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I think I read Marian Keyes' first book, Watermelon, about 13 years ago. The book was released in 1995, and I discovered it 9 years later.

I can't stop thinking about this photo she posted on Instagram last month. She just now translated this book - a book that was released 22 years ago - into Icelandic and released it last month.

It was a good reminder that fiction never goes out of style!

What I've learned + new edition alert!

Good morning, good lookin! Can you believe we're already midway through the year? I mean, I can, because for me it's been equal parts a slog (how great is that British word?) and also as if we're plummeting down so fast that our collective guts have catapulted into our throats and our jowls are flapping back like dogs out the window of a moving car.

Meaning, I want to be like "slow the %*$£ down, 2017!" Ya feel me?

The latter feeling is driven by both my fleeting youth (don't leave me!) and the fact that I set some ambitious creative goals this year. I want to kick said goals in their proverbial asses, but something forced me to slow my pace. 

A few weeks ago, I ran a promotion for Raindropt, and I attracted loads of new readers. I offered my book for free for one day, and I moved something like 5,000 copies. Woohoo, right?!

Um, not exactly. Instead, the other shoe dropped. I got not one but TWO truly negative reviews. It was the most humbling experience of my writing career so far.

I was stunned, at first. The early feedback had been so encouraging! I got some lovely reviews when I released the book last year. I knew my work was far from perfect, but I was grateful that some readers were able to see past some of my clunky, awkward errors I made. See for yourself:

Of course, I knew that I had a grand total of 9 reviews on Amazon, so that wasn't necessarily a consensus. Thousands of others have either bought or gotten a free copy of my first book at some point in the past year. I personally know some people who read it, but some weren't so forthcoming with the feedback.

I was still hopeful. Maybe they forgot to shower me in accolades, I thought. Maybe they're just busy, or they assume someone else will tell me it's brilliant. They actually think what I wrote may just be the literary equivalent to, say, War and Peace, albeit with a refreshing, quirky style, I thought. They just can't find the right words to tell me as much.

I know those early readers saw some mistakes. They know that I, for instance, used the phrase "lapis-lazuli blue" like 17 times in chapters 1-3, but I'm charming, right? They could see past that and still appreciate the story. Right?

I now realize that likely wasn't the case. The first edition had some errors I had to address. These two star reviews pointed out some flaws in my writing. They said things others either couldn't put into words, or maybe they were too kind to say. They said how things like character perspective and word choice were off, which I sort of knew at the time of release, but I wasn't a strong enough writer to know how to fix them.

Well, that was then. I'm a different writer than I was a year ago, and I decided to clean up my writing in Raindropt. I didn't touch the story, so if you've read (and liked) the first book, have no fear. If you hated book one, but your deep loathing had nothing at all to do with the story, then I'm asking you to give it another chance. I know this edition is strong - a tighter, smoother version of what I hit "publish" on a year ago.

Basically, I gave her a lovely facelift.

If you've read this far, then you deserve a free copy! Just click here to join my mailing list, and I'll email through a free ebook version. If you'd prefer to buy your own without giving your email, no worries. I'm selling it direct for just $0.50, so check it out! It's just $0.99 on Amazon and iBooks.

Also, please do leave me a review on AmazoniBooks, or Goodreads when you've finished reading. I'd love to hear what you think.

In the meantime, I'm moving forward with book 4. I have two more books to write this year!

Me, writing book 4 while on holiday last week

Me, writing book 4 while on holiday last week