried vegetables. If you still weren’t dead, the dessert menu offered deep-fried Oreos, Twinkies and cheesecake. They were really quite good.
However, for her daughter Anna’s party Megan had promised pizza, lemonade and birthday cake—not deep-fried. The celebration started at eleven a.m. since Megan would have to be at work by three. Saturday night was a big night at Murphy’s, and any tavern owner knows that the only way to make sure everything ran smoothly was to be there.
Megan opened the door at our knock, took one look at the kitten in my arms and slammed it in my face. I blinked, shrugged and rang the bell.
“Go away!” she shouted through the door.
“You ordered me to be here.”
The door flew open with such force the displaced air blew Megan’s curly red hair back from her cute little face. And if she ever learned I thought of her as cute, she’d slug me. One thing Megan Murphy didn’t appreciate was the depth of her adorableness. She wanted to be tall and voluptuous, dark and exotic—like me.
“Did you get a brain amputation?” Megan’s bright blue eyes narrowed in her Irish pale face. “We have rules here.” She held up one finger. “No rodents.” Then a second. “No reptiles.” A third. “No animals that say ‘rarhh.’”
I glanced down at the kitten in my arms. “Oh.”
“Yeah. Take that right back where you got it.”
“I—um. Well, you see--uh. I can’t.”
“You will. You cannot give my daughter a—“
The sudden bright light was followed by an audible whoosh as the kitten in my arms became human. Megan’s eyes went as wide as pie plates as she finished her sentence with, “baby.”
Said baby waved her arms joyfully and giggled.
“You did that on purpose,” I accused.
So what do you panic about? And what do you do to stave off that panic?
I've learned to give in to the urge to visit every book store in my town and the next. Once I see my baby on the shelves a few times, I calm down.
A little . . .
Stay tuned for a new venture for me SHAKESPEARE UNDEAD. The Bard has Bite! Available June 8. (Panic begins on or about June 1)
I will give away an ARC of Shakespeare Undead to someone who comments.