So what do I mean by 'the fear'? Well, in this case, it's the fear of people thinking the book is crap. Now that advance review copies are about to be sent out, the realisation hits home that people are going to start reading the novel. Up until this point, very few people have read it. My partner, a few trusted readers, the publisher and editor and a couple of authors that offered blurbs.
Writing is a very solitary occupation. Me and my demons. Even though the work is a piece of fiction, there is obviously some of 'me' in the story as it originated from me. I gave birth to it. And like anyone with children knows, you care about them. You want to protect them. You want them to get on in life. You want them to be accepted. Liked. Successful. If you find your child is being bullied, picked on because someone has taken a dislike to them, it hurts. It's the same with anything you write. Of course over the years I've learned to harden myself to the criticism. You have to. But that's not to say that it doesn't hurt when someone calls your work crap.
That's not to say I like false praise, and people saying they like something just because they are worried about hurting my feelings. Sticks and stones and all that. Honest constructive criticism is one of the most valuable things people can offer. If someone thinks it's crap, tell me why you think it's crap. That's all I ask. That way I can learn.
So now my child is about to leave the nest, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that people welcome it's first tentative steps into the world.