I’m an emotional writer. When I get an idea in my head, or a character, I usually have to jot something down or the characters scream so loud I can’t think of anything else. That’s when I do stupid distracted things like lock myself out of my house (I’ve done this about five times). Or forget to take my kids’ lunch to school. Or whatever.
That’s the way it was with Strong Signal. And from talking to my co-writer, Santino Hassell, that’s how he felt too. We’d been friends and fans of each others’ work for a while. We never intended to write a book together. We didn’t say, “let’s write a book together, what do you want to write about?” The idea and characters came first. That’s why I call Strong Signal a passion project.
While drafting, we loved it. Unconditionally. When we finished, we took step back and worried it was maybe a little niche. Not mainstream. Wouldn’t appeal to a broad audience. Was Kai to neurotic? Was Garrett too grumpy? Were there too many gaming references?
And then we said, fuck it. Because we loved it, and we thought it was an important story to tell. We sent out advanced reader copies with lots of trepidation, biting our nails, worried readers wouldn’t get it. It wasn’t that we thought readers weren’t intelligent. But we were worried that maybe we didn’t do our jobs in a way they would root for the characters.
We planned to release it quietly on Amazon only.
And then the reviews began coming in. And we were floored. Not only did readers get Strong Signal, but they LOVED it. They gushed and emailed us heartfelt emails about how much Kai and Garrett’s journey meant to them. And we both kinda sat back, like, “Whoa.” We underestimated our readers, clearly.
We scrambled to revise our plan. We wanted to make sure it got in the hands of more readers – so we decided to upload to more retailers. We rushed to get up a preorder because readers were asking.
And every day, we’re still surprised. The tweets, emails, messages… I think we both felt like this collaboration was a victory before one book was sold.
And now it’s release day, and I don’t know what to do with myself. Other than say THANK YOU. A million times over. Thank you. For loving G&K and for rooting for them and for telling Santino and I that writing this book mattered. Because of you, we’re going to write more. And we can’t wait to start.
Much love. I’d hug and kiss each one of you all awkward-like if I could.
xoxo ~ Megan