Hey friends – Liz here. I’m writing my next book in the Cat Cafe Series, as-yet-untitled-number-4, and I’m heading into the middle. Sort of. And the middle is kind of scary because I always feel like I’m in the middle of a big pool and forgot how to swim.
So I wanted to ask today – what scares you the most about a book? Beginning? Middle? End? The whole thing?
Julie: I think my scariest time as a writer is the copy edit phase. The rest of it is daunting, especially starting, but after eight books I know I’ll figure it out. But during the copy edits, someone else is pointing out the problems with what I thought was clear, or they’re asking questions that I thought were answered. Sometimes I get so twisted up that I’m afraid I’ve made it worse instead of better.
Jessie: Interesting, Julie! I worry that I will hate the cover. It feels like it is so out of my hands and yet the thing that is right in my face so much of the time. I love all the aspects of creating the books except waiting for the cover. Even when I end up loving them, there is always a weird jolt when I see them for the first time. It is as if I have an idea of how the cover will be in my head and don’t even realize it until the reality doesn’t match up.
Edith/Maddie: Interesting, Jessie. I’ve certainly had covers I’ve hated, but I’ve never waited and worried about it. I got copyedits for Nacho Average Murder yesterday, Julie, and can’t wait to dive in. For me, like Liz, I’m most scared of the middle. Every. Single. Book. (And I’ve completed 23.) I don’t know where it’s going. No one will ever read it. I’ll never finish it. It’s crap. All the worries, every time. At least by now I know I’ll get through it if I keep the proverbial butt in the chair and fingers on the keyboard!
Sherry: The middle is hard, Edith — it’s probably why I wrote that part last in my first few books. Now I power through — at least I have lately. I think the scariest part is just facing the blank screen and knowing I need to fill it. I have to remind myself to fill the proverbial sandbox with sand (words) and then build the sandcastle.
Barb: I find talking about my books to be really difficult–both when I’m writing them and when they’re done. I don’t mean giving a high-level series description. That’s pretty easy. I mean talking about premise and characters of a specific book in a way that is interesting for readers. (I may be having this scare this very moment because Sherry and I will be at Murder by the Book in Bar Harbor, Maine this weekend and on Friday night each of the participating authors is supposed to talk about our book for 3 to 5 minutes. I have sat in audiences where a parade of authors doing this has been horribly boring and I can’t think what to do or say.)
Edith: Barb, it’ll be fine!
Liz: I second that, Barb! You are certainly never boring…
Readers, what about you? What scares you most – in books, in life? Tell us below!