Friday, January 17, 2014

An Open Letter To My Readers

I have received a wide variety of feedback on my trilogy. Most of it was positive, a few were negative, and some offered valuable bits of constructive criticism (including one complaint several people made) which I have applied to while editing Seeds this last month. I’ve also noted a few observations, and now that Seeds has been out for a while, I’d like to address these observations and criticisms.

A few readers took issue with some of the dialogue in Seeds, saying it was too contemporary. I honestly never intended this. It was obvious to me to not use modern-day slang so I wasn’t going to have the gods call each other ‘bro’ or anything like that, but other words were a bit of a gray area. When I used the word ‘okay’, I was trying to use it as a way to signify a more casual form of speech, since some people may speak differently in a more formal situation, such as at work, and use a few different words at home when around family and friends. Of course this varies from person to person, and I was trying to convey a certain mood when I used the word ‘okay’ or a couple of other more casual/slang words such as ‘sure’. Ultimately, I decided to delete the several ‘okay’ in Seeds and replace them with more appropriate words, and ended up replacing a few other words throughout the trilogy as well.

I wanted to make Seeds a rich story, instead of merely focusing on the romance. I’ve read other novels about Hades and Persephone that focused on the romance and left out or minimalized other aspects of the tale. I’m not saying that this in itself is bad – some people like romance books, and there is nothing wrong with a Harlequin-esque story (I enjoy them myself sometimes!)

I could have cut out certain parts of the trilogy, like Demeter’s time in Eleusis, or the backstory that was set up in Book 1. This might even have made Seeds easier for me to write, if I had chosen to neglect these parts. However, I didn’t want to. The writer in me rebelled against that, and I am the kind of person who likes the whole story. Not each book needs to be written like this, mind you, and I am just fine with short stories, but for Seeds, I had to do what felt right to me, and Seeds would have felt incomplete without these parts that I mentioned, among others.

What about the erotic scenes? I will admit that this was partly in response to 50 Shades of Gray. I will be honest – I did not like that book and found it the opposite of sexy, and the characters to be totally unappealing. I always intended for Seeds to be a mature book, not a YA book, and I did my best to make the steamy scenes varied and fun to read.

I put each scene into Seeds for a reason – romance, action, drama, erotic, and so on. I thought long and hard about each scene and edited Seeds about five times, several scenes were deleted and others added since the first draft of this tale. Not everyone is going to like my books or the way I write them, and I accept that, and I will not change my voice. I wanted to make Seeds different from all the other novelizations and retellings of the Hades and Persephone myth, and I am rather pleased with the result.