It's that nail-biting, gut-wrenching, nerve-wracking time of year

... otherwise known as, The Weeks Leading Up to Release Day.

My wonderful, loving, well-meaning friends and family like to ask me, "So, are you excited for The Butcher to come out? Huh? Are you? Huh?"

Excited? Would I use the word excited? I don't know that I would, exactly.

Don't get me wrong, I do feel excitement. It's definitely there, threaded in with the EXTREME NERVOUSNESS OF PUTTING A NEW BOOK OUT INTO THE WORLD THAT PEOPLE WILL ACTUALLY READ AND HAVE OPINIONS ABOUT.

Sorry, I don't mean to shout. It's just that when I think about my upcoming release day – and this is how it was for the first two books as well – my brain can only process the monumental event in ALL CAPS.

Because it's genuinely scary. I've written something that I've worked hard on, and that I feel an emotional connection to. And of course I'm completely invested in whether or not it will do well. So it's terrifying in a lot of ways to imagine it out there, being bought, being borrowed, being read, being discussed... I don't know that it's possible to ever get used to it, or to ever take it lightly.

Imagine being naked, and standing in glass booth, and having people you don't know walk by and stare at you and make comments about your naked body. Imagine how exposed and self-conscious you would feel (unless you're a Playboy Playmate, but hey, they get airbrushing). That's kind of what it feels like.

I could even take that one step further, since I'm working on a new book right now. Imagine being at the gym naked, working out (okay, this is sounding like a bad recurring dream), and having people stare at you and make comments about your body while you're trying to do a plank.

I know it's part of the job. I signed up for this, every bit of it. You can't cherry pick the parts you like about writing and then pretend the rest of it doesn't exist. It's a package deal. The scary is mixed in with the awesome. I follow (stalk) a lot of popular, bestselling authors on Facebook and Twitter, and am relieved to see that they still get nervous too, even after multiple books and a long, successful career.

So whenever I feel faint, which is often these days, I try to remember I'm in good company.

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