I always like my stories when I'm writing them. When I'm in the throes of a fictional dream, I can convince myself that what I'm writing is special. I suppose that's why I keep writing.

It's only before and after writing the story that I have doubts.

Before, I doubt the premise; I wonder if it's commercial, whether anyone will want to read it; or whether it is a strong enough idea to continue to the end. Does it have enough weight and is it also entertaining?

Usually, after puzzling about these things, I just forget it and do what I wanted to do in the first place, and sure enough, sometimes when I'm finished I realize it's a little too quirky. Occasionally it doesn't have enough heft for me to even finish (though this is rare; like I said, I like the stories when I'm writing them).

And then after I'm finished, the real doubts start. I start to see the flaws, the missteps. Some I can fix, some I can't. They rarely come out perfectly the way I wanted them. (Strangely, it's the middle book in my Vampire Trilogy, "Rule of Vampire," that I remember that way.)

Between books I'm reading other authors, and I always feel like I suffer in comparison. (Never compare?)

But while I'm writing, I'm thoroughly enjoying myself. It is very much like reading a book, finding out where it goes, being surprised, being pleased by what happens.

So in the end, it probably doesn't matter what happens commercially.

The truth is, I need to write for my own well-being. It's good for me; intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.