When I originally wrote the book that would become Noises From the Other Side I wasn’t sure how good it was. That happens to me a lot, actually. I have this great idea that I’m all fired up about. I write an outline. I write the book. Then I get worried that it wasn’t really a great idea.
Luckily, I never let that stop me. I let the draft simmer for a while. Then I reread it and took notes. I made some changes but I still wasn’t sure. It sat longer. I read it again and made more changes. I still wasn’t sure.
It’s not that I don’t love the story. I do. But I also will always wonder if I’m the best person to tell any story. I will always wonder if I put in enough descriptions, explained enough of the character. Then, for this story, we have other issues. Did I get the very complicated timelines right? Is the ending going to deliver the message I wanted and be worth the journey? Does it linger with you and keep you thinking, as I intended?
Honestly, I don’t remember how many rounds of revisions this one went through. But, eventually, it got to beta readers. Feedback from one was “this is the best thing you’ve ever written.” I argued this was the primacy-recency effect but appreciated the sentiment. At this point I was still unconvinced it was good enough.
I love the story. I love the message. I get fired up talking about this one. Both the protagonist AND the antagonist are people I genuinely love. I spent so much time crafting their backstories and what drives them that I just can’t ever forget them. To me, they’ve both become realistic. But would other people feel the same?
Eventually this story made it to my ARC team. The ARC team has changed a lot over the years and books. This ARC team featured some readers who have never read anything I’ve written. To say I was worried is an understatement.
They loved it.
Early reviews weren’t just good … they were great. Every reviewer had LOADS to say. They were gushing about these characters and this book in ways I don’t think I’ve ever seen for one of my books. I was starting to come around to the idea that I may have pulled this off.
Then release day came and the reviews didn’t stop pouring in.
We are just over a week from release day. I’ve fielded phone calls, Facebook messages, reviews, and emails. People are ADORING this book and feeling like they have to reach out to gush. It’s been AMAZING.
I even have a book club reading this one right now (first time I’ve ever agreed to that) and that’s been fantastic as well. Watching them all discuss the clues and predict what they think is going on has been amazing.
I wanted so badly for this book to be received well. I wanted the messages to hit home. I think, after all this work on this one, I have to admit that it seems like I might have pulled that off. I think people are getting it.
I am so incredibly proud of Noises From the Other Side and the messages in it. It’s not a long book, at under 200 pages. But there’s a lot packed into it. I’ve even had people tell me they’ve already read it twice and noticed new things on the second read. That’s … mind blowing. People are rereading a book that’s been out for a week and enjoying it both times.
If you read it, keep reaching out. You can gush if you want. You can ask me questions if you want. I’ll forever love to talk about this one and it’s possible you’ll have THOUGHTS.
To those who have reached out, THANK YOU. It’s amazing to know something I wrote reached you in the way I intended. I’m glad it found you. I’m glad you read it.
Keep being amazing, folks.
Anyway, if you’re looking for a bit more, check out this brainstorming blog post I once did when I was drafting Noises and working on all things Ghostly.