Initial Reviews on My Debut Book and My Strange Reaction

Warning: Very personal blog post! I debated whether to even post this, but I decided I owe it to you, my readers, to share not just the exciting stuff along the road to publication, but to share the real, raw emotions too.

My debut book, The Preacher’s Bride has been out on shelves exactly two weeks. Of course the book had been trickling out before then, but now it’s officially out there everywhere.

Every writer always wonders, “How will readers like my book?” And during the weeks leading up to my release date, I held my breath waiting and wondering, “What will everyone think once they read it?”

Well, no more waiting. I’m beginning to hear from a wide variety of people who have finished the book. Writing friends have been showering me with kind words through emails, facebook, and twitter. Many have been leaving stellar reviews on blogs, Amazon, and other places.

Real life friends are beginning to report back to me. I’ve had several different friends tell me my book was the cause of them staying up too late at night. Others have stopped to hug me and tell me how much they liked the story.

I’ve also begun to hear from genre readers (as opposed to writer and real life friends who are supporting me by reading my book). In fact, I love checking my Author Facebook Page for comments from these readers. Since they don’t know me, they don’t have to say nice things to boost my ego. They don’t have to tip-toe around and try not to hurt my feelings. In fact, they dodn’t have to stop by at all.

So, when readers make a point of tracking me down to tell me what they think about my book, I know they really mean what they say. Not that my friends aren’t sincere, because I’m sure most of them are too. But it’s just different when a complete stranger compliments you on a book.

Anyway, last week, I couldn’t help crying over a couple of comments I got. No, they weren’t tears of joy. And no, the comments weren’t horrible. In fact both readers said something like, “Your book was absolutely the best book I’ve read in a long time.”

So why did I burst into tears after reading the kind of compliment every author longs to hear?

Because I was absolutely terrified.

I hadn’t anticipated such positive responses to The Preacher’s Bride. In fact, when I’d read my galleys on The Preacher’s Bride several months ago, I’d been ready to chuck the entire manuscript out the window. I didn't think it was good enough or ready for publication.

So when I started getting compliments on it, especially the “this is the best book” kind of statements, I was surprised, then scared. If you remember, over the past few weeks, I’ve been in the middle of a second round of intensive rewrites on The Doctor’s Lady (my next book releasing in September 2011). I've had to make a lot of significant and difficult changes. And I couldn't keep from wondering, “What if I can't make The Doctor’s Lady into a worthy story? What if it just doesn’t resonate with readers the same way the first seems to be doing?”

Hence, the fear. The deep, gut-wrenching fear.

I was afraid that I’d fail at my rewrites, fail to get my characters likable enough, fail to make the plot a page-turner, fail to weave an encouraging message throughout. In other words, what if The Doctor’s Lady doesn't live up to my first book?

Fortunately, I’m blessed with a talented team of people who are pushing me to make my story the best it can be. My critique partner Keli Gwyn recently called me to encourage me and share her wisdom. And last week I spent close to six hours on the phone with one of my Bethany House editors going through the book chapter by chapter and talking through the additional rewrites. So while I’m still battling my fears, I’m trying to move forward with confidence.

The point is, no matter where we’re at in our writing careers, FEAR is a very common reaction. We will probably always fear putting our work out there whether in front of beta readers, critique partners, agents, editors, and ultimately readers.

When we step out of our private writing fortresses, we open ourselves up to stinging arrows of criticism and gunshot rejections. We’re bound to get wounded from time to time (yes, even with blog posts that may not resonate with some readers). But it’s in taking those risks we grow stronger. If we cower away and don’t fight the battle, how will we ever win?

My agent Rachelle Gardner recently encouraged me in an email: “The fear you've been dealing with is normal . . .You can do this. You may not do it without fear and trepidation, but you can do it! I know how it feels to want people to keep liking your work. Of course you do! But all you can do is write what you write, keep following the direction of your editors and doing your best, and then it's out of your hands.”

What about you? What do you fear the most in the writing journey? Are you stepping out in spite of your fear? And are you surrounded by others who can help you grow stronger as a writer?

*Picture curtesy of Wendy Delfosse.


  1. Thanks for the real post Jody. I'm not where you are yet, but I can imagine that kind of fear. And since you were so honest, I will be too.

