My first experience with piracy, thus far. (Part Two)

I’m sitting here a few days after the fact still trying to process this. (If you’re just stopping by and don’t have a clue what I’m talking about – or what I will be talking about – you can read my previous post here.) I’ve gone through a pretty wide range of emotions since learning that Reave is being pirated, everything from outright fury to something I can only describe as down. Since putting word out there that this has happened, I’ve realized . . . it happens A LOT more than one would think. I’m not the sort of person that rationalizes bad things happening by saying, “This happens, and that makes it okay.”

I feel worse. It’s, “This happens way too much and it’s so far from okay.”

When most people are sick, they don’t wish for other people to get sick. (Unless you’re the sort of person that laughs maniacally for getting sick-germs all over a person’s face.) Most people don’t wish that.

How I’m feeling a few days after the fact is: Why does this have to happen? Why do we, as people, have to completely disregard others? Just . . . why? (I could also ask, ‘Why are you insisting on sneezing your sick-germs on my face?’)

We aren’t all like that, and I really would still like to believe that most people – when given the choice – will do the right thing. But there’s all this stuff going on everywhere, all this crazy, absolutely horrible stuff with people disregarding the person standing next to them. Worse, people blindly hating the person standing next to them. And for what? Because they’re different? How are we as a culture not past this by now?

I have my opinions on all that, those questions (and more). I have a lot of opinions, and I pretty much always keep mine to myself. I only share my opinions with a few select people who I know can and will respect them or won’t think differently of me because of them.

I don’t ever get opiniony (non-word) on my blog. I talk about work on my blog. But my work getting essentially stolen from me (still having a hard time grasping that) makes this work-related. Roundabout.

My husband started a new job recently. (That’s the adjustment mentioned several entries ago.) He has to deal with people at this new job. Now, my husband is great with people. He’s seriously the nicest person ever. (Not to mention that he’s extremely nice to look at along with that. It’s a conundrum, I know.) He’s so level-headed and relaxed about everything. (I have no idea how he can tolerate me.) Some of the stuff I’ve listened to him say when coming home is . . . . . . . . Well, it doesn’t give me much hope for the future of the human race, I’ll say that.

So I’ve been hearing that. I’ve been walking past when the TV is on the news (which I’ve always tried to avoid due to it inevitably making me unbearably sad). Then I had this happen to me, with the piracy. So there are quite a few pieces of straw on the camel’s back, if you will.

I’m so . . . disappointed.

To me, there’s a major difference between downloading a free book and being the one who steals someone’s work to make it available for those people to download. There’s a difference in that and being the facilitator (site).

There’s a difference between being the stander-by while your friend is pulling their pants down in front of kids (WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!) and being the one who’s doing it. There’s a difference between that and being the person who *tries* to physically assault someone for just doing their job because you decided to be an ass. (Is that literal enough?) (And by the way? *TRYING to physically assault veterans? Yeah . . . probably not the brightest idea ever.) (Can I ask . . . Who is raising these people to be this way?)

I’m not even going to get into what’s going on in the WORLD. But really?

WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

I usually write about this sort of stuff in my books – not these acts, thank god, but human nature. As much as I try to keep my distance from people (DO I NEED TO SAY WHY?), human nature is and will always be nothing short of fascinating to me. But let me tell ya . . . I would so much rather write about it.

Needless to say, I’m having a pretty difficult time trying to find the motivation to interact. I really just want to go into hermit-mode until I’m feeling better. I’m just really down right now, to be honest, and I really don’t like interacting when I’m down. That’s more so because I don’t like putting my stuff on other people than a legitimate desire to be away. If I’m down, I don’t want to drag anyone else there with me because that’s not right. And I always worry that if I try interacting while in that sort of mood, someone will be able to tell and might potentially feel bad right along with me. (Even if it’s just for the minute or two they might be reading whatever.)

I’m also sort of struggling with trying to get book 1 of the trilogy ready for release. I was super excited about it, and for right now? Yeah, kind of hard finding the usual energy in the tank for that.

