Shelf Life by Christina George
Publishing: An industry of out-of-control of egos, unrealistic expectations, and books with the shelf life of milk. This is Kate’s world, but for how long?
When one of Kate Mitchell’s star authors is carted away in handcuffs, she thinks it’s only the beginning of her troubles. As her world crumbles around her, Kate desperately looks for anyone to hold on to but finds that happy endings are truly works of fiction. When her career and love affair hit their expiration dates, Kate sets off on a new adventure….
Starting over in California is easy, but Kate soon learns that leaving her old life behind isn’t. Nicholas Lavigne is eager to help her forget, but two things still own her heart: the dream of discovering the next great American novel and MacDermott Ellis. As Kate tries to rebuild her life, she finds a surprising gift that reboots her career in a new and unexpected direction. Suddenly her name becomes synonymous with one of the biggest best sellers publishing has seen in ages, and she’s welcomed back with open arms. At the height of her success, the ghosts of her past come back to remind her of the world she’d been trying to forget and the man who never let go of her heart. Behind the book there’s always more to the story.
It should come as no surprise by now that I love this series. Shelf Life by Christina George is a wonderful story, both to read and to listen to. I have read the book and now listened to the audio. The narrator does a great job of really bringing Kate to life for me. Sometimes, when you listen to an audio of a book you’ve previously read, the narrator doesn’t do the story justice. In this case, Lisa nailed it for me.
I loved Shelf Life as much as I loved The Publicist. I love how listening to the audio really brings a whole new side to a story (and a series) that I love. Christina has a knack for creating real characters that you just want to know. This series is one of my favorites of the last couple of years, and each book is better than the last. I highly recommend this series, both in print and in audio. It is a sexy, satisfying series that dives right in and makes its home in your heart.
Maybe The Real Secret to Writing is Not Believing You Can
I’m always so shocked when people love what I write, mostly because, in my heart, I always doubt my ability to write. So much so, in fact, that when I first published The Publicist (book one), I had nightmares that readers would hate it: five hundred 1-star reviews on Amazon–all of them asking me why I wasted their time or killed a tree for this. Now, this isn’t some sympathy post begging for a slew of “oh Christina you’re an amazing writer!!” comments, but rather a serious true confession, and one that I think most authors share. We’re all a little afraid of being found out. That one day someone will say “She’s really not a great writer, but she has a great editor so you know, that helps.”
Also, I think that while it’s great to believe in yourself and believe in your work – it’s never a good idea to get too cocky. I’ve seen this kind of arrogance and it’s not pretty. A cocky author is someone who is a bit too full of themselves, and their ego (not their love for writing) is driving this train, and that never ends well. That’s not to say that my ego doesn’t get a boost when someone reviews my books and gives me a 5-star review; none of us is immune to that. But the real key is to not believe your own “press” as it were. By always remaining a little doubtful, you will forever hold onto the spark the forced you to write in the first place. Writing for fame or praise is a hollow goal, but writing because you want to – despite the many voices in your head insisting you can’t write – that is a true love of the craft. Something else I found is that when I don’t let the ego suck me into its insistence that my writing is sheer brilliance, it keeps me on the edge, it makes me try harder and, when I get a good review (no matter if it’s a big blogger or one of my readers) I feel as excited as a kid on Christmas.
The true joy in writing is telling a story and sharing it with the world. When people read it and love it, I’m grateful, when they read it and don’t like it – I try to learn from that, too.
I don’t know if this is the real secret to writing but it works for me. It keeps me grateful, it makes me try harder, and most of all, it keeps me writing.