Friday, August 9, 2013

Have faith in your work.

I have come to the most unsettling realization that I am apologetic about my work. I see a positive five star review and I'm thrilled, but deep down those never feel real. Then I read a one or two star and I nod along to the review. "Yes, it IS choppy." "Yes, I should have had Ari do X or Y or Z." "Yes, damn, I wish I could have fixed that."

See, I hate one and two star reviews, but it's not because they make me mad. They make me sad for the reader. I hate that I didn't produce something that he or she enjoyed. I hate that they feel their time was wasted. But I can't control whether or not that person enjoys my books. See, I am not one of those writers that ever wants to lash out at a reviewer, good or bad, because I tend to think my books are still unfinished. And the truth is, they are.

We are put on extreme deadlines in publishing. This means that I may have two weeks to edit something that should take two months. I may have hours to review copyedits, when I need days. The entire process is so intense that when I finally click send to my editor I close my eyes and I never allow myself to look at the book again.

But that stops now.

I am fortunate to be published, but the truth is, I am still learning. Yes, I said it. I am still learning. And if you're a writer, it's okay that you say it, too. I am sickly jealous of those that do it perfectly the first time, but that isn't me. Sorry. BUT I have learned (see I used that word again) that with each book I get better. The plotting is better. The characters are better. The writing is better. And I hope I forever feel that I need to learn. It keeps me grounded.

Last week my publisher put the title "Bestselling" before GRAVITY, and my publicist said from now on I could put "Bestselling Author" before my name. So what does that mean exactly? It means that while I am still learning, there are people out there enjoying my books. MY books. So, for them, I am going to stop apologizing for my work. I am going to be proud and have faith in myself. And I hope you will read this and find the will to have faith in yourself, too.

Writerly love your way,


Friday, August 2, 2013

Join The R.E.S. Spies

I have realized that I could really use some help getting word out about my series, but I didn't want to just ask people to join a group where we only talk about me and my books. I want a community environment, where we discuss books that we love, talk about upcoming releases, get excited about reading. I adore all things YA sci-fi and fantasy, so it made sense to make the group centered around that. For this reason, I created The R.E.S. spies.

READERS who ENJOY SCI-FI and fantasy = The R.E.S Spies! A group created for fans of Melissa West that have a passion for YA sci-fi and fantasy. Members will receive THE TAKING SERIES related prizes, as well as various opportunities for other YA sci-fi and fantasy novels, giftcards, and other fun giveaways. YA sci-fi and fantasy discussion, recommendations, and etc. are all welcome. If you love sci-fi and fantasy, you will love being a member of The R.E.S. Spies! 

Doesn't this sound fun? So basically, join my group and let's get started talking about books. The only thing I ask is that you help me during release times spread the word. AND if you love a book coming out, we can spread the word on that one too. Fun times.

The membership window is only open through this weekend. If you would like to join pop by the site:!/groups/TheRESspies/. To celebrate the group, I will be doing a drawing of group members and the winner will receive a signed copy of GRAVITY and a signed copy of HOVER.

~ Melissa