With as much as I’ve heard this happens after telling about it happening to me, I’m wondering why I haven’t heard more about it. Like I’ve said, I’m extremely hesitant to say much of anything on here (about anything), so I’m wondering if that’s it. Nobody wants to make people angry or whatever. And I know there are the people out there who don’t care. (Exposure is exposure?) Or maybe I’m just missing posts about it. That’s possible. I’m pretty bad about that.

But you know, it’s not strictly the feeling of violation I’m going through. I’m worried. What if this illegal copy of my book has somehow been altered? What if it was messed with, these people download it, and it absolutely ruins my reputation? Is that reaching? Maybe. Do I think it’s a legitimate concern? Yes. There’s no way I could know as much because I’m not putting a virus on my computer (WITH ALL MY WORK ON IT) to find out. It’s possible, isn’t it?

It’s so scary thinking that you can put so much work into something and have it all ruined in an instant. It’s terrifying. That’s why I won’t give out information on upcoming books. I don’t want my ideas stolen. And apparently everything is fair game, right? Someone puts in all the effort and someone else messes it up? Right.

Human nature. *sigh*

I’ve warred with myself on posting this, and I’ll admit I warred with myself on leaving the initial post up. Nobody seems to be talking much about this out in the open, so is it taboo or something? But it’s like I said up top. I don’t believe that something happening or being ‘normal’ makes it okay. And I’m sorry (not sorry), but I’m just not okay with this sort of garbage happening.

We should have the right to say where our work goes and how it goes there. If we want our books to be free? They should be free. If we don’t want them free? They shouldn’t be available for free. (And again, I WILL GIVE OUT FREE E-BOOK COPIES.) That’s not wrong, and it’s not difficult.

I’m not angry at the people who downloaded it. I’m angry at whoever made it available. But ah, the joys of being separated by computer screens. Right?

Anyway. I don’t know what I’m going to do as of now. I might bury myself in writing. I might not. I really want to, just to sort of get my headspace readjusted. So if it takes me a while to get back with anyone, please don’t be upset with me. I’m trying to work through this. And to any/everyone else this has happened to? I am so sorry. I am genuinely sorry that anyone has had and will have to go through this. I wouldn’t wish this feeling or experience on anyone. We all work so hard.

I think we should all learn to cover our mouths when coughing/sneezing. Just saying.

 

(I had to go back into the previous post to clear one thing up where I was talking about my email address and spam. I just wanted to make sure I was being clear about it to ensure it wasn’t taken the wrong way.)

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My first experience with piracy, thus far.

I’m trying to process my feelings right now, and I’ll admit . . . I’m struggling with it. I’m also trying to figure out whether it’s ironic that only yesterday I read an article about someone’s opinions on the piracy of books and thought, ‘Hey, chick. I’m totally in agreement with you on this.’ Then I disregarded it (mentally) and moved on. (I’d link to the post if I still had it up or remembered whose site I read it on.)

So yeah, if you haven’t guessed by the title of this post, Reave is being pirated. Every so often I do searches for it and I’ve never found anything like this. I altered the search slightly today and that popped right up.

I’m . . . upset. I try to keep my opinions to myself, especially with issues that are bound to get someone all riled up about something or other (which is pretty much anything), but yeah, I’m not going to do that right now. I am genuinely upset, and I’m going to explain why. When I explain why, it’s going to sound rather similar to what I read yesterday. It probably won’t sound as great because I’ll admit that my hands are shaking and being as upset as I am right now is like sticking a screwdriver in the cogs of my brain.

I could get into a massive spiel about how I have not yet made back the money I spent to release one book, let alone both of them. I could get into that. I could get into how unbelievably difficult it is to do this financially, and do it in the way that I feel is right (which is by not putting out crap, which takes a significant amount of money that is not easy to come by). Believe you me, I could get into that thoroughly. I could get into how unbelievably frustrating it is to have all these books essentially waiting to be released, and to be unable to do so DUE TO FINANCES. Let me tell you that one of the most amazing feelings in the world is when someone enjoyed one of your books and wants to read the next one badly enough that they ask you about it. What’s NOT so great is having to say, “I’m sorry. I don’t know when I can get that next one out. I’m trying as hard as I can.”

