I’ve putting off writing this as I didn’t really know how to say it. When I first published, I swore I would share the ups and downs of my publishing journey and this new book, Destroyed, showed me a new lesson that I’d like to share.
Before I start, I’ll share a bit of the writing process for this one. I have written 160,000 words in 3.5 weeks. I have deleted 60,000 words as I didn’t know the characters enough to start with and the story kept evolving. And I just made the heartbreaking decision to delete yet MORE words and rewrite the entire ending. Why am I doing that? I lost faith in myself as a writer and it played havoc with my mind.
I tried to keep Destroyed less dark. I wanted to show I can be diverse and offer a range of different stories, but I forgot what is in my heart and the characters in Destroyed turned it darker from what I’d originally planned which was great for me, but it wasn’t what I set out to do. My brain was overriding my heart and that’s where problems started happening.
I didn’t give myself free reign to write the book I wanted. It was hard. It was heartbreaking to keep deleting so many words. I would never do it again.
Destroyed is a story I’m proud of but not how it is. It needs to be made stronger; it needs a few more tweaks and the ending needs to be re-written. With that being said, Destroyed won’t be releasing on the 24th February. I hate to break a promise, but I would be breaking a promise to myself to only publish books I believe in if I put it out how it is. I want to deliver a book that’s original, sexy, angsty, and make you live the journey, and right now, Destroyed isn’t quite there. However, it’s not far away. I’m not going to put another release date—it’s just going to randomly appear, and I’m guessing it will be the first week of March, so it’s only a week or so delay.
I didn’t do this lightly, in fact, I’ve been killing myself over the past few weeks to avoid doing this, but the pressure is making the story worse than better, so I have to take a step back, learn to love the book again, and then pour my heart into editing it.
I can’t thank you all enough for your amazing support and wonderful words. I don’t know what I would’ve done without a lot of you these past few weeks. You’ve been beyond amazing putting up with my writing cave hours and my lack of emails.
The main reason why Destroyed hasn’t been an enjoyable journey for me was because I tried to pigeon hole myself. I lost WHY I write. The characters made me listen and forced me to write their story, however every step I was doubting if my story was mainstream enough—if the concept wasn’t too far out—if people would like it.
I began to hate my originality, thinking I would be turning people away from my work as an author and it took some serious soul searching to find the reason why I write: I WRITE TO TELL A UNIQUE STORY. I’m not here to write about topics already done. I’m here to write what I’m passionate about and sometimes that’s a completely different story to the one I think I’m writing. Tess and Q were SO easy to write—why? Because I gave them every part of me because I BELIEVED. Destroyed I lost that belief and man did I pay the price. Not only did I waste approx. 80,000 words but I lost the ‘fun.’ It became a chore.
I’m happy to report I’ve re-embraced my originality and got over my mini-meltdown. I think lack of sleep (I’m an insomniac) and trying to deliver a book I thought the market wanted, screwed me over. I took a step back and really LOOKED at what I’m trying to do. I’ve been BEYOND lucky to have the success as a writer that I have. I will be forever grateful for every single reader, blogger, reviewer, and friend who have shared the word of my books. However, with that success came immense pressure. I didn’t want to let anyone down by putting out a bad book. I let the fear of the unknown cripple my writing process. And I don’t mind saying I got caught up in the ‘’will this be another bestseller’’. Tess and Q got people’s attention, and I want to deliver book after book—but what if I deliver a book that nobody likes? Will they forgive me and keep reading what I put out? Or will my one chance at writing for a living go up in smoke?
Know what I told myself?
Destroyed is ONE book in hundreds that I have locked inside my brain. Some people will love it, some people will hate it. And that’s okay. That’s life. I dealt with both positive and negative reviews on Tess and Q so why did I let it crush me on this book that isn’t even released yet? Simple. I wanted to recreate the success of Tess and Q all over again. I want to gain more readers. I want to deliver my story into more kindles around the world. Not for money, or fame, but because it means more people see my characters which ultimately means more people to write for. I boxed myself in to a fearful little corner by making myself believe that Destroyed would flop and all of this success would’ve been a dream.
I keep thinking I’ll wake up and find out that I never published a book, and don’t have readers messaging me daily saying how much they love my work. I keep thinking they’ve made a mistake and if I release another book they’ll see the truth that I’m an imposter.
Those fears stole my happiness in writing and i was the only one who made myself feel that way. I let the stress take away my dream.
Those fears are still with me, but now I’m more balanced. I took time out to re-evaluate my goals and they’re pretty simple:
- Write a book I’m proud of.
- Write something as original as I can
- Deliver characters who exist far past their release date
- Stay personal and one on one with my readers
- Never forget why I write: Because I CAN’T not write.
I had to remind myself of who I am:
I’m Pepper Winters and I write sexy taboo books that make you think, make you pant, make you squirm, make you scream. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
Once Destroyed is out, I’m throwing myself back into Tess and Q. I don’t mind admitting that I miss him. And then… then I’m going to go dark. I have a new character in my head that will give Q a run for his money and I can’t wait to enter the darkness once again and embrace who I am: I’m a lover of taboo romance and I’m okay with that :)
For all those writers out there, never forget who you are. There is so much pressure these days to write for an ever growing market full of so many different wonderful genres, but never write what you’re not passionate about.
For all the readers out there, I want to thank you in advance for giving my work a chance; for supporting me, and following me regardless of what book I put out. I hope I pay you back with an exciting story with Destroyed.
For all the bloggers and reviewers out there, I’m so sorry for the slight delay in Destroyed ARCs and thank you for putting up with me and my minor meltdown.
I can’t thank everyone enough.
Have a great weekend.
Oh, and there is a giveaway going on over at my page. A signed copy of Tess or QQ, a signed copy of Destroyed, ebooks, bookmarks, and swag up for grabs. <3
Link is HERE