Blue Blood-ties

I came across an old draft from 2012 that was never posted a while back. It was written on November 20th, the day X Japan’s Yoshiki was born, emotionally scribbled down as I was watching live DVDs, celebrating by myself.
I don’t know why I didn’t post it, but once the day had passed I supposed there was no point to it?

Today however, marks 27 years since X Japan’s debut album was released, and I can’t not re-write that old draft. Because this band has had such a profound role in my life and perhaps more than anything, in my writing.

The first time I heard an X song, I was around 17 and although the lyrics were mainly in English, the words were broken and hard to decipher, but it didn’t matter, I still found myself overcome with emotion, and like the name of the song itself, I was overcome with tears.

When I started working on SNOW,  X were a natural part of the process – largely thanks to those heart-wrenching and emotional lyrics, which were a perfect backdrop to the scenes I was writing down, but also because of Maaya.
When Maaya first appeared before my inner eye in 2006, he had pink hair; it was cut short, but I knew that he’d used to wear it long. I think from that moment, I knew he was a hide fan.

At that point, the connection between the music and the novel was made.

I didn’t make him a fan because I myself am a fan, but because it all seemed to fall into place so easily, so obviously. But this connection has been deepened by some really striking coincidences .

Maaya’s birthday is March 15th. I picked it for no particular reason, but as with all my characters, I spent a lot of time mapping out their personalities and matching zodiacs.
March 15th 2011 was set to be the release of X Japan’s single Jade – a song played at almost every show since their 2007 reunion, but which had yet to see an official release.
Jade  means an enormous deal to me personally, but the fact that it was scheduled for Maaya’s birthday with the name that it had, and the message it carried… It was almost a little too coincidental.

Due to the tragedy of 3-11, Tohoku and the subsequent tsunami, the single was postponed, and not released until about a month later, but that didn’t change anything, least of all the way Jade was a bridge between my two novels, between Maaya and Aki’s stories.

At the time, I was mid-Jaded, and at a crossroads. For the longest time I had no idea what I was doing, or how the story would turn out. I was struggling with an element that no longer seemed to fit into the story, but which I had been holding on to for years already. I didn’t know if I should keep holding on, or if I should just let it go and let the story evolve into the new direction I had staked out. Somehow, the decision was made – albeit unconsciously.

I’m going through the old draft as I am writing this post, and being reminded again, of how deep this connection runs. It’s almost a little freaky, I think to myself as I sift through the lines and find facts long forgotten.

Apparently, the night I finished Jaded’s first draft, though nowhere near completion of anything but the overall story, was on this day, the anniversary of Blue Blood.
When the album came out, I was 9 months old. I wish I could say I grew up with this night, but at this point that’s what it feels like. I didn’t, but my writing certainly did.

On the date of the original draft, November 20th 2012, I announced the release date for Jaded. I wrote the following:  “Seems only right that events would drag out long enough for the announcement to be made on Yoshiki’s birthday.”

Today, I’m having a day off, and by chance this first day off in months falls on the anniversary of Blue Blood. At the end of the original draft, I wrote that I was watching them play Joker while smiling crookedly. Four years later I am listening to Celebration, and I hope that this strange connection my writing has with this fantastic band will never let up.

 

 

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Happy White Day!

Honestly, so much time passes between every update on here. I’m ashamed.

Anyway, to make up for the extremely slow process of getting Love Addict prepped for release, namely due to my cramped schedule, I promised on Facebook yesterday to share a little something with you instead.
This was originally something I thought of a while back, and never wrote. When I sat down to get it done yesterday, I remembered what day it is today, and added a little extra to the original idea.

For those unfamiliar with White Day: In Japan, it’s custom that the girls give chocolate to the boys on Valentine’s Day. The following month, on March 14th, the boys return the favor by giving something to the girls – traditionally something white, like a ribbon, thus the name. It’s getting more and more common to give sweets and other presents as well, but the name remains.

In my case, I write BL, so naturally the pattern of the Valentine/White Day exchanges is kind of skewered, and up to my own mind how to solve.
In this drabble, I decided to take advantage of Yuuki’s career path.
The title comes from a song by GReeeeN, which I strongly associate with Yuuki’s character (though Aki would argue vehemently).

