A book release can be overwhelming. A lot of factors converge at once. Reviews, to be honest, don't really faze me, but they do create a lot of swirling noise. There's a lot of noise in general during a book release, and when you're trying to ground yourself in what matters, noise can be decentering. Also, during a book release, a writer is transitioning from working alone in a room on an intensely private project to being the star of public speaking events :). Am I nervous about that? Sure. Nerves contribute to the release being overwhelming.
But this morning, I managed to isolate, at least for a few moments, the reason why this release is extra hard. Unlike Katsa and Fire, Bitterblue is just a regular person. She doesn't have any superpowers; she's only got her own courage, smarts, determination, her heart. She feels vulnerable to me, more than Katsa and Fire ever did. And now she's grown up, and it's time for me to fling her out into the scary world on her own. It's time for me to let her go. Maybe most painful, it's time for me to accept that she doesn't need me anymore.
I am a little bit heartbroken; I am grieving. Yes, this is over an imaginary person. Mock me at will. I know that what I'm feeling is real.
Thank you, dear readers who take my characters into your hearts. Whether you love her or not, whether you fight with her, feel indifferent to her, or become her best friend, I know Bitterblue will be okay, because she'll be with you. That's where she was always meant to be.[image error]