Waiting For Daybreak Blog Tour: Author’s Wrap-up!
Wow. It’s hard to believe my first book release blog tour is over. Overall, this was a very wonderful experience, and I learned a lot about running a tour, which I will share with other indie authors in future posts. This post though is about Waiting For Daybreak, my future writing, and the wonderful participating bloggers.
I of course was pleased (and relieved) to see that bloggers mostly enjoyed my first novel. Getting so much feedback and opinions let me see what quips and qualms were personal and what were things to bare in mind for my future books.
So what things did people disagree on? The ending was mostly loved, although a few people thought it was a bit abrupt. The length was deemed just right by some and too short by others. Some people found the level of information about the zombies and amount of horror content just right. Others wanted more. These are all choices that are ultimately up to the author, and I’m still pleased with the choices I made (or rather with the direction Frieda dictated the story to go).
The one universal quip, and which I admit I have always known is a fault of mine, was a desire for stronger setting/world building. Although the world is always 100% clear in my mind, I can sometimes struggle to be sure that it is coming through on the page. I have come up with a few strategies to improve this in future books and appreciate the honest feedback from all the bloggers.
The fact that everyone was so honest means I can trust that the one thing that everyone loved is truly good. That is character building. People loved Frieda, and they loved Snuggles. They found her three-dimensional and well-rounded. Flawed, aggravating sometimes even, but ultimately understandable. A few people even mentioned that they came away with more empathy for people with a mental illness. You guys, this feedback blew me away. My whole concept and point was to create a main character in a genre book with a mental illness as a way to fight stigma and ableism. The fact that this worked on any level at all…. Well. It rocked my world. I hope seeing people talk about relating to Frieda and feeling for her will be an encouragement to people dealing with mental illnesses. Plus, on a writer’s level, it’s just good to know that I can create deeply flawed characters who are still someone readers can root for.
I couldn’t've asked for much more from a blog tour for a debut book. It’s strong, solid feedback for a first novel. I know more clearly what I do well and what to keep a closer eye on in my editing process.
In addition to the feedback, I got to get to know a bunch of book bloggers. I’ve never interviewed an author on my own blog before, and participating in interviews made me see how much fun they can be! They gave me the chance to explain where my idea came from, clarify some aspects of who I am and how I write, and just connect on a more personal level with my readers. It was so much fun! Also having the blogs host giveaways of my book brought it to a broader audience. It was so nice for me to see who chose to enter the giveaways and why. I also greatly appreciated the space for guest posts to talk more about my own perspective of my book. It was all-in-all a very positive experience for me.
One thing that came up repeatedly during the tour was people wondering precisely what mental illness Frieda has. I honestly didn’t realize people would be so curious about this! I’ve added an author’s note explaining her mental illness to the ebook versions (although I couldn’t add a note on to the print version). I will reproduce it here now so those with review copies, giveaway copies, or the print book can satisfy their curiosity.
Frieda has Borderline Personality Disorder, commonly known as BPD. The Diagnostic Statistical Manual IV-TR, which psychiatrists use in diagnosing mental illnesses, requires that a person exhibit at least five of the nine symptoms associated with BPD. Frieda has all except for number one.
The diagnostic criteria are:
“(1) frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.
(2) a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation
(3) identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self
(4) impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.
(5) recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
(6) affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
(7) chronic feelings of emptiness
(8) inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
(9) transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms”
MICHAEL B. FIRST, M.D., ed. 2000. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 4th Ed. (DSM-IV-TR™, 2000). Washington, DC. American Psychiatric Association. ISBN 0-89042-024-6, ISBN 0-89042-025-4. STAT!Ref Online Electronic Medical Library. http://online.statref.com/document.aspx?fxid=37&docid=314. 8/30/2012 12:18:14 PM CDT (UTC -05:00).
For more information on BPD, please see the DSM-IV-TR cited above.
There were two other things everyone wanted to know. 1) will there be a sequel? and 2) what am I currently working on?
I didn’t write Waiting For Daybreak with the intention of it being the start of a series. But. A few weeks after finishing it, the germ of an idea jumped into my head. I believe that Frieda’s story is not complete. There are still many questions, primarily about her family, but also about what she will do with winter coming on. I do intend to write a sequel addressing these questions. However, it will require a bit of a road trip or two for research, so it won’t be coming out for at least two years. It also has to wait for me to finish my current work in progress.
My current work in progress is a dark fantasy. It is set in the Lovecraft universe and follows four siblings fifteen years after the Dark Ones have taken over Boston. It will examine many themes, but the primary ones will be sibling relationships and what makes family family. Each of the siblings will take turns expressing themselves, and I’m very excited about the opportunity to get into four very different minds. I’ve had a love for Cthulhu for a long time, so I am truly enjoying getting to bury myself in this world.
I think that’s about it for my wrap-up, except for the all-important huge THANK YOU to every single participating blogger!!! Thank you for being willing to accept indie books in general and mine in particular. Thank you for your honesty in reviewing and positivity in hosting guest posts, interviews, and giveaways. Thank you for helping my writing to reach a broader audience. Thank you for everything you did to help make my first blog tour and novel release a success! There wouldn’t even have been a blog tour without you all, and I look forward to hopefully working with you all again in the future.
Note: If you would like to see the reviews, interviews, and guest posts, please check out the blog tour and reviews page. It will remain up and be updated with new reviews as they show up, even though the tour is now over. If you are interested in more of my writing, please check out my publications page. Thanks!
This work by Amanda McNeil is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
--Listening To Dust by Brandon Shire, location 1726
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