Yeah. I could get into that. Past what I’ve said just now? I’m not going to.

What I AM going to get into is this:

Did you know I’ll give out free e-books of Reave? Yeah, I’ll do that. I’ll give out free e-books in exchange for a review. Send me a message on GoodReads. Send me a message on Facebook. Send me an email. Comment on my blog. Believe me, I’d be more than happy for you to contact me directly and express genuine interest in my book, then I’ll send it to you so you can read it. You get a free e-book. I potentially get more exposure (which IS most important to me). You leave a review, and other people who might’ve been on the fence about my book(s) might be able to decide one way or another. You might love my book and tell all your friends and family about it. You might love my book and tell me, which is seriously one of the most fantastic things ever. When you’re struggling to follow your dreams and start your career? Yeah, hearing that helps. It keeps you fighting through all the struggles. It gives you validation for what you’re doing, and when you’re constantly struggling to feel like you’re good enough to do what you’re doing? You have no idea how much the one sentence of ‘I loved your book’ can do.

It can do a lot.

I actually wrote up a post about two weeks ago to tell everyone that I had every intention of taking Reave off Smashwords in order to enroll it in Select (on Amazon) SO THAT I COULD DO THE PROMOS TO MAKE IT FREE FOR CERTAIN DAYS. I didn’t end up posting it due to that adjustment I wrote about last week. I was thinking I’d wait a little while. I just got the first book in the trilogy back from the first beta-reader and I needed to get that ready to send off to the next. So I just needed a bit of time to fit it in.

Let me assure you that exposure has been my biggest goal from the get-go with this. I get it, people. I’m a new author. If you haven’t read my books, you might be hesitant to spend the money and take a chance on me. There’s a stigma with self-publishing and you know what? That stigma with self-publishing is often justified. How do you know if I had a professional editor? How do you know whether my book is going to be riddled with errors? YOU DON’T, AND I GET IT. Let me just add here that I did not self-publish due to an inability to land an agentI self-published so that I could keep all rights to my work, and to ensure that what was put out was what I wanted put out. Full stop.

But I’ve seen some self-published books that make me want to pull my hair out. I have. So please believe me when I say that I get it.

My willingness to give away free copies of my book is not because I think it isn’t worth being paid for. It’s because I understand. It’s also because I have the faith that my work can stand on its own feet. Given that I have QUITE A FEW BOOKS to release, I’m more than happy to throw one of them out there. Sure, some people will hate it. That’s inevitable because not everyone likes the same stuff. That’s just preference. But the thing is? If I give out a free copy of Reave, someone might love it. Someone might love it enough that they’ll want to read every book I put out. It’s insane to me, but it’s happened so I know it can happen. Am I losing there by giving out a free book? No, I don’t believe so.

So you might be wondering why this upsets me at all, right? If exposure is most important, if the readers are what matter, why would this upset me?

I’ve put literal blood (cut my hand open on a binder while editing), literal sweat (I write in a shed and an AC in the summer out here doesn’t work as well as one would hope, and that’s not even getting into what it’s like in the winter), and literal tears (I cry while writing/editing quite often) into my work. Just like so many other authors out there. I’ve worked my ass off for years now trying to fortify the foundation of something before starting to build it. My workaholic tendencies (if it/they could be called ‘tendencies’) have damaged more than one relationship in my life. What I’m saying is: The work is most important to me. I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile here, and the goal is to potentially make some sort of difference. I can’t accomplish that if I’m not focused on the work.

So seeing my work on some seedy, backwoods channel that set off the antivirus on my computer? Equate that to seeing your daughter standing on street corner doing I’m sure you can guess what. My books are like children to me. They are, and the street corner thing is how I’m feeling right now. (Along with feeling like there’s a line of people with their middle finger up in the air in my direction sounding off a chorus of, “F*** you, C.”)

