Powerhouse writer J.M. Darhower reveals what it’s like to be in the hot seat when reader reactions start rolling in. Check out the thrilling sequel to SEMPRE, SEMPRE: REDEMPTION – out tomorrow in paperback!

I was admittedly nervous about Sempre: Redemption. Questions plagued me constantly leading up to release day. What would people think? How would they react? Would they love it? Would they hate it? Would they hate me?

WHY ISN’T THERE ANY CHOCOLATE IN MY HOUSE? *cue freak out*

It was fruitless, of course, because I can only control the words I write. I can’t control what readers think about them.

The reaction was exactly as I hoped: passion-fueled, no matter which side of the spectrum the opinion fell on.

Plot twists aren’t always easy to execute. Finding the right balance between mystery and foreshadowing can be hard. There’s a moment in Redemption, a moment we build to, where all of the secrets the characters carry with them come out in a BIG way, a moment that affects everyone in the story. I waited with bated breath as readers read, waiting for their reactions when they reached this point… some saw it coming, others felt blindsided, but something everyone seemed to have in common was when it happened, they lost it. Love it or hate it, they felt it. And that made my little word-slinging heart soar (even if I did break some of theirs).

To me, that’s what makes a good story. That’s what I aim for when writing. Feeling.

I have gotten emails, and letters, and cards… some tear-fueled, awestruck, horrified; others full of hope. The messages of inspiration are the best, to know my words inspired people enough to share the story, to spread the message, to get tattoos inked on their skin in honor of it, is indescribable.

It’s everything I could’ve asked for.

I even got a box of chocolate delivered right to my door.