Why Do I Put Myself Through This Torture?

Parker J. Cole

Parker J. Cole

As an author, I struggle between the wonder and terror of releasing my child (book) out into the world to be lambasted by eddies of public opinion. Readers have a tendency to either hate your book or love it. There are those who fall in between but the majority of them fall into one or two extremes.

Why do I put myself through this torture? After all, with my first and second books, which have generally been well received, I have dealt with reviews that were downright nasty, personally biased, and hurtful. The first time I received a negative review, I was out of it for four days. I wanted to throw my computer out the window and hitchhike on the highway to a place ‘away from here’. It took four days to recover. Four days of wondering, can I really do this? Why are they so mean to me? My book is good, dang it and who are you…blah, blah, blah.

Yet, here I am again, with my third book, and one has to wonder — why are you doing this? Is it for the money? No. If it was for the money, I would have stopped long ago. For one thing, most authors will not reach the height of stardom like Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, Karen Kingsbury, Ted Dekker, or Frank Peretti. They just won’t. The market is saturated with thousands of books every day — from novellas to short stories, serials and sagas. With such an avalanche of choices, readers can collapse under the onslaught of choices which is why a killer cover is essential, now more than ever.

So no, it’s definitely not for the money. Those of you who follow me know I work full time and pursue my writing career as well.

I put myself through this nail-biting frenzy for one simple reason…I like to tell stories. I used to do it with my siblings as a child and the need hasn’t changed. Even at work, I’ve always had my working novel with me. Like a little kid that hangs on to your leg, my novel wouldn’t leave me. So, when I lost my job back in 2010 and made the decision to publish, this child had grown with me. When I shared that story on my birthday, it was more than just a story. It was a testament to the fact this gift has been with me all along and I let it atrophy for xyz reasons which no longer matter.

Telling stories connects people with each other. An author has a unique ability to build a bridge from one reader to the next.  The bridge is planted in the imagination of the author and established by the imagination of the reader. Connection. Whether through romance, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, non-fiction, poetry, manga, or any other genre, the bridge that connects me to you is only a book away.

I guess that’s why I put myself through this. I love to connect with readers and be connected to writers through the written word. After all’s said and done, there’s nothing like a good book.

My next book coming out is called ‘The Other Man’, which is Book 2 of the Sins of the Flesh series and follows the story of Jacob, Leah, and Vincent. You can probably read the book without having to read the first book ‘Many Strange Women’ but it’s probably better to read them in order. Some authors like to write serial books as both a complete and separate entity but not me. I like to see the common threads interwoven from one book to the next. In fact, if by some chance I pick up a book mid-series, I’ll stop and get the first one. I’m that kind of reader — give it to me from start to finish.

The pre-order link for ‘The Other Man’ is here. On December 16th, it’ll be released and more than likely, I won’t have any nails left. To find out how it all started, get your copy of Many Strange Women, Book 1, by clicking here.

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