As you all know by now, my latest novel Bullet “went live” on February 18. It was in the top 100 on Amazon’s U.S. Paid for Kindle charts for over five days (and it’s still in the top 200), and over 1100 people have added it to their “to read” lists on Goodreads. I’ll also be doing a blog tour beginning March 25 (huge thanks to the wonderful gals arranging it for me at Shh Mom’s Reading). To date, Bullet has received well over 80 reviews on Amazon (U.S. and U.K. sites combined) and 434 ratings on Goodreads with over 120 text reviews. I always say I’m not going to read my reviews, but who am I kidding? Of course, I read them. Some of them–the ones full of vitriol who act like I personally made it my mission to ruin their entire lives by writing a book they didn’t like–I don’t finish. But I can tell you one thing–most people either love or hate this book, and it’s evoking a lot of emotions in readers. As a writer, I can’t say I want to do much more than that. If you feel something, I’ve done my job. If it also makes you think a little along the way, even better.
So I began this post thinking I would offer some sort of apologies to the haters, but I’m not going to. I just can’t bring myself to do it.
I’m not sorry my book isn’t your standard cookie-cutter romance. There are thousands of books out there like that. Choose one of them if you must. Bullet has been described by multiple readers as “gritty,” “raw,” and “real.” If it hits too close to home (as lots of readers have said it has) and you can’t take the heat, find something fluffy and warm to read. I’m obviously not writing for you.
I’m not sorry I didn’t draw out the end for another five thousand words. I know that’s a complaint a few readers have had (and not just about this book). Let me tell you where I’m coming from. I’m from the school of “get in and get out.” I don’t like to linger, and when the party’s over, I’m out of there. Could I have spent more time with Valerie after she discovers true love? Oh, sure…but you got what you came for. You get the climax; you get a snippet of her realization and conversation with her best friend where she contemplates her next move; and you get the denouement where you realize that Valerie and her guy have a Happy Ever After. What more do you need? I have always felt like more than that is just prolonging it, and so I sincerely apologize to my readers who do want more. I just can’t do it, and when I read books that have five scenes of HEA, it personally drives me up the wall and I think, “Okay, I get it! They’re together now! Curtains, please.”
I’m not sorry I evoked a lot of emotions in you, be they anger, frustration, sadness. I can’t tell you how many reviews (including good ones) had readers saying they wanted to “throw their Kindle (or Nook)” at the wall and how many readers were literally shouting at the device in their hands. When I read that I got that powerful a response from you, it tells me I’ve done my job. I’ve made you feel something, and in this day and age, I think that’s pretty cool, even if you feel like you ultimately hated my book.
To those of you who hated Bullet or any one of my other books, consider this a lesson. I don’t write like other authors, and I obviously don’t plan to any time soon. Please don’t read any more of my books and let’s part as uncomfortable acquaintances.
The rest of you…hang on to your seats, ‘cause I’m not done yet for a long shot. And I’m sorry I offered an insincere apology.
No…I’m really not.