Spoiler Warning.
If you haven’t read Jaded yet, you might want to avoid this drabble. It’s not entirely cannonical, but can be assumed to take place somewhere in the latter part of Jaded, or shortly after the end.
No huge spoilers plotwise – but if you don’t know who Yuuki is, you shouldn’t read on.

The rest of you. Enjoy~

Cooking 彼氏

Arguably, the most positive aspect of being a pastry chef in training was the fact that one could bring all kinds of sweets and goodies home after a day at school. In Sasaki Yuuki’s case, the negatives of this fact outweighed the positives: being surrounded by sweets and cakes all day didn’t necessarily make him feel like eating them at home as well – certainly not after taste-testing everything. The main negative was unquestionably, being with someone who absolutely hated sweets. Alright, so they weren’t really together. Their relation was something vague and fragile. In any case, they were living together – sort of. At some point it had just become a given that they should spend most of their time together at Aki’s apartment in Higashinada. Yuuki was uncertain of whether this was actually a voluntary choice for either of them, but regardless, this was his life for the time being.
And so, he had resigned when his teacher at the culinary school he was attending, had announced that they’d be making sweets on account of the season – this season being every lovey-dovey couple’s favorite, and to him, something completely indifferent, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

 

He was feeling apprehensive, but somehow ready to fight when he came home that day.
The apartment however, was deserted. Aki could easily be anywhere. Yuuki was used to this, and paid it no mind as he slipped the box he’d brought back from school, onto the kitchen counter, and proceeded to dig through the fridge for something to eat.

When Aki returned later that afternoon, his glance immediately fell on the box on the counter. He jerked his head towards it. “What’s this?” He demanded.
Yuuki shrugged, standing up. “For you.”
Their gazes met. Aki’s eyes were narrowing slightly, focusing on the calendar on the wall behind Yuuki.
“Valentine’s chocolates?”
“They might just be.”
“I hate sweets, Precious.”
“As if I don’t know that?” Yuuki countered elegantly, stepping up to the other man. “You could at least open the box.”
Half-heartedly, Aki tugged on the string tied around the box, and knocked the lid off, exposing neatly lined heart-shaped chocolates, decorated with swirls of melted, white chocolate.
His nose twitched, in the same way kids would react to something they didn’t like.
“What exactly am I supposed to do with these?”
“You’re gonna accept them,” Yuuki replied, his tone calm, lips curving into a smirk.
“Yeah?”
They were face to face, gazes locked. A storm was brewing between them.
“You might not like it,” Yuuki pressed on. “But I poured all my pathetic one-sided love for you into them, and you will eat them.”
Aki clicked his tongue, in the kind of condescending fashion only he was able to express.
Yuuki reached into the box, picking up one of the heart-shaped sweets, holding it up to Aki’s face, touching it to his lips, which remained tightly shut.
Aki seemed intrigued though. He probably enjoyed it; having the upper hand, like always, but also this tense, somewhat aggressive mood. His hand closed around Yuuki’s wrist, holding it tightly, but without trying to pull the hand from his lips.
“And also,” Yuuki allowed himself to crack another smile. “I filled them.”
“With?” Aki’s lips brushed against the candy as he spoke, one eyebrow arched in a quizzical manner.
“Liquor.”
Without meeting resistance from the hand clasping his wrist, Yuuki pushed the heart-shaped candy, which was starting to melt between his fingertips, harder against the other man’s lips, which gave way, parting and allowing Yuuki to pop the chocolate into his mouth. At the same time, he caught the tips of his fingers. Slight chills travelled down Yuuki’s spine at the sensation of Aki’s tongue softly brushing over his fingertips, his lips closing around them, sucking gently, before releasing them again.
“Well played.” Aki cocked his head to the side, smiling ever so slightly. He was in a good mood then. Yuuki felt relieved. He had been worried he’d gone too far earlier, even if it was meant as a half-hearted joke…There was some truth to what he had said, and that notion was more than enough to send them spiraling, he knew that.

