To My Readers,
You guys, Secret Lucidity is almost here! This book has been the most amazing journey in my writing career. I simply don’t know how to explain it because there are no words that could possibly measure up to how this book affected me—how it still affects me. The whole process has been amazing, and I haven’t even published it yet!
I wish I could express how genuinely excited I am to share this story, these characters, with all of you. This story is so close to my heart that I become overwhelmed when I think about it. It’s honest. It’s so damn honest that each and every time over the last year that I’ve read it or listened to it on audio, it has brought tears to my eyes.
Don’t believe me? Just ask Sally, my amazing assistant.
She’s been on the journey with me since its conception. She’s listened to me cry way too many tears and squeal in excitement way too many times. I’ve said it all along, this is my personal best. And now, to hear so many bloggers saying the same thing in their reviews, that this is E.K. Blair’s best book to date . . . I mean, WOW! Just WOW!
Don’t let the cover fool you though. This book is intense from the very first chapter. It’s dark. It’s emotional. It’s VERY taboo. It dives into very sensitive topics. It is UNLIKE any student-teacher you’ve read before.
It’s a wild ride.
Cam and David, our leading couple, took me by surprise. I didn’t know anything about them when I started writing this story back in 2016. You see, I’m not the type of writer who plots—anything!
That isn’t how I operate.
All I knew going into it was that I wanted to write a controversial tale about a student-teacher scandal. I sat and allowed Cam and David to lead me through their story the way they wanted it told without me pulling their strings.
As I got to know Cam, I became shocked and slightly disturbed. She showed me sides of herself I never saw coming. And then there was David. Man, I wasn’t expecting to be dealing with such a complex person. This story clutched me tightly and there was no turning away for me. I was consumed—wholly.
My God, was I consumed.
I still am.
The intensity I felt while writing hasn’t subsided. Not in the least. At times, I become anxious about Cam and David, and before I know it, I’m sucked back in, turning the pages frantically as if it were the first time I have ever experienced the story. It’s a strange feeling, but one I hope never leaves me. Because it’s through my uncontrollable physical reaction that I know I’ve done my job. I hope you will feel the same as well.
So, why has it taken me so long to publish this book? It’s a question I have been asked time and time again, so here is the answer. This is the part where I strip down the walls and expose the vulnerable side of being an author.
It isn’t all sunshine and roses. Sometimes, more often than not, I get knocked down.
I knew this book was something special. I felt it in my bones. So, I called my agent.
“I think I have something amazing,” I told her with an obnoxious, giddy smile. “And if there were ever a book of mine that deserved a spot on a bookstore’s shelf, it’s this one.”
“You want me to shop it?”
“No, I don’t just want you to shop it—I want you to sell it. Let’s finally make it happen.”
(For those of you who don’t know, shopping a book means to submit the manuscript to publishers in hopes that a traditional publisher will pick it up.)
I had turned down deals in the past because I wasn’t quite ready to be traditionally published. That wasn’t the case anymore. I wanted it more than anything, and as soon as the call ended, I emailed her the manuscript.
A couple of days later, she called me.
“I read the book,” she said.
“It’s a damn homerun, girl. But I’ll be honest, it may be a hard sell.”
“It borders on the edge of a few genres. Publishers might find it hard to place, but I’m going to fight for you.”
Side note: I also had a couple authors that I highly admire and respect take an early read of the book. These authors are signed to publishers as well and had also vowed to fight for this book.
My agent wrote her pitch, and we were off. The book landed on the desks of some of the top publishers in the country. I was prepared to wait a lengthy amount of time for a response, but to my surprise, the book was devoured, and three weeks later, I got the call.
I have dreamt of this day for years. It was finally here.
“You have time to talk E.K.?” my agent asked.
“Yes!” I sat on my bed. It was the perfect time for this call. My husband was at work and my kids were in school. I had the house to myself to squeal and celebrate and do my victory dance. “So, what did you find out?”
“Everyone has already read it and gotten back to me.”
“Oh my God, that was fast!”
Que the butterflies!!!!!
“They loved it. Not a single one had anything bad to say. In fact, a few were thrilled to see you had finally submitted to them, as they are fans of your work.”
“You’re kidding? That’s unbelievable!”
“Unfortunately . . .”
Unfortunately? No, you can’t say that word.
“Everyone rejected it.”
Those butterflies died a swift death, falling hard into the bottom of my gut. I couldn’t speak. It was like there was a noose around my neck. I sat there on my bed as the tears poured down my cheeks.
“I’m so sorry. I know how badly you wanted this.”
“Why? If they loved it, then why?”
I can still recall how painful those words felt as they strained through the cords of my throat.
Her response mirrored what she originally told me: the story edged on a few different genres and they wouldn’t be able to fit it anywhere. She asked if I would consider changing this and that.
“No, I don’t want to change anything. If I do, there is nothing special about the story. It will become like everything else out there.”
I ran into this same issue with a previous book of mine, Bang. Several publishers wanted it, but only if I made some drastic changes. I refused. I knew in my gut that the elements they were concerned about would be the very elements that would make the book sell. So, I walked away from the publishers and published it myself. (Maybe I’m too stubborn to be traditionally published.)
After the call ended, I cried. I cried a LOT. And when I woke the next morning, the miserable weight of rejection was still tormenting me. So, I cried some more. I was devastated. I hung all my hopes on this book “making it.” I hid away. It took about a week for the tears to subside and for my heart not to ache so badly.
Rejection is never easy.
“Have you thought any more about the changes we spoke about?” my agent asked when she called me about a week later.
“I did,” I told her. “I just don’t feel like I should alter the story.”
“I understand. So, you’re going to self-publish this one?”
“I think so.”
“A piece of advice: Don’t rush it. This is my favorite story from you so far. Take your time and make this release mean something.”
That’s what I did. I took a solid year reading and re-reading. Editing and re-editing. Listening and re-listening. I’ve improved on the original writing until it was as polished as possible.
I took this time to be alone with the book, to enjoy it, to revel in it, and to celebrate it. I did it privately, and in the meantime, I wrote and published Crave, Part One and Crave, Part Two.
And now here I am. Less than a week away from publishing. Even though I’m nervous (as I am with every book release), I am ready. I’ve given this story my everything and I am 100% confident in it. Will it be perfect for everyone? No. No book could ever accomplish that. But it doesn’t matter, because it is perfect for me. More importantly, it is perfect for Cam and David. This is their story, and they deserve for it to be told the best way possible. In my heart, I believe I have done that.
February 26th cannot come soon enough. And when it does come, and you begin to read the words that came straight from my soul, I hope you will hold on to them tightly, nurture them, and let them sink deep into your own soul.
With all that said, I cannot thank you all enough for your unyielding support. I couldn’t do what I do if it weren’t for YOU! I hope February 26th will be a special day for all of you, because it will be a very special day for me!