The Woman WITHOUT the Dragon Tattoo

by Stella MacLean

The dreaded month is upon me!  My release month.  A CHILD CHANGES EVERYTHING is on the bookshelves the tenth, and I’m in panic mode! 

Will people read my book?  Will they have certain expectations based on my earlier books?  Will I meet those expectations? 

Or will they give it a cursory glance, assume it’s ‘simply a romance’ then turn their attention to yet another book about a girl with a tattoo?

I wish I was a dragon, or that I had a tattoo or wanted a tattoo.  Did Stieg Larssen realize what he would unleash onto the reading public with his books?  Is he watching from somewhere as astounded as the rest of the world at the success of his books?
Or did he know all along that his words would be pure platinum?

These are some of the thoughts I can play with in my feeble attempt to distract myself from the inevitable day when my book is on the shelves of all the local bookstores, grocery stores and pharmacies.

But I’m no Stieg Larssen, and never will be.  Don’t have the talent.  Poor choice of distraction I think to myself as my pulse clicks up over a hundred and my blood pressure flirts with disaster.  In an attempt to rein in my soaring anxiety, I try to focus on the people I know who will LOVE my book, no matter what…. 

 Who were they again?    

I do my best to resist reading reviews on the principle that a review is way too little, way too late.  But that’s just me barricading myself against being mauled by a reviewer who doesn’t like my work.  Wouldn’t it be nice, if we didn’t worry about reviews?  If we could all enjoy the ‘instant’ success we often fantasize about? 

There goes another one of those tattoo thoughts whistling by my head.  How did Stieg do it?  (See, I’m trying to get up close and personal with a star, see if any of it will rub off like the fake tan I tried last week.)

Back to Stieg.  Did his experience as a writer and activist prepare him to write those three now-famous books?  Wikipedia says he wrote them in his spare time.  Amazing to think that after working all day in the world of writing and publishing that he was willing to come home and devote his time to writing such huge books with so much detail!  

So, I guess the only real question in the end is this. 
Do all authors suffer from pre-launch jitters?  I know I’m not alone, but it would be REALLY nice to hear from someone out there who has the launch day blues.


  1. hi Stella: Well I can't relate in terms of having your book published but I can relate in another way - when my documentary premiered on TV I was all jitters because I was worried about what the romance community would think - since it was about romance writers. But I got such great feedback that I was really pleased. It doesn't always turn out that way - but I'm sure there are a lot of people who don't like my doc - but the people who matter did like it - and I think that you will experience the same thing. ;) Good luck!

  2. Stella, every single time I post new poetry on my blog (which is every week, for the past 4 years) I get nervous when I check the comments section. And now that I'm posting serialized fiction every Saturday, it's worse - WAY worse.

    My husband thought I was kidding when I mentioned that, a little while back. But I'm SO not kidding.

  3. And Stieg had his share of negative comments too. Congratulations on A Baby Changes Everything!

  4. Stella,
    I know well the anxiety of launch month. I only wish I had your strength to avoid reviews. Good luck with "A Baby Changes Everything!"

  5. Hi Stella,

    I hear ya, all the way! I know exactly how you feel, it's hard to compete with some of those literary phenoms, but there's room for more than one good book!

    Congrats on the release of A Child Changes Everything. As a fan, I can say you never disappoint!


  6. Stella, yes, I have the same jitters. My Super comes out on the same day as yours. It is a little nerve-racking, but I LOVE standing in the bookstore just staring at my book on the shelf. This is my third book and I'm still as excited as with the first.

    A Child Changes Everything sounds wonderful!

    Can't wait to read it.


  7. So glad to hear so many understanding voices in the group! Don't feel so nearly alone now.....

  8. Hi Stella--

    I can relate to launch day jitters. I just had WHITE HEAT come out a little over a week ago, while we were at RWA National, and felt the same thing. It's exciting but nerve-wracking. And now I have two more release dates in the near future for BODY HEAT and KILLER HEAT, and I assumed I'll be nervous about those, too. Just comes with the territory. But try to sit back and relax, okay? ENJOY!

  9. You have earned the right to a few pre-launch jitters. The book is going to be wonderful, so take a deep breath and enjoy the suspense! Wanda in Edmonton

  10. Hi Stella. I feel your pain. My first book releases next month and I'm literally nauseous with anticipation. Stay strong girl. Your book will be fab.


    And stay away from the reviews. You can't do anything about them.

  11. Helpful blog, bookmarked the website with hopes to read more!


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