Whenever I finish a book, I have this moment of sadness and doubt.
I'm sure most people will understand the doubt. Will readers like this book? After so many books in one series, readers come to expect certain things from an author and the author wants to deliver, but she also wants to stay true to the vision she had when she began writing. It's a tightrope walk.
What may not be obvious is the moment of sadness. That moment between creating something and releasing it, warts and all, into the world. Up until now, it's been my private adventure, my private tale. Once it goes into the public, it's now part of everyone who reads it, whether they view it fondly or negatively. It's no longer my own.
Reading is funny that way. The written word is a construct of the human mind. It has no meaning beyond what we attach to it, but every book we read creates a relationship between us and the characters, and even more subtly, between us and the writer.