by Lisa Renee Jones
Hi everyone and thank you so much to Writerspace for having me on their blog today! As I get ready to release the third book in my Secret Life of Amy Bensen series, Forsaken, it has me revisiting how this series began. I remember very clearly, that I was hesitant about this series. My readers adored Sara in my Inside Out series (now in development for TV), and Amy (the lead in The Secret Life of Amy Bensen), was her antithesis. Don’t get me wrong, every time I publish a book the fear sinks into my gut. I’ve learned that the fear is a good thing though. Now, I fear the day that sinking feeling goes away, because that will be the day I’m not pushing myself to be the very best author I can be.
Back to Amy though – when I first released Escaping Reality (book 1), it was self-published and very different from all of my other current works. Sure, it still has your resident alpha male that I love to write. Which in this case, came decked out in a suit, goatee, tattoo, and goes by the name Liam Stone, but, Amy was worlds away from my other heroines. She was younger, more naïve, yet I tried, and hopefully succeeded, to build in this innate strength to her character. I truly pushed myself out of my comfort zone with these characters, and I even ended up taking the series to an all-out different place than I originally intended. All of which, you’ll see in the concluding volumes, Forsaken (8/18) and Unbroken (9/7).
Thankfully, I have the best readers in the world. Much as I embraced a new challenge in writing this series, they all embraced it as well, and I received so many heartfelt notes about their love for the first two books in the series. So, time passed and I ended up selling the series to Gallery Books, which accounted for a long spell between the release of the first two and last two books. Given the time lapse the fear has returned ten-fold. It’s a whole new set of fears this time though. Will the readers of the series have moved on? Do they know two more books are coming? It’s such a competitive market right now, how do I reach my readers? And the list goes on and on. You know what though? With the fear comes a thrill. A thrill that is quite indescribable, and one that can thrive off of one reader’s kind words about one of my books. I would not be able to do what I do without all of my readers. So as much as I drive my husband nutty with my What Ifs around release day, he’s learned to deal with it because it’s part of my process.
To every author out there, the fear is natural and should not be a deterrent. To every reader who’s picked up one of my books, thank you. Fear, of all magnitudes, is something we all deal with. It’s how you react and take control in the midst of it that really counts. I get questions all the time about how to write a book and the process of it. My first piece of advice is always: just write. Cliché as it sounds, if you overthink it, that’s when the fear can take over. Trust me, the first books that I wrote are locked away and will never see the light of day, or an editing pen. Writing is a personal process, in most cases. The author is the only one in tune with the characters. You’re the sole conduit to the world you’ve created. So, you have all the control.
I hope you’ll check out my Secret Life of Amy Bensen series. Books 1 and 2 are already available (Escaping Reality and Infinite Possibilities), and books 3 and 4 (Forsaken and Unbroken) will be coming out later this year!
FORSAKEN can be purchased in eBook or trade paperback format