    This past week, I've really let fear park inside my chest. Which is so weird because I don't normally consider myself a fearful person. This week, I've just been flooded with self-doubt. It seems like I can't stop second-guessing everything I do writing-related, whether it's sending an email or working on ideas or posting a comment. It's ridiculous and not very fun and sort of giving me a stomach ache.

    I get these thoughts, like, "Well, if this editor didn't like your stuff, why will any editor like your stuff?"

    I think some of this is coming from the fact that my new book went out on submission last week. And man, I LOVE this book. I think it's my best writing yet. It's a story straight from my heart, but I already recieved two quick rejections. I find myself thinking, "If I can't sell this novel, how can I sell any novel?"

    One praise through all this - it's definitely kept me on my knees.

  2. Thanks for sharing so openly too, Katie. Fear is such a real "animal" and can mess with our minds if we start dwelling on it. I think that's why we really need to surround ourselves with others who not only understand the difficulties but also can encourage us through them.

  3. This post comes at a such "funny" time. We just had a sermon Sunday from the book of Nehemiah called "IN-couragement". Our pastor talked about words...encouraging and words that hurt. And also fear...and his wondering if his sermons were "good enough". One of the things that popped out for me of the verses he read was vs 14 of chapter 4 "Don't be afraid of... Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome..." I sat there reading that verse over and over. Very powerful. I struggle with fear as well so I think God was trying to tell me something!

    I'm not belittling your fear at all. I totally understand fear and the things that go through a persons head...I'm there with you even if it isn't over writing.

    Keep on going! You are a beautiful person, inside and out. You do wonderful work and even if that scares you (☺)it is the truth.

  4. I'm so glad you posted this one, Jody. Fear is such a tangible thing and it's so paralyzing at times. I really admire the way you plunge through it and continue to do what God has called you to do.

    I know that calling sometimes leads us through deserts. Jesus was led to the desert for testing. He was called. My husband and I were led to a desert with a church plant. We were called. Calling doesn't necessarily mean a bed of roses. But when we are obedient to His call and His leading, there is always blessing and fulfillment. Even in the midst of a desert.

    Oh goodness...I'm in preacher(wife) mode. Sorry...

    I think what I fear most is being like some of those singers on American Idol who think they can sing, and even have people tell them they are great singers, but in reality...they are TERRIBLE! I always wonder if I am really deluding myself. And I haven't even gotten to the point of sending anything out!!!! But I will. I will have to get over the fear and just do the next step. And then get over the next fear and do the next step.

    Baby steps, along with encouraging friends and God's hand will get us all through this journey.

  5. Oh Jody, I can imagine the fear. I have it alot and can't imagine how it might be amplified with everyone in the world able to read my writing.
    Rachelle is pretty wise, and you are too. :-) God's gonna take care of you.
    Now get that next book in because a year is too long for me to wait!!! :-)

  6. Sometime I think fear stalks me. But then I have to remember the things I've done successfully in spite of it. You have written a wonderful book. You did it once. It was hard. You struggled then too, but you got there, and now are reading reviews that tell you the struggle and hard work was all worth it. It worked last time, there is no reason to think that it can't happen again. It can, and it will.

    Oh, and if it matters, here's what last weekend was like for me. Fold a pile of laundry...sit on the couch and read The Preacher's Bride. Change the bed. Sit on the couch and read The Preacher's Bride. Organize boxes in the basement. Sit on the couch and read The Preacher's Bride...and so it goes. I started it Saturday a.m. and finished by Sunday night. It was what we like to call, a compelling and highly enjoyable read. Thank you again for the book, and for adding such entertainment to my weekend. Hold on to your faith in yourself Jody. You are a wonderful writer with many more victories to come.

  7. I've heard about that pressure and fear on the second book. But I'm sure you can do it! And congrats on all the wonderful reviews!

  8. I think I fear all the usual things; will the public like it, can I do another book, will I be able to handle difficult edits...

    It's work to be a great writer. You are overcoming fears by pressing forward. Congratulations on your success!

  9. I've had a week a lot like Katie's. I also spoke with an author friend recently who is going through something so similar to what you are.

    We prayed together and it helped. A lot.

    But there really is something about writing through the fear. It is a normal feeling, but if we write through it, we are demonstrating faith.