He watched Aki chew and swallow the candy without expressing too much disgust.
“What?”
“Nothing.” He shook his head.
He couldn’t very well tell that he was glad to see Aki somewhat accepting his feelings for once.
“They’re not awful, if that’s what you want to hear.”
That was the closest thing to an approval he’d ever hear.
“Thanks. I’m glad.”
“As long as you don’t expect me to get all fluffy on you and return the favor on White’s Day or whatever.”  The words were cool, rolling icily off of Aki’s tongue.
The younger of the two shook his head again. He put his hand on Aki’s shoulder, leaning closer to him and whispered into his ear:
“In the west, I believe they refer to it as the steak and blowjob day.”
He allowed his lips to gently caress the shell of Aki’s metal-adorned ear, before he was pulled back by a strong, slim hand. Aki was smirking at him, he noted, before the other man had leaned close, and caught his lips with his own. He tasted of sweet chocolate and bitter liquor.
When they broke apart, Aki spoke again: “Now we’re talking.”

 

~終~

“Hey, can you do my bookreport”

I was reading this article today (Norwegian only, sorry), and I had to laugh. Basically, the article is about a Norwegian mystery/crime novelist who talks about receiving mails from students doing book reports or semester assignments on him and his novels. He claims that the threshold for e-mailing the author personally is way too low in this country.. Why? Because not only are students e-mailing him asking for basic facts to put in their reports, but some even ask him to send them entire summaries of his novels. In other words – they are asking the author to do their assignment for them.
I found this immensely amusing because well, I’ve had some similar experiences myself. Though, I have yet to be asked to summarize my own novels, and so far nobody has asked me to answer their assignments for them, but I have had my share of e-mails with all kinds of weird questions that I cannot imagine are relevant to the sender’s book report.

I understand that the author in the article wonders if he should laugh or cry when he is mailed a list of generic questions, that are basically just copy-pasted from the demands made by the assignment. Still… At least you should know the gender of the person you’re doing the report on?

As amusing as I find this entire thing, I also do think it is a bit concerning that so many students take the easy way out, rather than doing their own assignments, or reading the books themselves. You’re only fooling yourself in the end, and honestly, there is a book for everyone out there, but to find it means to read.
Remember to do your own homework, kids!

With that said, I just want to clear something up. I mostly commented on this because of the hilarity of someone actually asking the author to summarize his own novel in 100-200 words, rather than doing it themselves. Does anyone really expect that the answer to this would be “Yeah sure, here is an in-depth analysis of my own novel for you.”
Not only is it ridiculous, but it’s also quite disrespectful towards someone who put so much work into this book, and you’re practically saying “I don’t care about your novel. I don’t want to read it. Tell me all about it yourself.”
As an author, I’ve had some harsh experiences where I’ve been at my table at some event and someone comes up, drawn in by Lanny’s amazing cover art, picked up a copy, flipped through it and then said “Ew, it’s an actuall book.” As much as I understand that not everyone enjoys reading, or that maybe my genre isn’t their thing, please consider the feeling of the author when they’re sitting right in front of you. Constructive criticism, and discussion is welcome, but don’t step all over the author without even having a valid argument!

I’m sure nobody means to hurt the author when they do things like this, and most authors probably just shrug it off and laugh, but the worry lies in how they don’t seem to consider the author at all. Moreover, cheating as a whole doesn’t bear witness to much self respect.

Woah, I didn’t mean for this to turn into a rant, I originally just wanted to share the article, but got carried away.

When it comes to me, I am always happy to answer your questions – I am, after all not your generic, best-selling author, so the amount of information available online is limited. You won’t find me on Wikipedia (as far as I know?), so if you’re doing a book report, or project on my writing, contacting me might be your only resort.
I don’t mind this one bit – in fact, I am incredibly honored whenever someone have chosen my novels or me for their assignments. It is a really strange feeling, but I’m very thankful!
However, know that while I will reply to any questions you might have about my writing, or personal details that might be relevant for the assignment, I will not tell you what my novels are about because you didn’t bother reading them (though, if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be picking me for your assignment in the first place, right?) . And, there are certain personal questions I won’t answer, namely concerning my family etc. But honestly, how relevant are my parents’ middle names to your book report?
What I’m trying to say is that I hope you will all consider before asking mundane questions to an author and asking them to solve your assignment for you. In some cases, the only way to get the answer you’re looking for, is to search out the author themselves, and that’s okay. And most authors are slightly narcissistic in nature – we love talking about our own projects, so most likely we’ll love the attention, but be respectful!

This entry is all over the place, so I think I’ll finish here. But if you have any wish to contact me about my writing for a project, don’t be afraid to do so, just drop me an e-mail!

