What No One Tells You about Being a Debut Author

Please welcome guest author Caitlin Sinead to the Cafe!

Caitlin Senead Head ShotWhat No One Tells You about Being a Debut Author

  • Your in-laws are going to read your sex scenes.
  • Your most cynical, critical friend is going to read your book as soon as it’s available and tell you you did an excellent job.
  • Your very kind friend is going to say when someone told her the premise of your book she thought that someone was joking. She couldn’t believe it was actually the premise! Isn’t that hilarious!
  • You are going to enjoy neutral reviews that “get” the work more than good reviews that don’t seem to get what you were trying to do.
  • You are going to tear up at work after reading a Facebook post from your sister sharing how proud she is of her little sister.
  • You are going to tear up at work when you refresh your Amazon Sales Rankings.
  • Your childhood friends’ parents are going to read your sex scenes
  • No matter how many reviews say your book is a page turner, the one that says it was a torturous slog will stick to the inside of your ribs like an old piece of gum.
  • You are going to appreciate having an agent, editor, and publicist in your corner more than you ever appreciated it before.
  • You are going to realize that your very sensible and managed expectations were way too high.
  • You are going to learn that there are multiple people in the universe who feel your lovely book is only worthy of one maddening star.
  • You are going to decide to stop reading the reviews.
  • Your husband’s colleagues are going to read your sex scenes.
  • Many of your friends will actually, really, truly read the book. But, for the most part, they aren’t the same friends you thought would actually, really, truly read the book.  You will decide to roll with the pleasant surprises.
  • You are going to have just the right amount of cupcakes and champagne at your launch party.
  • Your husband is going to prove how patient he is when you loll about the apartment despondently after reading the reviews you promised him you’d stop reading …really…this time…*refreshes Goodreads again*
  • Your parents are not going to read your sex scenes because you’re going to ask them to please not read them. (Your mom will anyway.)
  • You are going to feel tremendous, weighty doubt about your worth as a writer and all your current projects….right at the exact time that your writers’ group assumes you are feeling really, euphorically confident about your worth as a writer and all your current projects.
  • Your Twitter friends are going to prove how awesome and necessary they are and you are going to be sad there is no twitter “hug” feature.
  • You are going to remind yourself that you wrote a book! A whole, entire book, with characters and dialogue and mullet jokes and everything! You’ll tell yourself you’ve certainly earned some relaxation and smiling time!
  • *refreshes Goodreads again*

~  ~  ~


Heartsick CoverQuinn is looking forward to her senior year at Poe University. She has big plans to hang out with her best friend, flirt with a certain boy genius, party at her favorite dive bar and figure out what she’s going to do after graduation with her not-so-useful art major. But that’s before she meets Luke, a hot townie who’s moved back home to help take care of his dying sister. And it’s before a weird epidemic sweeps across campus, mysteriously turning people’s eyes purple.

Is it an odd side effect from a new party drug?

Is it a rogue virus developed in a campus lab?

Is it the mark of the devil?

Soon the town starts blaming the university and the student religious group becomes frighteningly aggressive in their on-campus accusations. Quinn and Luke are caught in the middle—until a tragic accident forces Luke to reveal the one part of himself he’s kept carefully hidden. That he’s so much more than the happy-go-lucky boy next door Quinn had believed him to be isn’t a surprise…but this truth might be too dangerous for her to handle.

~  ~  ~

Caitlin Sinead’s writing has earned accolades from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Glimmer Train, and Writers & Artists, and her stories have appeared in multiple publications, including The Alarmist, The Binnacle, Crunchable, Jersey Devil Press, and Northern Virginia Magazine. She earned a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University and lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband and two cats.



What No One Tells You about Being a Debut Author — 13 Comments

  1. Oh MAN. My debut came out in January, and boy is all of this true. Especially the bit about your expectations having been too high. And everybody reading your sex scenes! I actually blocked Goodreads for a time. 😉

  2. So true! Mine came out in December and I have been surprised about who among my friends and family has & hasn’t read it. Also, my mother-in-law loved it, and enjoyed the sex scenes. Still blushing about that. My mom has announced that she is going to read them out loud (and loudly) to my grandmother in her nursing home. Oh God…

    • hahaha! Oddly, I’m less afraid of my grandmother reading it than my dad. I don’t think my mom has any plans to read it out loud to my grandma, but honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised… 😛

  3. Psst… Unfortunately, a lot of those things never change. *Sigh* The good thing though, is you figure out how to live with them so they don’t bug you so much. I’ve learned to laugh off all the “funny” jokes about me writing porno from those friends who think they’re hilarious. Just keep writing, kick out another book and then do it again!

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