Disregarding the ratio of pirated copies to legitimately bought copies . . . All you people who downloaded it?

Yeah, you could’ve just asked me for a copy. Just saying.

And so there’s no confusion?

Here is my Facebook account: C. Miller on Facebook

Here is my GoodReads account: C. Miller on GoodReads

Here is my email address: Email Address (Yes, that is a photo of my email address. Clicking on it will not send me an email. Call me crazy, but I’m just really not feeling like dealing with spam today.)

 

Here’s to hoping I can get this taken down swiftly and that any free copies of my work given out will be my choice, as it should be.

(Yes, I know this sort of thing happens. Knowing it happens does not make my feelings on it happening to me irrational or invalid in any way.)

** I’m coming back to this a bit after the fact to add a few things. (Along with taking out one somewhat passive-aggressive remark.) Some of the anger (and similar emotions) . . . it’s worn off a little. Now I’m mostly upset, like legitimately sad/down-upset. Here are the things I want to add:

  • Please, people, respect the hard work of authors and other artists. Some people put their work up for free on sites, or do free promos, or give out free copies. Some people don’t ever do any of that. Please respect their wishes for their work, whatever those wishes may be. I like to think that most people wouldn’t walk into a store and take something simply because they want it. This is the exact same thing. If someone doesn’t want to give out a free product, that is their decision.
  • This is a smidgen bigger than I initially thought. I’m still trying to figure it all out. Doesn’t help that my antivirus keeps getting set off. But I don’t have a clue what any of this stuff is or anything about any of the sites. Working on it.
  • I’m kind of internally warring with myself on this. (Though don’t get me wrong, that sucker is coming down off the sites if it’s the last thing I do. Because I did not put it there.) I guess some people wanted to read my book, right? And that’s good. It really is good, yeah. And you know what? If this was actually impacting anything in a positive way? I just might have left it where it was despite how gross I feel about it. (Not saying I would, only that I would’ve thought about it.) But the truth is that it isn’t. There hasn’t been an influx of reviews or ratings anywhere. There hasn’t been an influx of sales. I’d be totally happy with ratings/reviews (even a sentence, if that’s all someone had to say) and a bit of word of mouth. So if anyone who downloaded a copy of my book off some random site I didn’t put it on is actually reading this? I genuinely hope you enjoyed it. I do. If you did? Tell your friends/family. When/if you do so, it would be super great if you could direct them to one of the legal avenues of obtaining my book. If you seriously cannot afford to spend the $2.99 (less than an order at Starbucks, just saying) to obtain my book legally? LET ME KNOW.
  • I feel like I have a lot more I could say, but I’m seriously just upset and can’t decide if I want to go inside and get away from all this or bury myself in writing and get away from all this.

(Coming back WELL after the fact to clear one thing up. Looking back at this post now and seeing the bit where I give out my email, I’m realizing that could potentially be taken the wrong way. I wasn’t saying that I don’t want to get emails from actual PEOPLE. I was talking about ACTUAL spam, which is much more likely to happen by just typing my email address out. Just wanted to be clear.)

Video Q&A

Yes, you read the subject correctly.

I had an idea several weeks ago about doing just that (a video Q&A). Knowing my anxiety (it’s like a real person to me, watching over my shoulder), my first thought after the idea struck was, ‘Yeah, that’s a good idea.’ (Please imagine that being thought in a sarcastic inner voice.)

I mulled it over (cue Harry Potter thought path . . . moving on . . .) for a while. After doing as much (and talking to Husband about it and hearing his opinion), I tossed the idea out there to a couple friends. Most said, “DO IT!”

(All but one really said as much, and admittedly that friend is freakily similar to me in a lot of ways so I can definitely understand her saying she didn’t know.)

I have my obvious issues with it:

1) That I will make an ass out of myself.

2) That words worse than ass might slip out of my mouth on accident. (I frequently use ‘bad’ language, but only when I feel it’s ‘appropriate’ to do so. I try not to use those words on here because I consider this something along the lines of being ‘out in public,’ where my ‘bad language’ is all used in my head. (That’s the way I was raised.) Hence me starring things out (for the most part) when I either feel like I can’t or don’t want to get around using a particular word.)