Drabble: End of Summer

The school year has already started, and I hope you’re all getting back into your routines nicely. The truth is that I always dreaded going back to school, and so I shared some experiences with my tumblr followers. As a result, I ended up writing this little bit.

I intended to post it earlier, but stuff got in the way. It also got more melancholic than I aimed for, but please enjoy it still.
[Aki and Maaya are copyrighted, please do not repost or alter this text in any way]

End of Summer

The trees are still green, but soon the lush, vivid color will give way to hues of orange, yellow and red. Autumn is approaching, and although the heat is still sweltering, the winds blowing inland are steadily turning chillier, and the evenings are back to being cool and comfortable.

The days of going to the beach with friends, or hanging out at the mall just to be somewhere with proper air conditioning and easy access to ice cream, days of listening to the cicadas while reading on the porch or playing in the refreshing rain from a gardening hose are soon over.

The final day of summer break has come to pass. Night has fallen, and soon an alarm clock will ring and announce the start of a new semester. Two sets of school uniforms are already prepared, on their hangers, casting their shadows on the walls inside the dim room.

The two boys currently occupying the room should have gone to sleep already, but they’re still awake, sitting quietly on the bed. Neither of them want summer to end, but one of them in particular seems down.

“Aki..?”  Maaya reaches out, touching his hand to the younger boy’s shoulder.  He’s noticed the way the other boy’s mood has steadily dropped over the course of the day, and it’s not hard for him to guess why. For the past month, all throughout summer vacation, Aki has been staying with Maaya’s family; eating with them, gone out with them and helped out with the chores. At nights the two of them have slept together in Maaya’s room. He’s barely seen or heard from his mother at all throughout summer, not even a couple of days ago when he went home to pick up his uniform – by request, as Maaya’s mom wanted to iron it for him. His own mother was nowhere to be found, and frankly he was relieved.
Sometimes, Maaya thinks it’s wrong to just accept that this is how things are, but at the same time there is nothing he wants more than to have Aki with him, and to know that he is okay.
That’s probably why he can’t sleep either.
Now that school is starting again, he can’t be sure that Aki is okay, and perhaps they’ll slip into the pattern of him not sharing his thoughts once more.
“It’s-“
“Don’t tell me it’s nothing,” Maaya bites him off. “I’m not stupid.”
It frustrates him, being pushed away whenever he tries to support his boyfriend. And it worries him that while he is in his senior year, Aki has only just started high school, and it doesn’t seem to be working out too well for him.
Aki sighs, looking away.
“You’re worried about tomorrow, aren’t you?” the elder of the two asks, his voice mild once more.
Aki shrugs. He holds back.
Maaya patiently waits, watching the way the other boy pulls his legs even closer to his body; pressing his knees against his chest, hiding his face between his knees, and then exhales slowly.
“I was the only one unaccompanied to the first day of school,” he mutters. His voice is unbearably raw, despite how quiet it is. “Didn’t know where to go or anything. So I was late, for the first day.”
Maaya doesn’t say anything, but he knows that his hand is reflexively squeezing Aki’s shoulder a little harder.
“Got used to it though. It happened every year.”  His voice is emotionless now, just as his face undoubtedly; hidden between his knees.
Maaya shifts on the bed, rising to his knees and clumsily crawls over to the other boy, crawling up behind him and enveloping him from behind; wrapping his arms and legs alike around Aki’s thin frame.
A light shiver runs through the younger of the two. Maaya kisses him on top of the head, nuzzling close to him, continuing to hold him silently.
“D’you want me to come with you tomorrow?” he asks, quietly.
“Don’t be stupid.” Aki’s voice is muffled. He looks up, turns around and allow their gazes to meet at last; his dark eyes are quivering slightly. “Besides, you start tomorrow as well. President.”
“I’m sure they’d cut me some slack.”
“On the first day?” Aki’s voice is dripping with sarcasm.
“If you want me to.”
The younger boy turns around fully now, and sits facing Maaya. He shakes his head. “I can go on my own. Don’t be silly.”
He looks down on the sheets again, at the space between their bodies. Then he leans forward slightly, resting his forehead against Maaya’s shoulder.
“I’m not afraid of tomorrow,” he says, earnestly. “It’s just…”
His lips feel dry against the elder boy’s bare shoulder. “I just…don’t want to go.”
He’s most definitely anxious .
Maaya pulls him close, pressing their bodies together, and wishes that he could protect him from whatever it is that’s making him seem this different from his usual self. After all, he knows so little about Aki’s school life, and yet he knows enough based on the occasional bruises, the scowls he’s witnessed when he’s been to pick the younger boy up, and the remarks he’s heard. It can’t be easy.
He doesn’t want to lie, but he feels like he is; “You’ll be fine…” he whispers against dark tresses, his hands running lovingly over the small of Aki’s back. The boy is strong. He can hold his own, but that doesn’t mean he’s not hurting.
“I’m not…It’s not what you think.” He attempts to defend himself.
Maaya lets him. It’s okay if he doesn’t want to show it all.
“I just wish I could stay with you instead…” he mumbles. He’s reddening. Even though Maaya can’t see it from this angle, he is sure of it, as he feels Aki’s skin flushing beneath his touch.
He kisses the boy’s neck, touching his lips gently to his hot skin over and over, and whispers; “But you can.” He pulls away slightly, so they can see each other’s faces again.
“Your uniform is already here, right? It’s not like you have to go back home just because school starts again. Just stay here for as long as you want to.”
He smiles, bringing their lips together, gently. “I’ll always be here for you.”

