So, my 37th book, Claim, released today, December 30, 2023. It’s been a helluva road to get it here and available.
There were points when I didn’t think I’d ever get it finished. More points came up when I thought it was literally the dumbest book I’d ever written and no one in their right mind would want to read it, or even like it.
That side of me warred with the fact that I had people who had purchased pre-orders for it, from the initial set up of the book, back in Sept of 2022. Many were on my website, so when I would push the date back, I still kept those pre orders.
And every time I had to do that, I felt sick.
I would cry.
Be very angry with myself. Because I felt like every kind of failure imaginable.
I carried this book mentally with me everywhere I went. I would be relaxing on the couch, and I’d feel Erzo gnawing at me. Yet when I sat down to write, I wouldn’t be able to string more than a paragraph together, and then would wind up deleting it.
If I did sit down, determined to work on the book, I’d wind up cleaning something.
It was like I’d forgotten how to write.
Some of it was imposter syndrome, because I didn’t think I was good enough. Another contributing factor was my stomach issues that while still not completely solved, are issues that have been plaguing me for most of 2023.
It didn’t help, either, that I took a job at my local cable company, working forty-hour weeks, answering phones and doing tech support. Having people yell at me for 10 hours a day took a lot of my spoons.
Especially when I didn’t feel well, those days, I had very few spoons to start with on the bad days. Everything felt ten times harder. Even my boss and I discussed whether I even should keep my job. Not to mention the doctor’s appointments and the FMLA qualifications, the tests and treatments. In between, were days where I was just mentally exhausted from all of it.
So writing a book seemed so much more daunting.
- Yet, I knew I had to finish it. I had an obligation to all those people who had bought pre-orders (Thank you every one!) they were waiting for me.
Which started this loop—I needed to get it done as fast as I could. But that also meant, if I raced through it, it may not be the best story I could write.
So every plot point, I’d question. Was this the right way to go? Am I going too far to the easy path? Or should I go more angsty? Maybe down the crooked road? Or the straight one? How do I keep the story fresh? Are my ideas stupid?
All this and so much more went through my mind while I tried to write it.
And then, my beautiful friend A.C. James stepped in. She started helping me. At first, just to do sprints with. Then her help got bigger. She started reading the book and helping me make it stronger. Her direction and help got me moving forward. She was my biggest cheerleader as I worked through the last twenty thousand words.
That was another thing.
This book should have only been twenty-five thousand words. Maybe thirty It wound up being sixty-three thousand words, because I was determined to make sure Claim wrapped up all the threads I started with Core and Shaft.
It took me a while to bring this all together, but I finally got there.
Now, I feel so strange. Because when I got my first print copy, I thought I would cry, because it has been such a road. I didn't though. But I did stare at the book for quite a while--it didn't seem real that it was there.
That it's here.
It's here, and I hope you love it. I will be drinking a few glasses of wine tonight.