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  • Writer's pictureJohn Watson

Breaking Down My Books

When you have your first book published, you become fiercely protective of that title. By the time you are a few books in, you begin to develop a bit of perspective about each title. This is not to suggest that you suddenly hate one of your own books, but the experience of writing each one creates a ranking system in your own mind.

I thought it might be fun to ask my FB Reader Group to rank the titles they had read. What I discovered was that no clear favorite emerged, which might not be such a bad thing. I am now going to give you all a little insight into my rank feelings about each book, and explain why I have them ranked in a specific order, which might well change based on nothing more than my mood on any given day.

  1. Be Kind, Rewind - This novella was equal parts easy and difficult to write. The story flowed out of me and is far and away the fastest I have finished a book. The downside was that it was an emotional rollercoaster, as I used my mum as one of the main characters. It was also very different from my usual style. In the end, though, I loved how it turned out.

  2. Crueller - Being the lone horror novella in the middle of a series of romance books with a Donut Shop as the common theme was something of a challenge. It was one that I enjoyed taking, though, as I was free to explore a fun idea while trying to add a little hint of romance. I ended up being very pleased with the final story.

  3. Karaoke Night - Since this was the story that saw me finally get published at the tender age of 51, it will always be my special baby. That said, it delivered a ton of anxiety after the fact. I stressed during the editing process, I worried it would not sell a single copy, and I convinced myself that my publisher would discover that I was a total phony. None of that happened, and it went on to become an International Bestseller. No one was more surprised than me.

  4. Off The Grid - That this book turned out as well as it did is a testament to fever dreams and Tylenol. I was seriously ill in the final weeks leading up to the deadline and almost went crying to the publisher to ask for more time. The final few chapters are still very hazy, mostly because I have little memory of writing them. The experience sucked, but this one may be the book that I am the proudest of.

Each book presents a new challenge and all that you can hope for is that you continue to deliver stories that people will read and enjoy. I thank all of you for taking the time to read my work and would love to hear your opinion in the comments.


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