I don’t know how it happened, but somehow, over the last couple of weeks, The Devil’s Own Desperado has broken into the top 1000 for historical romance sold on Kindle and is pushing hard to break that same barrier for actual print books. I don’t know how it happened. I did a few ads, including one for Facebook. Not a lot mind you, because this time of year I’m busy paying dog show entries, putting gas in the vehicle to travel to said dog show, paying for a hotel room and meals…well, you get the idea. The top 1000 isn’t the top 100. I will be the very first to admit that, but a quick search on Amazon using the parameters of “historical romance” reveals that Amazon has over 64,000 historical romance novels available. For Kindle alone, there are over 22,000 historical romances available. I’m stunned. Not by the sheer number of historical romance novels available, but that I’ve cracked the top 1000 (even if only temporarily) in such a saturated market. (Feel free to imagine me pinching myself to be sure I was awake and not dreaming all of this.)
With that sense of incredulous disbelief comes a nasty little voice in the back of my head telling me that I’m going to be a one-hit wonder, and even if I get a second novel published that sophomore novel will be—frankly—sophomoric, and even if I have more than a second novel published, none of them will ever measure up to The Devil’s Own Desperado. Yup, the self-doubt has begun to find its voice and as anyone who has ever had to listen to their own internal whisperings of insecurity knows, there is no reasoning with these self-defeating words. The words this voice spews forth can be utterly devastating and completely paralyzing. Just writing these words is painful because it gives volume to that voice of self-doubt and insecurity.
However, I was always told that what didn’t kill me would make me stronger. Yes, it’s trite. Yes, it glosses over how crippling self-doubt and insecurity can be. But, it is also true. That malicious whispering in the back of my head, ultimately, was the reason I dragged my feet on the edits for Gossamer Dreams. After seeing where The Devil’s Own Desperado was ranked last night, I went back and read the edited version of Gossamer Dreams that I sent to my editor a few weeks ago. I was expecting to be disappointed in this sophomore effort. I was pleasantly surprised when I wasn’t. The more I read, the more I realized that Dr. Nicholas “Cole” Archer and Rebecca Howard are just as much their own people as Colt Evans and Amelia McCollister are.
The writing is similar, because I do have a writing voice that is all my own, but Cole and Rebecca are individuals and just as unique as Colt and Amy. Cole has been scarred clean down to his psyche by the actions of a woman he thought he loved and he’ll be damned before he lets another woman ever hurt him again. Rebecca’s also been burned, but she won’t let that pain determine who she is.
So I am officially giving notice to the voice of doubt in my head that it is hereby, forthwith, and without delay EVICTED.