3) I write much better than I speak. (Hence me being a writer and not a public speaker. Or public ANYTHING.) Do I really want everyone to hear this stammering I occasionally post about on here? Not particularly. Do I want anyone to hear ummm come out of my mouth about fifty times? No, but it most assuredly would happen. (Not to mention that I make absolutely HORRENDOUS faces while I talk. I really do.)

4) Do I really want to send myself into all the anxiety attacks this would surely induce for absolutely nobody to even watch it? No.

There are the good sides to it:

1) As much as I prefer writing to speaking, obviously you can get more out faster with the latter.

2) I would really like to hear any questions people might potentially have for me, and then answer them.

3) As hesitant as I am about literally putting a face to the name, I don’t really think it would be a bad idea to essentially say, ‘Hey, here I am.’ (Then follow it up afterward with, ‘I bet you can see why I sit alone and write books now, huh?’ 😉 )

4) Even if it might stress me out, it might actually be fun.

I do video diaries for myself to keep up with things going on in my life (because I have a horrible memory), and I’m sure doing a video Q&A then sharing it with everyone would let people see that the way I go about writing on here is very much how I am in real-

SQUIRREL.

(All the parenthetical asides in posts/comments/messages is how my mind works when I’m not writing books. Really. I am a mess. ha)

Anyway, I didn’t want to make an ass out of myself with even asking if it wouldn’t be something people were actually interested in seeing. (Who would want to watch me ramble?) But better to ask than not because someone out there might have something they’d really like to ask me. Who knows?

 

SO! If anyone is interested in this (the rambling/stammering/etc./etc./etc.), please let me know. Feel free to start asking questions. I don’t really care what sort of questions they are, to be honest. They can be work-related. (About characters/writing/publishing/etc.) They can be ridiculous and have nothing to do with anything. (Why do I love Merlin so much? What’s my gamerscore on XBox? I’m kind of proud of that last one. Just saying.) I don’t mind.

I only have ONE stipulation with this though. Just one.

If any of the questions contain spoilers for either of the books I have out, please ask me those questions privately. I will try to find a way to answer them in the video regardless because I’m pretty used to being careful with how I word talk of these books. If I can’t do as much but feel I can answer your question privately, I will do as much.

Anyway, feel free to comment on here or Facebook. If you would rather ask the question privately (either for the reason mentioned above or because you don’t want me to use your [first] name in the video), you can do so by messaging me on either my Facebook page or GoodReads. (Also feel free to add me as a friend on there if you’d like while you’re at it.) Or you can shoot me an email at cmillauthor (at) gmail (dot) com.

If there aren’t enough questions asked to warrant doing this, I WILL answer the questions asked via whatever means you contacted me.

One more thing:

I will not give away any spoilers. Not for any of the books, whether released yet or not.

HAVE A GOOD DAY, ALL!

(Please excuse me while I mentally go hide under a rock.)

Reviews (Thank You)

This is an extra post onto my weekly schedule, which I’m proud to say I’ve both accomplished and done completely on time for an entire week. I thought about waiting until Monday to write this up, but I already have a subject to discuss on Monday (shocking, I know), and this is fresh now. Extra is good, right? So is writing about something you feel the need to write about, when you feel the need to write about it. And I need to write about this now. Forgive the length in advance. It’s important.

I woke up this evening (yesterday, technically) to find another review for Reave up on Amazon. I was half-asleep and looking at it on my phone, so I had a moment of, “Does that say eleven now?”

It said eleven.

I read the newest one and did something similar to what I always do, which is shake my head a bit and sit (or lay) there in this state of disbelief.

I should say here that I have faith in my work. Not so much in myself. I’m self-deprecating by nature, and compliments pretty much roll right off my back if they’re related to me. That’s a subject for another post, but I feel it’s important for me to clarify the difference between anything negative I say having to do with me as a person, opposed to my work. It’s difficult to get the difference across when you’re saying the sort of stuff I do. So when I say, “My writing is crap,” (usually another word), I don’t mean that I feel my work is crap. I mean that I wish I could do better. It keeps me striving to do better. I always want to feel that.