He half expects some kind of snarky remark in response, but Aki ‘s lips are sealed. A brief smile crosses his tired face. And then he finally speaks; “We should sleep.”
He pulls Maaya down with him, and soon after falls into restless sleep, with his head resting on the elder’s shoulder.

~終~

Big Announcement #2: SNOW and Jaded available as Ebooks via DMP!

Okay, so a couple of hours ago on Facebook, I said that it was about to announce one of the secrets I’ve been keeping from everyone for the past couple of months.
Well, here we go:

I am delighted to announce my cooperation with the Digital Manga Inc. aka Emanga publishment company!
Thanks to them, SNOW and Jaded will be available as Ebooks for a variety of platforms (such as Kindle, iPad etc) from here on!

SNOW is already available through their website!

This might not be as exciting for those who already own the novels in their physical format – but this way it will be easier for people on a global level to get a hold of them without expensive shipping and registering for CS.

I am so nervous about this, and still I am absolutely thrilled to finally be able to talk openly about this!

Thanks everyone for your continuous support, and stay tuned for the second update, which hopefully is even more exciting!

ImageThis is one very happy, very tired author signing off~ :*:。゚*\(★∀<)/*゚。*:

Edit: Can we please ignore the typo in the header. I meant #1. Can’t edit because link will break OTL

In hiding

Augh. As usual, I’ve disappeared. Well, to be honest it’s been partially on purpose this past week. That, and I’ve been swamped with stuff. Right now, I’m supposed to be studying, but I’m being distracted by a livestream.

Anyway. I hate being in the media – that is, I am really bad at getting my photo taken, and I really dislike how uncomforable I always look in photos, so being in for instance, a paper, makes me really uncomfortable.
However, on the Jaded release event on December 1st, a journalist from a local paper (Same one who covered Torucon), stopped by interviewed me for an article about Jaded and SNOW, and my writing in general.  I’m impressed at how it turned out, considering I was in the middle of the event when we conducted the interview!
He’s a very good journalist, so I enjoyed the interview itself, but because of the bad light, we didn’t get any good photos. In the end, we had to take new ones, so the article wasn’t published until last week.
To be honest, I was horrified when my friend called and said she’d read it; because when I saw the article, not only was the picture….well….as expected (bad), but it was a full page at that! So I kinda panicked and went underground for a while.

But the article itself was good, and the journalist did a very good job conveying what I wanted to express into words. So I’m gonna post a link to the web version here.
Naturally, it’s in Norwegian, but I’ll try to get a translation done shortly (yes, I know I said that last time as well. But I will this time)!

So anyway, if you’d like to read the interview, you can go here!

I’ll do my best to translate it soon, but right now I’m completely swamped. I’ll try to blog more again too >_>
Well then~

Jaded available for international readers!

Finally!
I’m so sorry you guys had to wait so long for this. I was mortified when I saw a repetition of SNOW’s disastrous first print (well, it wasn’t half as bad, but I feared the worst), and though fixing the script was no problem, the proofing was more of a challenge, as I had no time to sit down and read. I edited between bouts of studying for my exam and working on other projects, and I also waited for feedback from my friend who was reading at the time – she has an eye for typos! It does deflate me a little, whenever I encounter something like this, and I feel like I didn’t work hard enough, or fast enough – all though it’s working too fast that creates these situations in the first place.

