For years Kyle Perry wrote his books in secret, plugging away at his craft until someone thought his writing was good enough to sell.
Add to that a sprinkling of fan expectations, strict deadlines, a contract for another novel, and an "emotionally draining day job", and you've got a small taste of the conditions Perry faced as he wrote his second book.
"The pressure was insane and I wasn't ready for it," he admitted.
"Nobody teaches you how to navigate reviews, no one helps you understand just how much people are going to want from you socially.
"Suddenly I had all this pressure to deliver another good book. I had a year from when The Bluffs was submitted to write the second book.
"I got the first draft (of the second book) in during the whirlwind of The Bluffs being released."
He said the book, called The Deep, had felt different to write compared to his first book - largely due to the time constraint - but also because he was 'out' as an author among his peers.
"The best part of writing this was being able to talk about it," he said.
"The Bluffs was all basically written in secret, no one knew I was writing a book, no one knew that was my dream except my family and some close friends. Even they didn't know everything.
"This time was the first time being an author was normalised for me ... I could ask questions, if I went out for coffee I could talk about it and suddenly all my conversations could include stuff about my writing.
"But suddenly I had all this pressure to deliver another good book.
"You start second guessing everything you do ... could I write a book that could satisfy all the fan's expectations? I genuinely didn't think it was possible, and resigned myself to that fact."
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Fortunately, the author, from Ridgley in Tasmania's north west, managed to push through the pressure, writing The Deep while working with men battling substance addictions.
The book is set in a fictional village on the Tasman Peninsula, focusing on a family who have been at the centre of a drug ring for generations and the upheaval caused by the reappearance of a young girl presumed dead for the last seven years.
"I wrote The Bluffs while I was working in high schools, then when I wrote The Deep I was working in drug and alcohol rehab," he said.
He said he used many of his experiences working in rehabilitation to inform his writing.
"As a therapist obviously I can't walk in there and talk about my own book, but what I could do is at the end of a session there would be an opportunity to ask them questions like, 'can you tell me some different ways to launder money?'," he laughed.
"Because I'm awash in the stories of it all day I'm able to know what's authentic and what's real. It helps avoid that cheesy, 'Hollywood' version of drug addictions.
"They loved it because they felt safe to talk. There's a lot of stigma against people who use drugs."
Perry said he had tried to humanise those who live on the margins of society, without glorifying addictions.
"There's definitely a much stronger narrative about how dangerous that drug world is," he said.
"You're not going to walk away thinking it's good. At the same time I think what you learn from working in this sector is that it's very difficult to just warn people off it."
The author is contracted for a least two more books with Penguin Random House, and is "literally neck deep" in his third novel.
"It's going to be centred around a cult," he said.
"I'm thinking of setting it on the (Tasmanian) West Coast but I'm still working out where the best place for it is."
In the meantime, The Deep is set to hit the shelves on July 20.