Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Second Book Blues

See http://theliteraryproject.blogspot.com/ March 19 interview
The rollercoaster ride I've been on since I started writing three years ago doesn't seem to have slowed down with my second book. If anything, the pressure has increased. One difference is that I can no longer hide behind the excuse of being a novice. My latest reviewer on amazon wrote, very kindly, about CUT SHORT: "For a first book this is excellent. A well deserved five stars." Having lulled me into smug security at yet another great review, he added, "Of course the expectation will be much higher with book two." No pressure there, then!
I won't pretend my ego isn't concerned about how ROAD CLOSED is going to be received. (Like anyone would believe me if I did!) But I am also genuinely concerned that I have somehow gained a small but loyal following. Only today I saw CUT SHORT by LEIGH RUSSELL listed on a blog as one of that lovely blogger's four favourite books. To a new little writer like me, that's huge! CUT SHORT was listed by a Eurocrime reviewers as a Top Read of 2009. I could go on, but I don't want to sound smug when really I'm feeling concerned. Because a lot of readers enjoyed CUT SHORT and, as the reviewer on amazon pointed out, "expectation will be much higher with book two." And all I can think of writing in response to that is, "Oh heck!" I'm going to have to better than that, I hear you think.

Well, I'm confident that ROAD CLOSED (published this June) will be a lot more interesting than "Oh heck," but whether it will be enough of an improvement on CUT SHORT to satisfy my fans, remains to be seen. I hope I don't disappoint anyone. I actually rather like ROAD CLOSED. I certainly enjoyed writing it so I hope other people will enjoy reading it.

I'm very glad I have a third book in the pipeline so once ROAD CLOSED is published, I'll have something else to think about!

20 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

yes, keep focusing ahead and then you don't have too much time to worry about the present. Congrats on all the good press and support for the first one.

Leigh Russell said...

Thanks, Charles. It's an exciting journey, but I'm never quite sure what's round the next corner... and
congratulations on your new book!

HelenMHunt said...

It must be a huge rollercoaster for you. But the fact that you still like it is a really good sign!

Pat said...

What Charles said.
Maybe it's as well I'm a one book gal;)

Leigh Russell said...

Love it, Helen! Support really helps - thank you.

Leigh Russell said...

Hey Pat - I hope that doesn't apply to your reading as well. I'm hoping you'll like ROAD CLOSED too! I'm feeling very cautiously pleased with it...

Barbara Martin said...

Good press is wonderful to have, and I'm certain Road Closed will do famously once released.

Leigh Russell said...

I'll be hoping for another review, Barbara!

Jen Brubacher said...

I'm really looking forward to the new book! I understand your anxiousness but I think it'll be great. And I've mentioned the first to my reading group in the hopes we adopt it as a book for some month.

Debs said...

I love the cover and I can't wait to read Road Closed. I'm sure it's going to be a fab read.

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Jen - that would be great. I'd be happy to come along and hear what you all think about it, if you decide to read CUT SHORT.

Leigh Russell said...

Fingers crossed, Debs!

Val said...

Don't look back, look forward and enjoy!

Leigh Russell said...

I look forward and see a bend in the path... onwards I go and look forward and see a bend in the path.... onwards I go and (return to beginning of comment)

Yes, that's me, going round in circles, Val!

TomCat said...

I trust that your worries shall be for naught.

Jilly said...

It'll be fine, I'm sure. There are always going to be people who criticse - that's the way of the world. Looking forward to reading 'Road Closed'

Leigh Russell said...

Thanks, Tom Cat. I'm not sure how to visit you on your new set up so hope you read this. Your expression's looking a bit fierce these days - or are you yawning?

Leigh Russell said...

Jilly - I welcome criticism where I feel it's justified and constructive. Of course, I prefer to receive it from my reader or my editor before the book is printed and 'out there' - but I am open to helpful comments from any quarter. How else am I going to develop as a writer?
Criticism that I feel is unfair I would regard as a reflection on the critic, rather than my writing.
But for preference, I'll take praise any day!

JJ Beattie said...

Leigh, I have a picture of Cut Short in situ in the Bangkok bookshop; if you'd like a copy I'd be happy to send it. Should I use the email address on your profile? Or do you want to email me a different one? I'm at 4pmteatime (@) gmail (dot) com. JJ

Leigh Russell said...

Thank you, JJ. I'm looking forward to posting a photo of CUT SHORT in Bangkok on my blog. How exciting!
I notice you have E M Forster's THE MACHINE STOPS on your reading list. It's a sobering message for us all - hopefully the ending isn't prescient... I won't say any more as I don't want to spoil it if you haven't read it yet.