Anyway, I’ve spent my free time since Christmas break started (with the exception of the 24th), reading through the script, and proofing it digitally. Hopefully there won’t be any more problems with it. I’d probably die of embarrassment if there were any more mistakes at this point.

Okay. Mandatory whining is over.  I hope it’s still Christmas in some part of the world, as I wanted to have the webstore up by Christmas Day, but I fear I’m just a little too late.

Since I feel so bad about this having taken so long, I’ve marked down the price of the novel. Until January 6th, you can purchase Jaded for $20 at the webstore!
Afterwards the cost will be the planned $25. As usual, I’m feeling guilty as nothing else when I list the price, but keep in mind that I’m paying for the costs myself, and the royalties are fairly low. Through the webstore, you can order Jaded from all corners of the world, and their shipping fees have gone down, which is great news!

Jaded will also become available through Amazon.com within the next week or so, as soon as they’ve listed it. I’ll make sure to keep an eye out for that, and provide a link once it’s been listed. As for Amazon.uk and other European sites, I’m unable to list the novels on there as of yet, due to some pesky issues relating to sales and the EU.
I’m also going to update once I’ve enabled extended distribution – which will make Jaded available to all bookstores and webstores by request.

But enough of my rambling.
If you would like to order Jaded, please head on over to the webstore!

I’ll be back with more information regarding Amazon etc. at a later time.  I hope you’ll all continue to enjoy your holidays!

cover3d

 

All I want for Christmas

After my last non-AC related post and last year’s posts about a white Christmas and Respect, where I talked about things I want people to think about during the Christmas season; respect other people and their rights, do something for someone in need, think of the animals and don’t give animals away as presents, and consider how your alcohol intake might affect children if you intend to drink during the holidays.
All of these are things I wish people would think about during this season (click on the links if you want to read the full posts), after all, this is the season to show compassion and heart.

But at the same time, if I can have one selfish wish for this season. Can I ask for one thing?
For those of you reading (or who have finished) Jaded, I hope that you will take the time to give me some feedback. It means the world to me, and I would really appreciate your comments ♥
I’m super curious about what you thought, what you liked or didn’t like, favorite scenes, favorite characters… Pretty much everything.

If you’ve ever had a secret wish to give me a Christmas present, here’s your chance! (´▽`*)アハハ

I feel really pretentious posting something like this, but honestly, I don’t think it’s all that bad that I ask to hear what you thought~
(Actually, even after writing that, I feel even more pretentious.)

I already have a previously written a post that I intend to publish at a later time, about the emptiness that comes with finishing a novel and sending it out to the public, where I also touch upon wishing for feedback – which I’ll post at some point when Jaded has been out for longer, moreover, when I’ve finally done the final (!!) edit for the webstore release.

If you want to make me smile with your comments, feel free to post them on facebook (beware of spoilers on the wall), or here, or you can even send me an email via the website, if you are like me; really shy about posting on a public forum.

I hope everyone’s enjoying Jaded so far, and appreciate you all so much for reading it!
Wonder if there are any copies under the trees around the country? (゚∀゚ )

Well then, hope that wasn’t too demanding! Have a nice night everyone.

A regrettable setback

Happy Friday!
..Is what I want to say, but unfortunately I have some bad news. If you read my last entry, you will be aware that some nasty typos in Jaded have been pointed out to me this week. Because of this, I have decided to push back the online release a short couple of days. It sucks, because this year I wanted to have a simultaneous launch of the webstore as well as the Outland sale. However, it’s more important to me that the product is of acceptable quality. Of course, the pre-orders have been shipped out (and some even arrived at their destination), and Outland has already stocked their copies. So the first batch of copies will be flawed.
In regards to this, all I can do is apologize profusely and say that if you’re a typo-nazi, I suggest to you await your purchase until the second batch has been stocked. If you think you can handle a couple missing quote marks and spaces, and the occasional typo, feel free to pick up your copy at Outland from tomorrow on.

As for online sales, they won’t be pushed back too long. I need to update the interior file with the edited version of the script, and approve it. This process takes 1-2 days, so I’m aiming to have the book in sale over at the webstore by Monday if all goes according to plan.
In any case, I will post a link when the webstore is up and running. And as compensation for the extra wait, I’ll extend the sales-period so that you can purchase the novel at release-price for a week after the release.

