I'd like to start out by first sharing how amazed I am with the accomplishments of this story. Just the difference in writing between Under My Skin and A Little Taste of Sin even blows me away. By the time I finished Under My Skin nearly a year ago I was not in the best place with my writing. I realized just how flawed my characters were and I got a few grumbles about certain choices I had made in that story. It's not one of my proudest works. I internalized all that negative feedback, some of it even coming from my closest friends, and realized that there was only one thing that I could do. Use all of that to my advantage and write a better story. I'd had the idea for A Little Taste of Sin pretty much together in my head although with a few slight differences. For instance at first Sean was originally supposed to just be a businessman or an architect, but I decided to make him a Marine over in Iraq one day while listening to Weird World. You know the whole lyric, "Back here it's her and me and we're having our first baby/ He's out there taking them on?" Well, yea I got an instant brainstorm and loved how that seemed to make the situation that more complex and just added to Alyssa's internal struggle between right and wrong. The UMS backlash though definitely made me aware that I needed to develop my characters further in this story (especially Alyssa) and I hope I've accomplished this. Yea, she will still piss many of you off from time to time, but I think that she's grown up so much throughout this story and I am really proud of the journey I've sent her on.
It didn't take me long in writing A Little Taste of Sin to realize that I was getting into controversial waters. Whether it be cheating, lying about a baby's paternity, even breastfeeding, everyone seemed to have an opinion. I quickly learned that as a writer I could not please everyone and once I stopped thinking that I could was when I feel that it really seemed to come together for me. This story has definitely exceeded all my expectations. In just one year (actually slightly less) I've written a story nearly 80,000 words longer than Under my Skin, and received more than 950 reviews. I doubt I will ever be able to match that success again with a single story. I am very proud of what I've managed to create. Although parts of it (particularly near the end) were very difficult to write I got through them with at least half my readers still with me. I know that many of my readers were disappointed with my decision to have Alyssa lose the baby and in my defense I never intended this story to be a happy little romance with a happy little family. That's not my style and I wanted the main focus to be on Alyssa and Nick. Not to say that there won't be other chances for children in the sequel, but the timing was not right. I was very surprised at how seriously readers took this and I do apologize.
On a lighter note I have a few people that I'd like to thank who did stick with this story and continue to be an amazing support system for me as a writer. First off, I have to thank Teri. You've been betaing for me every since UMS and although this last year has been a turbulent one for us I am so glad that everything worked out. Your character analysis was always a huge help and you oftentimes had ways of looking at things that I myself didn't even see. You were a great support when it came to the Zoey stuff since I know you've been in the same boat with Always Something. So, thanks for listening to me when I doubted making the right decision about having Alyssa lose the baby. And yes I finally feel like you've passed the torch to a certain extent to me with those sex scenes! LOL
To my other beta Darby - I'm so glad that I've gotten to know you throughout this last half of my story. You've been so helpful to me by contributing your ideas and opinions and a great source of research for me when it came to all things pregnancy related lol. You've been like an older sister to me these past few months, so I'd like to thank you for your help not only with the story, but for listening to me vent about my personal life.
To my wonderful readers that I've befriended while I've been working on this story; Steph, Brandy, Misty, Leigh-Anna... It's been a pleasure getting to know you not only through the wonderful feedback I've received from you, but also through My Space and AIM. I hope our friendship continues on into the next story.
To the steady reviewers who have stuck by me throughout UMS and throughout this story; Bsbfreak411, blueleeryan, TantilisnTeaser, Mary, brian_fan_4eva... To stay with me throughout over two years of writing shows just how dedicated you are! I just realized now that many of you I don't know your real names, so I apologize if I butchered your pen names.
Uhh... last but not least Izzy... Meg... I know we don't talk as much as we used to anymore, but it means a lot when you pop up and say Oh, yea... I've been reading your story! If I am forgetting anyone else important I do apologize... It's late and I just got home from work.
Oh yea! There is one more person who I'd like to thank (well actually a small group). Those of you who put me down. Those who challenged my writing ability. Who told me that my characters were shallow and my writing was too "depressing." Who told others not to read my stories. I'd like to thank them. Without them this story would've never came out as strongly as it had, so thanks for making me a hell of a lot stronger in the long run.
I hope to start the next story When My World is Crashing very shortly. I may have to take a short break because I am going to North Carolina this weekend which may be a life altering trip. (I'm thinking about moving down there, so this is a HUGE decision for me. Right now it's go back to school with a new major or move, so lot's of pressure is riding on me.) I promise to start the next installment as soon as I can. (And as soon as I get the banner, Miss Teresa lol j/k You know I love you!) All I will say about it is that its focus is going to be more Alyssa and Nick against the world. Thank you again!
Luv Mel :)~
PS: Don't forget to check out What Makes You Different. It's sort of a prequel to Under My Skin. It got a pretty good number of reviews on the first chapter, but not so much on the other two, so if you haven't checked it out go ahead!