Even though I have the utmost faith in my work (but I will add here that this series was difficult to set up with that first book, opposed to others I’ve written, due to circumstances in it and a limit of . . . well, everything), the positive feedback . . . it’s baffling.

I nitpick, and stuff still slips through. I nitpick and overlook things because I’m looking too closely at something else. There are some things technically wrong with that book that make me want to punch myself in the face. But . . . people are enjoying it anyway. And that is the point.

The mindset I have when writing stories has always and WILL always be characters first. I focus on characters first, story second (because they put in place themselves), writing third. So I’ll be totally honest and admit that I expected to get my first one-star review right off the bat. I expected some person to do what I do and tear that thing apart. It’ll happen one day, but today is apparently not that day. (If you’re hearing Aragorn shouting, “BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY!” in your head right now, we have something in common.)

That first bad review is going to sting. I’m sure it will. I’ve heard that my self-deprecation can be very off-putting, so unless we’re talking in person (where I have essentially zero control over what comes out), you won’t know what my response will be when my writing gets torn apart. I’m not going to write it down on here. If you know me at all, I’m sure you could take a guess at it.

But bad reviews will never take away the feeling of a good one, not for me. It could be the worst review in the entire world, and it wouldn’t take the others away.

My biggest fear with it (it being Reave here) was that people wouldn’t get it. I worried people wouldn’t (or COULDN’T) relate to Aster. I worried some of the subjects would put people off. I worried things would be misinterpreted. I worried people would think it was too slow, or that it lacked ‘explosions’ (everybody loves explosions). I worried people wouldn’t be able to stand the writing style. I worried nobody would be able to make it past the first page. I worried and worried and worried about so many things (it’s what I do).

PEOPLE ARE ENJOYING IT.

So . . . this entry right here is for me to thank any and everyone who has spoken to me about my book, or left me a review. Waking up and finding a new one where someone says they couldn’t put my book down, or that Aster is an achievement as a heroine, that the characters were well-developed, that they were attached to it in some way, or rooting for Aster, or saying the only bad thing is that it ended and they can’t wait for the next.

Can’t wait for the next . . .

I’m shaking my head again.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately, not knowing how to ‘get it out there’ with this freaking debilitating anxiety I have. I’ve done a lot of struggling with a lot of things that run along those lines lately, and different ones that all lead back to the same issues: My ability or lack thereof. My faith in myself.

Before I published, I was constantly asking myself why I ever thought I could do this. After I published, it was more, ‘Can I do this well enough?’

So thank you, from the absolute bottom of my heart, to anyone who has taken some of their time to say one good word about my book, either to me or anyone you think might enjoy it, or in a review. Reviews (along with word of mouth) are the lifeblood of an author. They’re what point out to potential readers the good and bad things about whatever book they’re contemplating picking up. They can make all the difference in the world in that regard. But what you reviewers might not realize you’re doing in writing just a couple sentences is giving an author a little bit of faith in themselves, and a lot of validation in what they’re doing.

I don’t know most of you to thank you in person, and trust me when I say it wouldn’t come out right if I could (along with the fact that I might possibly be tearing up a bit as I write this).

I’ve spent the last several years of my life holed away, writing, and hoping that I would finally get to the point where I thought I was good enough for this. 99 people out of 100 could hate my work, but if that one person loved it? I would keep releasing books, just for the one.

I really can’t thank any of you enough for making me feel like I might be good enough to do what I love. You’ll never hear me say my writing is good. I’ve said many times that I’ll claim passable on a good day. But it’s good enough for somebody out there, and that’s more than enough for me.

I just have to make the connection that it equates to me being good enough, and I’m getting there, thanks to you.

