Lately I’ve been thinking about readers as a whole, how I read, and what I think about all that as an author. First of all I honestly think that authors can’t necessarily expect a whole lot “understanding” from readers who don’t write.
Writing a story from beginning to end, especially when you also want to get it published, is different than anything you’ve probably ever done. Once you’ve gotten through all that and taken the reactions and reviews and ratings and feedback, you’re changed forever.
You’ll read differently too. You try to understand a book, the author, everything, much more. You’re less likely to jump into conclusions, to be harsh about another person’s work, and especially how you portray your opinions to other readers.
So the generalizations? In general, readers don’t see books like authors do. They think we write vampires because of Twilight and BDSM because 50 Shades of Shpoop. That’s not true. At least not often, not with proper authors who have integrity. Why? Because it takes months and months to get your story from an idea to a published book.
Sure, those two books I mentioned took a lot longer than a few months to die down even a little, but still, it’s virtually impossible to predict what will sell and when it will sell. Accusing authors of riding the wave of *enter some (sub)genre here* is stupid. Because it’s all but impossible to predict that much!
If I KNEW what the next huge thing would be, wouldn’t I be writing that instead of a story of a washed up forty-something country singer who is not only a recovering alcoholic, but also has kids, a low self-esteem, an ex-wife called Jolene and a tiny flickering hope within himself to find love just for himself? No, I wouldn’t be writing that book, I’d be writing the NEXT BIG THING to get maximum money out of my feeble efforts in writing.
When I write a story, I never, ever think what people in general will think about it. I can’t put myself down like that. I try to write for a living, here. I try to do that in M/M fiction, people! Do you have any idea how hard that can be?
In addition, I battle depression and the fact that English isn’t my first language. That, alone, makes my writing different from others. Different in a way that makes my style difficult for some people to read. In general, I’m could be thought of as a failure from the beginning.
How in the hell can I sell books with the starting point I have? How do I dare to think I might actually support myself and my menagerie with the way things are?
One word: Sisu.
Oh and here’s the cover for Positive, out August 14th.