I just read a really interesting review on goodreads.com of my first book, Lost & Found. She gave it three stars, but for a very interesting reason that makes me die a little inside. She loved the book, but because she felt it was a romance, she felt it should adhere to the romance genre “guidelines,” if you will, for a Happily Ever After ending.
This frustrates me to no end, but I guess I just have to accept what it is (or isn’t). The book is not a romance. It’s not mainstream fiction. It straddles a line that makes it a little unclassifiable, which means that it’s not going to live up to expectations in many, many instances.
I can’t rewrite the books. I’ve moved on to other projects and will no longer be making vast changes to my first series of works. It’s a good lesson for me, but not one I’m certain I can learn from. This is how I write, and my second series is written in a similar fashion. There are sex scenes in a relatable, human story filled with emotions and situations that draw people into the characters’ worlds. I like the stories. I like the mix of emotional and physical… I believe healthy relationships need both, and I don’t find the love scenes to be shameful or obscene. These are the stories I want to tell.
Sadly, the fact that my books don’t fit neatly into a genre may keep me from being the best-selling author I’d love to be. So do I write for me or for an audience? In the end, I vote to stay true to the characters, who are ultimately in charge of their own destinies. That means I write what I feel… and those books may never be mass-distributed. (Oh, what I would give to have an agent right now.)
Anyway. I do love my little three-star review (because she really said it was worth five except for one little word- if you’ve read it, you know it). She also said I had a good editor, so John Perry, Clarinda Alcalen, mom, Stephanie Barone… Thank you all for helping me with that. 🙂
Thanks, Karen, for the review (and to her friend, Lisa, for recommending it)!