    ~ Wendy

  10. Your post reminded me of a speech I heard by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love). It moved me so deeply, I cried when I heard her words. She basically touched on the same thing you did...How could she follow up on her success? Here's the link if you're interested:

    I go through waves of confidence and fear as well. It's good to know we're not alone in our worlds or writer angst. :)

  11. I am constantly afraid of the journey. It's terrifying to me to think of putting my writing out there for criticism, of being under a schedule to have to balance life and work and writing because of a contract, (of course, not there yet, but still a fear lol).
    Thanks for being so real!!

  12. Thank you for sharing your heart. I have a childrens' series I am working on and wonder to myself, can I pull 8 more books out and will they be any good by the end of it all. Fear is very real. We have to move past it to faith that if God has called us then He will complete it. :O)

  13. I loved reading about your "fear." Because you've been there now and have done what I so want to do. Get published.
    I was told a long time ago to get a tough skin if I was going to write. At the time I was writing articles for a big city newspaper and had received some not so nice notes.

    So hang in. Blessings.

  14. Thanks for being honest with sharing your fears. I can imagine I would feel the same way too. Been dealing with the fear this week that maybe I will never ever get it--how to write good fiction and that I'm wasiting my time. But then I think we all do at some part of this journey.

  15. Congratulations on such wonderful feedback! I'm glad your debut novel is doing so well!!! I can't wait to read it. :)

    Thanks for such an honest post, Jody. I'm not published yet so I don't have those "sophomore slump" kinds of fears. My fears are normal for where I'm at: that I won't ever be published, I won't ever be good enough, I'm the worst writer ever, etc. etc. I'm getting better at not paying too much attention to those fears because I'm not the only one who has them. And I know those things aren't true for others, so I'm choosing to believe they're not true for me either!

  16. I can so relate to what you shared today, Jody. A couple months ago I was in exactly the same place. My second book was about to release and I was certain the writing wasn't nearly as strong as the first. Will readers like it, or did I set the bar too high with the first book?

    I truly believe that Satan's favorite weapons to shoot at me are fear and pride. It's like being on a swing. I sail high and starting thinking of myself a little more highly that I ought, then I plunge to a fearful low, sure that I'm going to be a disappontment. Every once in a while I hover in the blessed middle ground where I find humility and confidence in perfect balance. Unfortuantely, something usually happens to push my swing again, sending me back on that up and down journey.

    The good news - reviews are coming in on book 2 and most people are saying they liked it even more than the first. Hooray! So why is the fear and doubt creeping back in now that I've turned in my rewrites for book 3? Sigh.

  17. Jody,

    Having spent a good bit of time trying to convince you that you're an awesome writer, I had to read your post today before I did anything else.

    I understand totally what you're saying. I prayed that same exact prayer last night as I was praying about my collaborative writing I'm doing with some clients.

    But what is my fear? I fear that when I put my writing out there my fiction clients will say, "BLECH!! I cannot BELIEVE I let that woman edit MY precious manuscript."

    When I get to read some of the great manuscripts I work with many times I feel very intimidated, "Will I ever write a story that powerful and moving?" I wonder.

    It never goes away. It just pops up in different places and in different ways.

    I spoke last weekend at a writer's conference. I was recording the session and said I'd be selling the CDs. As I was picking up I saw one man set down my handouts and walk quickly out of the room with an awkward nod at me.

    I was CRUSHED!! I knew at that moment I'd Totally blown the talk. I walked out to my husband who was at my book table and told him how I'd totally failed. That the 15 pages of handouts I'd worked hours on were rejected and this one person couldn't WAIT to leave my class.

    I wanted to cry, but couldn't. I've been teaching and speaking for more than 3 years, but felt painfully rejected.

    About an hour later that man came to the table. He bought the CDs [from both of my sessions] as well as my workbook "Your Writer's Business Team".

    After he left I leaned over and told my husband, "That was the guy who ditched out fast."

    My husband said, "That was the guy who almost beat me to the book table trying to buy your stuff."

    What I had perceived as a rejection was, in fact, a man returning extra handouts and trying to be the first one to buy my book.

    See, not matter where you are in your writing journey you face the fear of rejection. You face people around you that seem to have it all together. You want to be accepted.

    Life is like High School. All of us want to be at our definition of the "Cool Table".

    That is why I am so thankful that you honestly shared your soul here. There is no such thing as "Arriving" in any area. Once you think you have "Arrived" you quit trying to be better and gain new skills.

    That is when you stagnate and coast away in to insignificance.

