Try Not to Breathe

Blimey, 1000 Goodreads reviews!

11th September 2016
screenshot of Try Not to Breathe on Goodreads

I got my first Goodreads review in June 2015. It was a bolt from the blue. Being a debut novelist, every step of the process was a mystery and this was just one more. I had no idea that I’d get a review eight months before the book was even released. Fittingly – as it arrived a month before I was due to move with my family to Amsterdam – it was in Dutch. I copied and pasted it into Google Translate and – thank goodness – it was a positive one. I could breathe.

I forwarded the link to pretty much everyone I knew. And the next one, and the one after that. I didn’t realise, I didn’t ever consider, that they would ever appear too quickly and in too great a number to keep sending them individually to the many people who worked on the book with me. But they did.

I refreshed the page hourly for weeks, probably months. Every time someone liked it, I wanted to thank them personally. Every time someone didn’t, I wanted to explain, plead the case for my characters. I LUCKILY managed to do neither. Eventually, I learned just not to look. It’s not good for the heart, and definitely not good for the work in progress.

But I do log on to answer any questions or update my author page and so I have seen the review number tick steadily up. And I still can’t believe that it’s hit this number, but it has. And I’m incredibly grateful. To everyone who has taken the time, enthused and fed back. THANK YOU. I promise you, if you ever wondered, authors are grateful to each of you even if we can only look at what you wrote through our fingers after a couple of tequila shots.

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