In 2011, shadows came to life, hiding from the sun in tiny crevices while stalking my teenage heroine. Donor was self-published in 2013.
I made a few mistakes. One was trying to release the novel in parts like a serialized story. Keeping in mind this was pre-Kindle-Vella days, the idea was not well received and got reviews to match. Bad reviews. *Heavy sigh* I thought that meant the writing stunk.
I set out to read it recently, with the idea that I would need to revise a lot.
I was wrong.
Yes, there are a number of typos–I counted 12. But here’s the thing–I love this book! I had forgotten the story, and even though I kind of knew what would happen next, I had forgotten how we would get there. As I read, my heart raced, my worry escalated, and I fell in love with Shreya all over again. I found myself reading with anticipation and dread and excitement for my young protagonist.
I wrote Donor with the pacing style of Dean Koonz’s Intensity, a novel about a young woman attempting to save a friend from a serial killer by following him. Shreya is the opposite of that kind of bravery. She’s on the run from the law, the unlawful and those beyond any natural laws. Donor is told with escalating threats and a persistent tension that does not let up. One of my writer friends told me, “There are no pauses for me to take a breath!”
My worst mistake, however, was in not hiring a sensitivity reader. To be fair, the service didn’t exist back then, but they do now, and that’s something I’m going to take advantage of in this revision. I used phrases that were regular slang at the time, but now mean something else. Phrases that make me cringe with regret.
In 2011, I wrote this book with a love for the genre, and as I am blessed to have a diverse circle of friends and family, this revision is a labor of love for them.