(And for all of you who are looking forward to the second, I promise I’ll have it out as soon as I have the funds to cover it. It’ll be a bit, which is good because it’s currently in the hands of one of my best friends [who is pretty much the most spectacular beta-reader in the world, along with being one of the most spectacular people in the world]. But I’m hoping to get it out for you all soon.)

I am a mess.

I lost the file where I had the list of topics to cover on here before Reave goes live in a couple of days (Wednesday, *fingers crossed*). By lost, I mean I didn’t save it (I was sure I did, I remember typing in the save name and everything…), meaning it’s lack of existence in the world is as much my fault as the fact that I can’t remember what was on the list. It might be somewhere on my computer, but if it is, I can’t find it. Lost. I typed up another entry several days ago and didn’t post it for whatever reason(s), and I don’t believe I’ll do so now because there’s another topic that seems more pressing. The title says it all, I believe.

I’ve been dealing with some major things the past several months (we all have those times), and the ‘book’ aspect(s) of the struggles have been the easiest to say. After all, “I’m freaking out about my book,” IS easier than, “I’m having some significant problems right now, but I’d rather keep them all to myself so please don’t ask me what they are.” The usual response is something like (pardon my language), “The book isn’t sh**.” (If that tells you what usually comes out of my mouth and maybe how hard I am on myself in general, also maybe that I have a potty mouth [I do]…) But things obviously go a lot deeper than that.

The past few months have been……..very difficult. I feel like I’m walking an extremely fine line right now, trying to keep this a certain way. Book things are usually what I talk about here (and blogging about not blogging), but book things aren’t my entire life right now. I would rather play all of this off as ‘I’m nervous that people won’t like it,’ but I don’t really feel that’s fair to myself. Clearly I want people to like it, but I understand that not everybody will and I’ve understood that from the get-go. I’d be happy if one person did, and more than one person already does, so in a sense…I’m kind of content. (More people reading and liking it would be awesome, but I’m still surprised by one.)

As difficult as the past few months have been, they’ve also been beneficial, in some ways. I’ve had to do a lot of self-evaluation, a lot of questioning, a lot of realignment. I’ve had to ask myself some very difficult questions and came up with a lot of answers that I really didn’t care for. It’s easy – sitting in a shed by yourself, writing your life away. Then you wake up one day and realize that so many things have changed around you and you have to try and figure out where you actually are. Three years. I’ve had to catch up with three years. And I’m having….a very difficult time. I’m having a difficult time coming to terms with the fact that… have changed. Easy not to know as much when you don’t focus on yourself, or would most of the time rather ignore your own existence in the world.

So I’m kind of looking at it as waking up one day and discovering that the entire world is different, and you’re stuck having to catch up, to find some place where you can fit. The old place where you fit….it isn’t there anymore.

In the past several months, I’ve hit some majorly low points. Hence the neglection of the blog/social stuff in general. A lot of the time when I disappear for a week or so, it’s because I have too much going on in my head to interact with people. I have extremely bad anxiety, and almost every time I interact with anyone, I get stressed out (even if it’s a pleasant interaction). Not to mention that I’ve generally been run ragged, between being sick with that cold-from-hell that is still making me cough, book stuff, and personal life matters (chicken with no head). Just….ragged. I’m sure everyone knows how effing difficult it can be to do what you feel you need to do – or even what you want to do – when you feel like you have absolutely nothing left. That’s where I’ve been. I’ll admit that.

Saturday was a new low for me. I was unfortunately not alone at that point, so my sister got an earful of things I wish I’d kept to myself or put down on my keyboard (though the keyboard could PROBABLY use a break…). It’s startlingly difficult for me right now – interacting with almost anyone. At dinner today, my mamaw asked me, “Are you excited?”

There are some things I’m excited about. I’m excited because I know someone out there will enjoy my book, and that’s what it’s all about. And, if you read it and do, please feel welcome to tell me. (PLEASE.)  I can’t tell you how much I would love to hear that. But it’s hard for me to throw it out there, especially right now when it feels like the ground I’m standing on is so unstable.