    Great post, Jody. And sorry for the long comment. =0)


  18. Beautiful post, Jody! I loved what Rachel had to say about fear and validating it as being normal. That's what I attempt to do with my writing, teaching, really everything that involves that emotion. To say, this is normal, to greet the fear instead of trying to push it away.

  19. Jody, EXCELLENT post. This is why I love to read your blog. You're so honest, and you express things we all feel. I've been wavering in and out of the fear zone for the last few months about my second novel. I am confident about the first, but I just have to keep going on faith that the second will get where it needs to be. And I also have to keep reminding myself that the second is not supposed to BE the first. Each has a personality of its own, and readers like to be surprised--within reason! :-)

  20. Thanks for your honesty, Jody. Thanks for allowing us to be part of your journey. Thanks for being a dear friend.

    I believe in you!!! Having read The Doctor's Lady, I KNOW it's going to be a great book.

    When the fears creep in, as they will, remember that they're normal and that they will pass. When they seem overwhelming, my shoulders and ears are available. =)

  21. Jody, THANK YOU for this post today. That same kind of fear has been eating away at me all week. I know at this point in my writing journey I'm as close to getting an agent (and then moving onto the next step) than I've ever been before but it's brought along fears of being not good enough. Of the future and what people (mostly agents) will think of my work and what they won't like. It helps to know that no matter our place in this journey we all still have those fears. Also to know that we don't have to let them beat us. Thanks, Jody!

  22. I've been chatting with friends debuting next year about this very mixed reaction to the publication process. Thanks for being so open!

  23. Thanks for all of your encouragement today, everyone!! Reading your comments has been therapuetic! :-) It's always good to remember that we're not in this alone!

  24. just a note to say this is just the encouragement I need today. not that I am happy you were scared, but blessed because you shared your vulnerability and trusted us with it. thank you.

    and by the way, I'd hate to meet the author who simply *knows* their novel rocks and is sure others will be ga-ga for it. yikes.

  25. Jody,
    Having read your book, I have to say I loved the characters. And, when I read the inspiration for your story, it put the book into a historical context - which I love as a person. There is a sweetness & a joy that underlines your storytelling. I could feel your connection to it. You also relay a strength that emanates from within.
    I wish you the most excellent of luck & can't wait for the next book. Fear is good in that it motivates us - turn it to your best advantage & nothing will stand in your way. As to what I fear most, that list is mighty long. Failure rests at the top though. But, I have never failed at anything in this life for lack of trying. No way through it but to do it. Barring that, my husband lets me talk the fear & doubt out. Then he pushes me back to the computer where I let it out of the corral.

    Patti Struble

  26. I'm afraid of success.

    I've worked incredibly hard toward making the book I'm working on as good as it can possibly be for publication. I will pursue publication at full throttle, and yet, I'm terrified of what will happen when I do. Will I be able to produce another novel worth reading? What if I turn out to be a one-hit wonder?

    It's a scary prospect, and yet I know if I stopped writing, a part of me would die. It's knowing this that causes me to press forward despite my fear.

  27. Jody, normally I wouldn't post a comment when others have already said what I'm feeling, but I have to add my thanks for your honesty and openness.

    Sometimes I think Satan joins hands with our Inner Critic in a united effort to undermine us. The fear tells me my writing's not good enough, it's not ready for submission, I'm wasting energy trying for publication and I should forget it and just continue writing for myself. Then I pray for guidance and am told, "Go for it." The fear doesn't necessarily go away but, as Patti says, "No way through it but to do it." So, despite the insecurity, I will.

    Don't let the fear diminish the belief that you're doing what God has led you to do. You have a unique ministry. Move forward in obedience and He will always be there beside you as you write.

  28. This is a timely post for me. I'm starting the second book in a series. The first is the book that got me my agent (and is on submission right now.) So of course it's on my mind--what if I can't do it again? What if this one sucks and the first was just a fluke?

    I guess it's a natural fear. Another thing we have to walk through and get it done anyway. Thanks for the post!

  29. Dear Jody,
    I hear your fear. I'm happy to be one of the people who don't know you, read The Preacher's Bride and loved it (and posted reviews).

    I wrote Crestmont and have received great reviews. But the thoughts of writing query letters for interviews, etc. are very intimidating. I guess we have to remember that if we could write the books, we can deal with the rest.