I’m really sorry for the inconvenience, and hope that you all understand.

The tale of little miss perfectionist

Although I was advised by some not to make a big point out of this, it’s not like you’re not going to notice, so I’m just going to rip the band-aid off and address the issue:

I am a slob.
Growing up, I would constantly hear that I should learn to take things more slowly. I was told to try to color inside the lines, to use a ruler when drawing “straight” lines, and to try to be more focused and less rushed when ie. drawing. Arts and crafts were a nightmare, because I just wanted to finish – and I wanted the product to be good, but I didn’t want to work harder on it. I believed that some things you’re good at, some things you aren’t. I don’t think sewing aprons, making bird houses or ceramics were ever things I’d become good at no matter what I did.
Writing however, has always been my strongest point.
But… I suppose I’m still a bit of a slob. It hurts admitting to that in public – as I do sort of consider myself a perfectionist. But the differences collide, and it ends up sounding contradictory.

When SNOW came out, it was a complete whim that had made me decide to publish it. I was so nervous and so stressed, I didn’t give myself enough time to perfect it. As grateful as I am for everyone who loves it; for the story and the characters. I do feel like I could’ve taken the time to work more on it; to work out the parts that still don’t sit perfectly with me – and more than anything, to fix everything that was wrong.
Despite my editor’s heroic efforts and praise, both of us managed to miss so many typos, and even some very ugly flaws I had forgotten to change in the final script. The shame and terror I felt upon discovering it only days before the release was staggering and defeating. I still cringe and curse myself when I think of it.
Obviously SNOW will never be perfect, and even if it’s not a great thing to know, my language does have flaws. But the faults that are in there because I failed to discover them – that haunts me and stays with me. And I still wish I could call back all the first copies of the novel and give everyone a new, shiny one – sweep it all under a rug and pretend it never happened.

And now. History is repeating itself. In (as of yet) a far less glaring and horrifying way, but for the same damn reason: My idiotic pride.
I’m so proud, I hate asking for help. And these two projects have been kept secret from pretty much everyone. I keep having this desire to surprise and please my friends and readers that I don’t want anyone aside from my editor and me seeing the script before it’s published.

This will have to change. Although I did have a proofreader for the first few drafts, I was on my own for the final part of the process. I was on my own when reading the proof copy. And because I know the lines and the context, there will be flaws I miss simply because I don’t see them. Many of these are new, “written in” as we rewrote part of the script for the final edit, and thus they remain.
In this case, there are very few typos, but several embarrassing cases of spaces or quote-marks going astray. I suppose it doesn’t bother the reader too much, but it bothers me, because I feel shameful for having been too sloppy again.
I feel discouraged because I failed to make perfection yet again, and I don’t want to disappoint my readers by seeming like I didn’t really work hard.
I don’t know… If you tell me you didn’t like the novel because it wasn’t your type of book, or you never really connected with the characters, I will definitely understand, because everyone has different tastes, and we can’t all love the same books. But if I was told that my sloppy language was the reason – I’d be really disappointed in myself for having allowed that to happen.

I’m putting myself completely on display here, although I didn’t want to go this much in depth of my feelings regarding the matter.
But the fact is: Outland have received their first batch. Two of my friends have already received their copies, and the pre-orders are on their way as we speak: and the novels are far from perfect – again.
This means I will have to feel embarrassed – again, over something I could have avoided had I cast aside my pride and allowed someone else to proof with me for the final part of the process. The next batch of books should be flawless (although never say never), but I will always remember my self-resentment for having done this again.

Before, I said I was always aiming to exceed – to avoid failure. Failing at this is of course a major let-down. I might let it get to me more than I should – but I also know that to many, absolute perfection is expected when they read a book, and I don’t want to disappoint.

I suppose this is what they mean by learning your lesson the hard way: Next time, I’ll have proof readers, no matter how much I hate showing an unfinished product.
And yes, we all make mistakes. But making these kinds of mistakes in full public view, affecting someone else’s expectations is still very bitter.
Allow me to sulk for a while. And please, try to enjoy Jaded despite its flaws. I appreciate it, and I hope you will still appreciate the story itself.


Well…at least this didn’t happen. This lovely edit was contributed by my cat, and was impossible to miss.