I Want To HURT You

            It’s never a good thing to show up to one of your booksignings and see a poster of another author greeting you by the front door.
            This happened to me in Greenville, South Carolina the summer of 2008. I had scheduled a booksigning at a store I’d visited numerous times. I knew the lady who set the signings up well. I didn’t happen to double check with her right before the signing, something I always do. I just didn’t want to bother her.            
            Turns out I probably should have. My aunt dropped me off at the store and seconds after her car left the parking lot, I noticed an Author Booksigning poster. Except the author pictured looked twice my age. And his name wasn’t Travis Thrasher.
            I sighed and then chuckled. Stuff like this usually happens to me.
            After I made sure that I wasn’t signing (and discovering the woman who set it up had left the bookstore a month ago), I politely excused myself feeling like a complete loser. I usually brace for feeling like this during signings, but this was a travesty. Travesty . . . hmmm, that makes me think of a particular author.
            Next door to this bookstore sits a great Mexican restaurant, so I went over there to have some chips and salsa and a margarita. Or ten. As I sat there in the afternoon sun, my mind wandered to the setting of Greenville and then to story ideas.
            This was the place and the moment I came up with the idea for The Solitary Tales.
            I thought it would be fun to do a combination of my first novel (teen love) and one of my latest (horror). So the ideas began to turn around and around. I had my writing notebook with me so I jotted down the idea. Just one of a thousand ideas I’ve had.
            Some ideas stick, however. And this one certainly stayed with me.
            Now, four and a half years later, the final book of that series is officially out. No, this hasn’t turned out to be Twilight or The Hunger Games. But I think these four books are the best thing I’ve done to date. The clearest picture of my true voice and my style. And I’ve created something far bigger and far deeper than I ever could have imagined sitting in the patio of that Mexican restaurant feeling like a real winner.
            After having twenty books in print (and more published as eBook only releases), I know one thing by now. There’s no way I can convince you to buy my latest book. I like to remind people Stephen King gave The Hunger Games a huge endorsement to help give it a nice little push upon publication. Authors can’t convince readers to buy their books. Well, I take that back. When they’re in bookstores, some authors have a knack for convincing strangers to buy books. I’m one of them. When, of course, they actually have me scheduled to do the signing.
            If you’re a fan of YA/teen fiction, then check these books out if you haven’t already. The first book in the series is called Solitary and will be free on all eReaders this Thursday and Friday, January 3 and 4. Download it and read some chapters. Hopefully you’ll find something interesting about the tone and the style and the storyline.
            For those fans of The Solitary Tales, all I can say is I’m just getting warmed up. The story of Solitary has been finished. But a bigger story exists. And I don’t need an afternoon in a Mexican restaurant to figure out the rest of the storyline.
            I’ve had four and a half years to work on it.  

Labels: , , , , ,