It's a gut reaction.
A new reader informs me that he or she is going to read Dark Excursions, and my instant instinct is to apologize.
"I am truly sorry for any literary suffering my awful, crappy book may cause you."
No, I've never been quite so direct, but I have, somewhat jokingly, apologized for any mental illness my book may inflict upon a new reader.
I would love to say I don't know why I feel the need to apologize, but I know. I have trouble believing anyone can possibly enjoy the words I've spewed.
Even after positive reviews on Amazon and some very kind words from intelligent people on various social media sites, I fall prey to the epitome of stinkin' thinkin'.
The irony is that I completely love every single emotionally damaged character in Dark Excursions, and was brave, or crazy, enough to send them off into the digital and print literary world. There is a pleasurable thrill involved, simultaneous to my gut reaction, whenever someone has picked up my book, reading life into Dinkel, Cheryl, Crop, Anapola, Xylem, Ivan, and so many others.
I suppose I'll never completely lose the gut reaction to apologize, but I need to learn to ignore it. Push it aside, and give a sincere two-thumbs up and say, without hesitation...
Easier said than done, but I can make the effort.
P.S. A post about my book wouldn't be complete without a link of some sort for the curiously inclined...