I’m taking ten minutes away from book 2 in the Captured series to touch base with you.
I can’t possibly describe how amazing it feels when I know someone loves If Only. I’m stunned by the number of purchases so far, and I’m blown away by the positive responses it's been receiving. There are many more lovers than loathers, and this is exactly what I hoped for. I’ve literally had the shakes when reading some of your Goodreads reviews. Even simple lines like ‘I loved it!’ have pleased and overwhelmed me. I seriously underestimated the impact of Joe and Callie and their journey. I didn’t expect, even though I hoped, that readers would experience the intense emotions of this story. I rode the roller coaster that is If Only every single time I read the book and let me tell you, I’ve read it a billion times. I’ve read it so many times I got to the point of having to force myself to keep reading it, and even then, I still FELT EVERYTHING, EVERY SINGLE TIME. Even with that, I didn’t for one second imagine you would feel the way you have and to such a degree. Sorry if I frustrated you – that wasn’t ever intended. I never sat there thinking, how can I frustrate readers and have them pissed? I swear. I wrote the story Joe and Callie showed me. But it must mean you care, right? I’m so happy that I’ve been capable of creating something that evokes so much emotion – this was my BIGGEST GOAL from the moment I typed my first word. I wanted to make you FEEL. I wanted you to care about Joe and Callie. I wanted you to hurt for them when they hurt. I wanted you to laugh at times (I hope it worked for you, it did for me). I wanted you to enjoy an awesome group of friends and witness their amazing bond – I wish I were part of that group. I didn’t even expect readers to crush on Joe as much as I do. WRONG again. I can’t tell you how excited I am by all the Joe lovers. For me, he is the pinnacle of hotness and awesomeness and wonderfulness... Gushing right now! And Callie – I adore her, she’s everything I’d want to be if I wasn’t me. It means so much when I know others like her, too.
Though it’s still very early days, and naturally I want many, many, many more people to experience If Only, and ALL of the characters, I’m beyond happy with how things have started out. Joe and Callie came into my life 2 years ago this very month, and I fell for them immediately. I’ve had them with me in some form every day since then. Their story itself came together within a few months, but that was the straightforward part. The real work truly started when I had a rough first draft. That’s when the shitty stuff is obvious, as well as the parts that work well, and any contradictions and blah, blah, blah. Based on my current experience and writing skills, I gave If Only everything I possibly could.
I miss being in Joe and Callie’s heads and I look forward to spending time with them in that way again, but there are other stories in the series that need to come before their next chapters can fall into place. I do dip into their heads every now and then, I can’t help myself. And I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with Joe from Dane’s POV for book 2.
Publishing If Only and putting myself out there as this author person is without a doubt the hardest, scariest, and most amazing thing I’ve ever done. I’ve been on my own emotional roller coaster these past few months. The highs are beyond words and they come from YOU and your wonderful responses. The lows hit when this thing called confidence decides to take a nosedive; it's amazing how even with all the great responses, just a few not so great reactions can impact you - even with the understanding that reading is subjective. Taking inspiration from Callie, I have my own 'secret folder' of great reviews that reminds me most people love If Only.
So as I return to Dane, who has me gushing at the mere mention of his name, and Brooklyn, who’s also gushing at the mere mention of his name, I leave you with a truly heartfelt thank you for the fabulous ratings, reviews, the messages you’ve taken the time to send, and the following/friend requests on Goodreads. I appreciate you entirely :))) x