There are so many emotions flowing through me as I prepare to publish Dismount. The highs and the lows I deal with, they’re extreme. I try not to talk about what happened six months ago because I never want to come off as a complainer or for someone to pity me. That’s not what I want so I keep things to myself for the most part. But now as I’m preparing to publish Dismount? It’s a whole different ball game. The weight is heavy on my heart and I need to get a few things off my chest.
My head hurts all the time. I’m on edge a lot. My anxiety has morphed into full blown panic attacks multiple times a week because all I do is think about what-if moments happening. Half the time I don’t even recognize myself anymore. I’m not trying to fight with anyone or argue either. I just wish I knew what would be enough for me and my books to be left alone. Reporting and banning books seems to be an indie thing. It happens too often and it’s embarrassing to the book community. Does anyone ever see that in traditional publishing? No. Never. If a reader doesn’t like a book they read, they can write up a review and move on. That’s all they’re entitled to and nothing more. Not to dictate and control someone else’s life. Yet, here we are.
One thing I’m asked daily is, “Is Dismount going to be on Amazon?” The short answer is Yes. That being said, I can’t make any promises and I swear this isn’t a ploy to sell my book, but I honestly cannot say how long Dismount will remain on Amazon. It should stay and I’m hopeful it will. But given what occurred, anything is possible at this stage and the book could come down the following day. So when a reader asks if Dismount will be on Amazon, I always say yes. I just don’t know for how long. If anything, we always have my website to publish the book on.
Yes, I revised Dismount to fit the edited, safe version of the first four books in the series. I’m sorry that I couldn’t give two versions of Dismount – an unedited and edited version. I honestly wasn’t in the right frame of mind to manage two. I’m not looking for sympathy – I’m just keeping it real – but I’ve been in a really dark place since then. I simply didn’t have the energy in me to do it. For that, I’m sorry. I really wish I could’ve given you two versions.
Continuing on about the revisions, here’s a link to the question and answers blog post that will help understand further. I hired a proofreader (again) and enlisted three people to beta read for me who know the series as well as I do to make sure nothing was missed. I changed what I could to prevent the books being reported again, but I still can’t help but feel like it will happen regardless. I’m so stressed about it. Majority of people posting about me or reporting the series admittely had never read the books. What’s to stop them from doing it a second time? I’ve been an anxious mess and worrying so much that I’m running on fumes it’s going to happen again even after all the time and money and emotions that bled from me to revise it.
But then I think If I’m not reported for content, I worry it could be for the categories that I can’t always control. It was said that the heroine was too young for the series to be considered a romance. But if I changed the location of the story and the age of consent is sixteen in the new state, does that make the series a romance now? Technically, it does.
Some reader still won’t approve of it despite the letter of warning to the reader at the beginning of each book. The books were formatted so the reader could not skip the page. I decided to rewrite the warning letter when I did revisions, but will it be enough? In the four years Balance was published, I cannot recall a single person notifying me they were triggered by my books. Though, I realize that’s not an easy thing to admit. If my novels did trigger you, then I am deeply sorry. Please trust that it was never my intention. I really am very sorry.
Surprisingly with everything, I’m looking forward to publishing Dismount. I promise that I did everything in my power to give readers the ending always planned. When I went through revisions and made changes to the heroine’s age and story location, it flowed quite well for the final book. The timeline has moved up, but the changes did not alter the series as much as one would think. That was the one positive through this whole experience.
Thanks for dealing with my craziness, guys. Writing is how I release my stress and emotions and these are just a few things that I haven’t stopped thinking about for months on end. We’re down to the wire and I’m a ball of nerves for reasons I’d never expected.
To Off Balance readers, you’re the reason I’m fighting so hard to bring this series back and do it justice. The way you show your love for this wild and crazy story is what fuels me to keep pushing and not give up when it would have been so easy to. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have been able to get through the past several months without your support.
I hope you love the final conclusion in the Off Balance series.