    Blessings to you,

  30. Nail on head. That fear can be crippling. I’m glad to hear your working through it. I haven’t finished TPB (The Preacher’s Bride) but so far I love it.

  31. Thank you for being so honest, Jody. Your blog has helped me a lot in realizing the reality of what it means to be a published author. Keep up the great work!!!

  32. Jody, you are such a blessing to all of us. Thank you for sharing such personal feelings with your readers (and friends!). It is oddly comforting to someone like me to know that a writer/author I greatly admire still struggles with basic fears. Personally, I have no doubt The Doctor's Lady will be wonderful. After all this time (since finishing The Preacher's Bride) your book still clings to me - I find myself re-visiting the characters and all they went through together. It was so powerful, Jody, and so unbelievably beautiful. You have a special gift. You truly do. You work hard to give it life and make it breathe, but it IS there. :-)

    I fear never getting the opportunity to see my book in print, to hear feedback from readers I don't know, to receive an encouraging email from my incredible agent. But I'll keep working! :-)

  33. Jody, thank you for sharing this with us. We're all on this journey with you, and it's good for us to see the happy side, and the fearful side.

    Yes, you can do it. Yes, you can live up to your awesome debut. You CAN do it!

    I'm almost done with Preacher's Bride! It's taken me longer than most, as I've been furiously working on the first draft of my wip. Love, love, loving this story!

  34. Jody, I've haven't read it yet but I'm eagerly anticipating the arrival of my copy.

    Be thankful for the compliments. Know that you are indeed a writer and now a published author.

    Sometimes the perceived expectations of others are more paralyzing than the expectations we have of ourselves. Do your best each time. That's all you can do, and I suspect your best will be pleasing to you and to your readers.

  35. Dear Jody,
    Thank you so much for sharing this post. I struggle so much with the fear of showing my work to people, even though I know that that's part of the process - and it's even the goal.

    Strange as it may seem, I was considerably heartened to read that you had been ready to chuck it out of the window. That's how I feel with my story right now. I just KNOW it's not that good, and what's the point of a beta-reader (or an agent, heaven forbid!) telling me so. So to hear you say that gives me so much hope.

    Thanks for this post. Seriously.

  36. Hi Jody!
    I've been practically paralyzed since I got my first round of edits for my first book coming out in May. It's just been in the last 24 hours that I've started to feel a bit more confident, and that's pretty much because of Keli. :)I've got 2 more weeks to get through this first edit with the micro edit yet to come.

    Since I was a kid I've suffered from "not good enough syndrome." I think a lot of us who write feel that way. It might be women in general too. We always take on so much and here we are taking on even more. I'm not sure it will ever completely go away.

    I think it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, "Do the thing and you'll have the power." In other words, do it afraid. Like Rachelle said,
    "But all you can do is write what you write, keep following the direction of your editors and doing your best, and then it's out of your hands.” Let go and let God!

    Okay. Will you please remind me of that as I struggle through these revisions? :)

    Hugs and blessings as you do it afraid.

  37. Hi Jody! This post really resonates with me because I've been reading through my Galley copy and (like you) I've felt ready to toss the whole thing. The jokes seem to fall flat and there are parts that just seem too dull/boring/unimportant/uninspired for publication. I'm terrified to throw my work out there... and it's nice to know that other authors feel the same way on the journey.

    That said, I can't wait for The Doctor's Lady... I'm sure it'll be even better than The Preacher's Bride and The Preacher's Bride was FABULOUS.

  38. Jody, the hair raised on my arms reading this. Congratulations and how awesome are those comments! Thanks for sharing the personal side of your debut. Very cool. :)

  39. I had a rather uncharacteristic bout of fear with my writing earlier this week. I had a story ready to submit to a contest, but I just couldn't let it go. I just kept editing and rewriting instead of submitting it. I finally sent it in, but not after many episodes of self-doubt and fear.

  40. Jody, Rachelle's last comment is probably the most important when she says "it's out of your hands." You have to realize that there's a point where you can't do anything else.

    AS for the comments from readers about how great the book is, those are amazing. Enjoy them.

  41. Wow, Jody. I had no idea you struggled with fear, but I can certainly understand and relate to it. I think it boils down to reader's expectations and not wanting to let them down. Success inadvertently creates pressure on us, and that can lead to fear.

    Thank God you can pray, and you've got a good support network. And let's face it--you have a strong work ethic--and a wee smidge of talent. ;)

    And for the record, I'm looking forward to reading "The Doctor's Lady". No pressure!

