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I Must Celebrate On Release Day

Tuesday 23rd, March marked the United Kingdom's one-year anniversary of its first lockdown. It also happened to be the release date for my lockdown horror short story, I Must Scream on Deaf Ears.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (@stevetendo), you probably saw me talking about it in the run-up to its release. I was pretty present on Instagram on release day, uploading Instagram Stories, sharing IMSODE's success, responding to friends throughout the day regarding the story, and even partaking in my first ever Q&A session on the app.

Because of everybody's support, whether by pre-ordering or buying on the day, IMSODE managed to consistently stay within Amazon's top rankings on release day, with the story even cracking Amazon's Top 10 list and climbing as high as Number 8—officially making your boy an Amazon Top 10 Author!

So I want to take a second to offer a sincere thank you to all those who helped support this short story, who pre-ordered and told their friends and family, who shared it on social media and left a review to help the story get discovered by others.

Friends old and new came out in support, and this success was only capable because of you.

*levels a grateful look and wholesome smile on you*

*maintains eye contact*

* doesn't blink*

*seconds pass*

*doesn't notice it's gotten weird*

*finally realises*


Anyway, IMSODE was my first-ever release on Amazon. I've written stories before that have been released on other platforms—but for my personal indie journey, it was time.

This wasn't a case of it "felt" like time, or where I told myself I "think" it's time…


It was time.

Release DaY

To say the release day went well would be an understatement.

Honestly, it was...

AND, I kid you not, my son, Austin, started high fiving on that day. I couldn't have been happier or prouder to have been the recipient of his first-ever high five.

The feedback received throughout the day and the DMs people sent me commending IMSODE helped affirm my decision to write this story. I couldn't be more grateful to every single person that reached out or shared they had purchased it, especially when so much of the positive feedback revolved around IMSODE's exploration of isolation and mental health.

Of course, a special shout out has to be made for my partner, Thea.

I cannot stress how her willingness to listen to me through my mental health struggles, coupled with her patience in listening to all my story and character ideas, helped me grow as a person and a writer. No wonder she was the first name in the dedication of IMSODE.

She had no idea about that, by the way. She had re-read the story multiple times to give me feedback and notes, but I kept the dedication from her until the morning of its release—and seeing the look on her face as she read it was an amazing moment.

Once that was done, all there was left to do was celebrate.

Quick sidebar: I rarely allow myself permission to celebrate or enjoy things guilt-free. Release day, however? Those guilt gloves were off, man! That day was dedicated to the writing, editing, formatting, stress, and release of IMSODE.

And, yea, it was good.

Part of that guilt-free celebrating took the form of enjoying some chocolate cake and bourbon Thea surprised me with (alcohol, not biscuit), making myself a Spam sandwich for lunch (I'm half Filipino, so loving Spam is practically engrained into my DNA), ordering in dinner from our favourite Indian restaurant, and, come the evening, finally allowing myself to start playing Assassin's Creed: Odyssey.

Honestly? Running around ancient Greece in a bourbon-fuelled haze with a belly full of Chicken Tikka Ceylon was fucking great.

So, to all those that actively supported IMSODE, who said they'd get it and actually did, who promised to review it and put their money where their mouths are: thank you. Its success is our success.

If you read IMSODE and liked it, please be sure to leave a review on Amazon to help boost it within the rankings and help others find it. And if you know any horror fans or people who may connect with the themes the story explores, be sure to recommend it to them…then get them to leave a review, too!

If you've discovered this blog after reading IMSODE and wanted another story to read, sign up to the newsletter and get a free ebook of my superhero short story, Shell: A Temporary Parallel Event! And if you haven't read IMSODE but are interested in checking it out, click here and get yourself a copy.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a bit more residual celebrating to do before getting back to work on my next story. Ancient Greece isn't going to save itself.

Steve R

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