I have just heard from publisher (Poisoned Pen Press) that Roux Morgue will be a pick for their Mystery of the Month Club for July. HUZZAH!
Aside from the general all-purpose squeal of delight that this elicited, this is yet another instance where you (or I mean me) suffer from complete whiplash. The really egotistical side of you (or me, rather) says, "Well, of course, your book was picked, it's a decent book," and then the naysayer, the snarky voice of fail, sneers, "Why your book?" Why indeed.
Most of the writers I know suffer from varying degrees of this narcissistic lack of self-esteem or this self-denying narcissism. You enter a book store and look in one direction, and sniff, your book is certainly as good as that lot there, but hey! A glance down the opposite aisle and All THOSE books are so much better than yours. It's a seesaw, one that I try not to ride, because of all the deadly sins, envy is the one I'm easily guilty of, and it's the most self-destructive emotion I know. It paralyzes me every time. I can't help but compare my writing to others, and while I might actually have the chutzpah to believe that I'm better than 80% of the general writing population (okay, maybe 70% on a good day), that doesn't matter. It's the 30% who are better than me that make me want to hit the delete button.
In my search for that perfect book that will make me a perfect writer, I stumbled across one book that might not keep those mean reds at bay, but it certainly explains why I get them. It's called The Midnight Disease. It's a nonfiction book about the brain and writing, and it's written by a neurologist who is also a writer (who has possibly one of the most engaging non-fiction styles I've come across in a long time). Anyway, it has lots of interesting bits about writers and ego and writer's block and just some damn fine insight into this crazy compulsion to put bits of our soul down on paper for the world to praise or deride. The wonderful thing about this book is the realization that your neurotic and obsessive compulsive traits are not unusual, and, in fact, pretty much ho hum and are shared by quite a few writers. Which somehow that made me feel a whole hell of a lot better. Safety in neurotic numbers.