Of course it’s scary, of course I’m nervous, of course I’m stressed. And, of course, yes, part of me is excited. I’m just trying to accept some things that I’ve been ignoring for a very long time.

I am a person. I have a life outside of writing books. Or…I should have one.

I know I’m not the only person out there (far from it) that would rather keep their personal business to themselves, especially in a world where half the people in it want to be (pardon my language again) assholes, just because they can. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from being on here, it’s that almost everyone is extremely……awesome. And there are some people on here that I might call ‘blogging buddies’ but would actually consider something closer to friends. I’m kind of a bad friend when I isolate myself, and a bit of isolation has been … necessary for me lately. I apologize for that, sincerely – even to my ACTUAL friends, which I’ve isolated myself from as well. I know some of you are worried about me, and I’m sorry about that.

I’m waiting it out until Wednesday. Wednesday will inevitably be a turning point for me in some way or another. No matter what happens, after that point, I will be a ‘published author’…

That’s….whew. That’s something.

I can’t tell you how badly I want to bury myself in work right now (or hide under a rock). That’s all I want to do. But I’m forcing myself to not, even if it would cover up a lot of the stuff and, in a way, make me feel better. I’m not working at all before Wednesday because I want to make sure I’m dealing with this. Facing down personal demons, which is EXACTLY what I’ll be doing between now and then. I might be on here, and everywhere else, and I might not. I’m not sure yet.

Tomorrow night, I’m going to have to click two ‘approve’ buttons. One of my personal demons is going to stare me in the face and ask me a question it’s been asking me a lot lately. “What made you think you could ever do this?”

And I want to be positive that I can stand up on my tiptoes to get in its ugly face and say, “Because I can.”

I’ve been working on that response for the last few months. Catchy, huh? I figured I’d leave out the copious amounts of cursing that will likely happen after and also the copious amounts of violence I would love to inflict on said personal demon. Then again…I don’t want the others to gang up on me.

Anyway, I really, sincerely hope that everyone is doing well out there. I really do. I wouldn’t wish the way I’m feeling right now on anyone in the world. If you have some good things going on with you, it would be fantastic to hear about them. Just saying…

COVER REVEAL: Reave by C. Miller

Firstly, just have to say that it’s extremely weird to type my own name into anything.

Secondly, I’m kind of freaking out right now.

Thirdly . . . Here it all is – the cover for my book, Reave, followed by the blurb. 🙂

Reave C.  Miller

How far would you go to be free—to make your own choices without being subjected to punishment for doing what you felt was right?

Could you kill for it?

After being abandoned by her father as a child, Aster spent ten years of her life as a servant for the leader’s House in the broken city of New Bethel. She’d known, even as a child, that the cities of her world were corrupt places with human monsters—assassins—running rampant between their high walls.

Thinking everything will remain the same as it always has there, Aster is startled to discover that one day . . . the cycle breaks. As a young new leader takes a strange and—at times—horrifying interest in her, will she be capable of discovering the reasons behind his actions and orders?

In a world where nothing is as it seems and all things are never anywhere near as simple as they appear at first glance, will she be capable of making the distinction between what is real and what is not? Will she find anyone at all she can trust? More importantly . . . Does she have the strength to do what is necessary to survive in a world filled with evil?

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Anticipated Release: December 2013-January 2014

Cover Art: Phatpuppy Art

Facebook Author Page . . .

As of this morning . . . it is up. You can find it ~~> here.

I know I’m a week or so later with this than intended, but it is what it is!

Apparently it needs more ‘zazz’. There isn’t really much ‘zazz’ currently to be had. haha

And for anyone who is interested, questions have been asked about my shed. That is it on the second picture on the cover photo. And in case you didn’t know . . . I WRITE IN A SHED (oh, I love it – no sarcastic font).

Anyway, news will go up on there. Thinking about it that way, there doesn’t seem to be much point for anyone to ‘like’ it, as I also post news on here (though I’m shorter-winded on FB than I am on here XD). But like it if you’re interested and you want to!

Hope everyone is having a lovely Monday (I know it’s difficult sometimes . . .)

❤ 🙂