When will writing and publishing get easier?


by Christine Kling

Knight’s Cross, my latest Thomas & Mercer novel is now available for sale on Amazon. This is my seventh novel, but that doesn’t mean the release is any less fraught with anxiety. I have no idea whether people are going to like the book or not. It has been a year and a half since the last book in the series came out, and Knight’s Cross has not been given the huge launch that Dragon’s Triangle got by being a part of the Kindle First program. The new book has been out for four days now, and it has only received one review. In today’s world of publishing, books live or die by the number of reviews they get. I check the book ever few hours, and I feel like I’m watching my child’s head slip under water.

I love this book. In many ways this is a book of my heart. Wayne and I traveled Europe together doing the research for this book, he proposed to me on Malta, and I’ve dedicated the book to him. I wrote in the dedication that he proved to me I don’t have to live alone to write.

So what does it mean if this book fails? What if people hate the book? I tried to be daring, and I wrote a book with three different timelines. Was I crazy to try something so challenging?

This waiting and wondering makes me question everything.

Back in the days when I used to go out on the road and do talks and signings in bookstores, I was always terrified that no one would show up. And sometimes that did happen. But I survived. I kept on writing. And I kept telling myself that somehow I would find my audience.

Today I don’t do book signings much anymore, but I’m still terrified every time a new book is released, and I do keep asking myself, when will this get any easier? Will I always feel like a fraud and wonder if this is the time they are going to find out that I’m really not much of a writer? Is this going to be the book that ends my career? Or if this book doesn’t find it’s audience will I be able to soldier on and write another?

I don’t know if other writers go through this with every launch—and I don’t know if it’s wise to admit so publicly that I do. But I believe there are some unpublished authors who read this blog and maybe it’s okay, or even important, to let them know that whether it is the first book or the seventh, this feeling of putting your guts into a book and then sending it out into the world to be cheered or jeered at is something that never gets any easier. I would far rather face the job of clawing down a headsail on a heaving foredeck or standing a solo watch through a gale. It’s far easier to find the courage to do those things.

But this waiting and wondering about what the world will think about a book that took almost two years of my life to write?

That’s damn hard.


Fair winds!


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About Christine Kling

I have spent more than thirty years living on and around boats and cruising the waters of the North and South Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean. I’ve written articles and stories for many boating publications including Sailing, Cruising World, Motor Boating & Sailing, and The Tiller and the Pen. When I was married, I helped my husband build a 55-foot custom sailing yacht. After launching her, we sailed through the Panama Canal to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands where we chartered for over two years. While in the islands, I received my 100-ton Auxiliary Sail Captains license. It was that sailing experience that led me to set my first nautical suspense novel, SURFACE TENSION (2002), on the waterfront in Fort Lauderdale. Featuring Florida female tug and salvage captain, Seychelle Sullivan, the first book was followed by CROSS CURRENT (2004) and BITTER END (2005). The fourth book in the series, WRECKERS’ KEY was released in February 2007. At the end of the 2010-11 academic year, I took the motto of this blog to heart. I quit my day job as an English professor at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale (just when they offered me tenure, I said no thanks and took early retirement). I was living the dream of full-time cruising on board my 33-foot Caliber Talespinner on my very tiny pension and whatever I made from my books having parted ways with the big publishing establishment. I self-published two books on my own: a small collection of four short stories entitled SEA BITCH: Four Tales of Nautical Noir and my first stand-alone sailing thriller set in the Caribbean, CIRCLE OF BONES. In 2012 I was offered a publishing deal with Amazon's mystery/thriller imprint Thomas&Mercer and they reissued CIRCLE OF BONES. The sequel to that book, DRAGON'S TRIANGLE came out in June 2014. And as for me, I'm no longer a singlehander on my little boat. I met Wayne Hodgins in 2013 and after a whirlwind Skype courtship, I flew to meet him in Fiji and we sailed a nearly 2000 mile passage to the Marshall Islands for our "first date." We now sail together aboard LEARNATIVITY, a 52-foot motor sailor with our family including Barney, the Yorkshire Terror and Ruby, the Wonder Dog.
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7 Responses to When will writing and publishing get easier?

  1. Christine,
    Feeling like a fraud and being a fraud are not the same thing. You’re a good writer. I love your books. Keep writing.

  2. Conrad Brown says:

    The time for regrets is when the next book isn’t written. I love writing, you do too. Keep it up. I look forward to reading your latest. Fair winds to you too.

  3. Diane says:

    Superman pose!! Christine, look that up, you’ll love it, it’s a TED talk…

    I’ll post a review but it will be a while before I even get to read the book, sorry

  4. Wendy,
    Thanks so much for the kind words and for being such a loyal follower. One thing about the nomadic life is that you often don’t stay in one place long enough to get long term friends. On the Internet though, we can remain connected. It’s always a pleasure to see your name.

  5. Hey Conrad,
    Thanks for the vote of support. You’re right that I write because I love it, but we both also love to be read. I don’t know how you feel about it, but I don’t write for myself—I write for my readers. I yearn for feedback. I even revel with the one-star reviews because it makes me remember that there are all kinds of readers out there, and they aren’t all going to like what I write. And they will like some of my books better than others. I get that. But I know that I fear with each launch that this book will be the one that MOST people don’t like.
    Actors are lucky. They get the immediate feedback. We have to wait years. It can feel brutal.

  6. Diane,
    Thanks for the Superman pose reference! I will remember that!

  7. Ellen Scott says:

    I’m so excited the new book is available! I’m going to get it ASAP. I love your stories and will spread the word and write a review!

Comments are closed.