I write for those who love my characters and stories, not for those who don't. Ugh those 3 star and even 2 star reviews. Nothing hurts more than a reader assigning a less than overwhelmed star rating. Wait, there is one thing worse. Readers who say they hate the characters who blur the lines of reality inside an author's head. Bad editing, yes, unfortunately, I am guilty as charged through a draft upload mishap, and also guilty of even those pesky typos that escaped when I trusted my own editing.
But to not like my main and her main man--ouch!
My characters are less than perfect. I take pride in assigning them personality disorders and then making those little annoying idiosyncrasies push the wrong buttons, or even occasionally the right ones, in the other characters. Some phobias, and complexes are eventually overcome, but as in reality, some stick with my characters despite all they have experienced.
Let's dissect Silver Strings Series, addressing a few hates.
Sweet little Tristan becomes a spoiled brat. Ever taken a child from everything he or she knows and thrown him permanently into another world, even it if is for the better? Children do not like change. I truly believe that if a tot suddenly lived in Disney World, he would grow homesick, begin to bicker, and whine during the adjustment period.
Marissa is manipulative, insecure, whiny, goody goody who is in a contradiction, a slut. Look closer. By the third book she learns that manipulative ways only get her in trouble where Jack is concerned. Insecure, well, she gets better, but never outgrows it. How many of us have, despite our attempts to fake the contrary? A goody miss 2-shoes and a slut at the same time? Is that possible? To quote from one of the books, she was "on a holy grail search" for another man who could make her scream as loud as Jack. Yet, she is determined to be a responsible mother and keep both lives as separate as possible.
Jack, amazingly no complaints about this rocker despite him being a Jackal and Hyde, asinine one second, and the next, sweetheart of a man. Maybe he isn't asinine enough. My intentions were for him to be hated at least half the time.
Marissa and Jack together. They bang all the time despite their issues with the other. Yes? Never had sexual attraction that was all rolled up in confused feelings? I write what I know, so I will tell you, that is not unrealistic.
I believe that if an author has to explain the book, (s)he has failed somewhere between the lines. To this reasoning, I considered revising scenes based on feedback, even did a few. For the most part, however, in the case of Jack, Marissa, and Tristan's story, for every hater of these characters and this story line is another reader that deeply identifies and loves this series. This is no 50 Shades of Grey. This is Black and White. Deeply Red with love or hate.
For those who can identify with this heroine, I leave Marissa as is, an emotional sometimes insecure wreck who is too obsessed with a fantasy turned reality for her own good. For those who have a Jack, and maybe, cough, are married to one, I leave this complicated but wonderful man to his mood swings. For those who have children in their everyday lives, whether they be yours, or a niece or nephew, etc, I leave the child that I daresay, we all are lucky if we have.
For those who love this family, I am overwhelmed and honored. For those who didn't, I'm not going to stress. We all love different types of men, in different ways in real life. We, ourselves, are all different in real life. Why should it be any different in fictional?
Thanks for taking the time to leave ratings and comments, even the negative. If you took the time to leave why you loved or hated it, thank you even more. It helped me examine things constructively. And believe me, I did for many weeks. Considered an entire rewrite. In the end, the decision was to trust the feelings of the lovers just as strongly as the haters. I am lucky to have so many fans of this fictional dysfunctional family. I raise my pen to you, and begin the next in the series.