Scream Until We’re Hoarse

Sunset from Gate’s Pass, Tucson.
How has it already been a year? How has it only been a year?

I feel like I’ve been on this ride for the better part of three years. As I step off and let the new, refreshed crew on, my legs are still shaking a bit but I’m all excited to go again – and soon.

Unlike before, when I was waiting in trepidation, like in those lines that snake through the cool, air-conditioned dark beneath Space Mountain, the passing of carts at high velocity rattling your teeth, the excited/terrified screams of those who’d gone before echoing down the narrow halls and ratcheting up the tension until you know you’ve made a mistake, you should’ve gone with your cousin to It’s a Small World instead –

Unlike then, I’ve been on this ride before. I know what to expect. And that takes away most of the fear, turns those screams from terrified to excited.

A year ago, I didn’t know what to expect. The things I thought I could expect never happened; the things I didn’t dare to expect, did; and the things I didn’t know to expect popped up like fragrant wildflowers along the way.

Debut years will be different for everyone. Some authors will get what you desperately wanted. Other authors will watch you get what they wanted. It’s a messy public space full of wanting and yearning and never quite realizing just how lucky we are to have what we have:

A published book.

A. Published. Book.

My words on the page, my worlds in your mind.

Creating stories, I’ve found over the past year, is a bit like creating languages. That story, that language, still means something even when you’re the only one carrying it, the only one speaking it. But the moment someone else learns your language, the moment someone else starts speaking your world – that’s when it comes alive.

And reader – that’s what we dream of, isn’t it? For our worlds and characters to live and breathe, think and feel, persist beyond the fleshy limits of our own brains. Every person who reads my books breathes a little more life into them, makes them a little more real.

Carries them further than I ever could on my own.

Before I sign off from the Debutante Ball and step off this wild ride, I want to leave you with a few tips to survive your debut year:

1. Find your community.
A group of author friends who know exactly what it’s like to open your box of ARCs and not feel the thrill you were expecting, who know how a single bad review even among a dozen glowing ones can bring the week down, who know just how ridiculous the pressure can be – these are vital. You’re going to have dragon problems, my friend, and you’ll need friends with dragons to talk to.

2. If you want to do something, do it.
As long as you’re not going to hurt anyone – and you’re not, right? – you don’t need permission to have a party, set up that signing, go to that conference, be on that panel, ask to be on that podcast, request an ARC, do a cover reveal, go on a book tour. You may be surprised by how many things you need to do yourself, but never let that get in the way of them happening.

Just like you’re the only one who can truly care about your money, your life, your health – you’re the only one who can truly care about your book.

3. It’s going to be hard sometimes.
This is normal. It’s hard for everyone, even that author with the six figure advance and the multi-state tour. It’s hard to write The Next Book with all those expectations on your shoulders, it’s hard to scrounge together the time to promote and write and edit and do all those other necessary life things like eat, sleep, go outside.

4. Don’t diminish what you did.
You wrote a freaking book. That’s pretty awesome. Celebrate it!

5. It’s going to be scary. It’s going to be fun. 
You’re going to feel a lot of emotions and your first instinct will be to tamp down on all of them. But let them be – let yourself feel terrified, let yourself feel exhilarated, let yourself feel sad and confused and excited and on top of the fucking world. Let yourself scream – scream until you’re hoarse.

You only get to debut once, after all.


The Perfect Assassin is available from anywhere that sells books, in paperback, e-book, and audio. If you’ve already read it, please consider leaving a review! 

The Impossible Contract is available for pre-order now and will be out November 12th, 2019, in paperback, e-book, and audio.

The Unconquered City is slated for June 2020 – follow my blog or my Twitter for more details as they come!

If you’d like to keep updated on the Chronicles of Ghadid trilogy, what’s next, or various and sundry, you can find K.A. Doore:
Twitter: @KA_Doore
Instagram: @KA_Doore
Website: & Blog: www.KADoore.com

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K.A. Doore writes fantasy – mostly second world, mostly novels – with a touch of horror and a ton of adventure. Now she lives in Michigan with her one (1) small human and one (1) wife, but it's been a long road across the U.S. and back again to get here. The Perfect Assassin, is the first book in the Chronicles of Ghadid trilogy, is her debut.

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