  42. Congratulations :o) Your novel sounds amazing. Is it going to be for sale here in New Zealand??

  43. Thank you for being so honest in your post.

    At my step in the journey, my fear is whether people will like my work - agents, editors, readers...everyone really. I also fear that I'll never be published (though in order for that to even happen, I have to finish something and send it in). I'm starting a new "era" in my writing and I'm trying to overcome my fear - mostly the fear of writing something good.

  44. Hey everyone! Thank you for sharing your honest fears too! I've been so encouraged today!

    And Niki, I'm not sure if my book will be available in New Zealand. Now if you DO find, you definitely need to send me a picture with it!! :-)

  45. Hi Jody -

    Thanks for your transparency. Sometimes we think once an author is published they're immune to the doubts we all feel.

    I came into this fiction arena late with little or no idea of what I was doing. Every now and then, I want to look over my shoulder in case someone discovers I can't write.

    The only solution is to trust God and do my best.

    Susan :)

  46. Thanks, Jody. Again, you've stated my own feelings in a nutshell. It does take courage to confess you're not perfect online.

  47. *hug* I think you write powerful fiction and I know I'll be seeing your name around plenty and everywhere. Just FYI I gave a copy of The Preacher's Bride to my girlfriend who loves Christian Fiction and she was so happy to receive it. She mentioned she had seen it advertised and was interested in getting it. So kudos to you marketing team they're doing a great job.

  48. Jody, oh, I completely get it. Completely. I just met with my spiritual director today and he talked about fear being an obstacle. It was very illuminating to hear him play back the fear he heard coming from me. I agree that fear is a huge and common obstacle. Jody, I think the more you fall back into the writing itself and shield yourself from some of the exterior things, wonderful or not, the more you will come back to a place of peace and be able to return to why it is that you came to pursuit book writing. The more you get in touch with God wants from you, and let the other voices fall where they will, the more peace, the less fear, you will feel. But it is a typical reaction of we humans. Oh, another thing that will ground you and bring your peace back: hang out with your children. They'll keep you grounded and reminded of the bigger picture. :) Hang in there and thanks so much for your honesty. We're all there with you...

  49. Once again, thank you for posting such an honest and personal post. You may have questioned posting it, but I'm very glad that you did. It must be terrifying to send your baby out into the world; you likely wait for the axe (of negative reaction) to fall. And let's be honest, you will never have 100% of the readers loving any book. But I'm thrilled for you that the reviews and coverage has been so positive.

    I can also see how this would translate into a fear of a sophomore slump. But you're going in with your eyes open, you've got a great team standing behind you and I know you're going to produce another winner.

    Yes, we all feel that fear. When we put ourselves out there like that, how can you not? It's a basic self-defense mechanism. Sending out to agents and bracing for the blow is bad enough. It's different for you because you are looking at a very large audience. But I have faith in you... you're going to do great!

  50. Well done for being authentic. It's my opinion God can't work in a heart that refuses to admit how it feels.

    Praying for your continued triumph over fear!

  51. I'm catching up here, Jody.

    The fear of being ridiculous is pretty potent for me.

    But there is another darker, deeper fear. I worry about success.

    Weird, yes, since I don't have a book yet. But I worry that success will make me someone I never wanted to become. If it comes, How will I wear it? What will it change?
    Am I ready?

  52. Fear is a big issue for me. It's why I'm not brave enough to write a book. My magazine publisher keeps the comments (positive and negative) hidden, that's just fine by me.

  53. Thank you for your honesty.
    Fear is definitely an issue with my writing, both in the writing process with my novel and when I have poems or short stories published - what if my writing isn't good enough? What if people hate it? What if this novel I'm working ends up being like three of the others I've started and never really brought to a completion/saleable point?
    Support from writing friends helps, support from friends and family helps, but in the crux of the matter, only God, and daily practice (writing) get me through it.

  54. Jody, thanks so much for sharing this post and your feelings. I am definitely not at that point yet, but it's nice to have an idea of what to expect. I haven't been able to read the book yet, but I can't wait!

  55. Although I have not read it yet, it's here in my pile. It is really great to hear that authors are real people. :) Part of me leans toward writing a story, but one of the reasons I hold back is exactly what you talked about with your next book. Your truth here helps me to lean forward and think there might be a possible future...


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