Friday, June 28, 2013

Fan Fear

I have a habit of following the blogs of other authors, some of whom are much more successful than I am. It seems the bigger a book sells, the stronger the emotions from the fans. This is good. Writers want their readers to feel something, to be moved by their books, but perhaps not enough to issue death threats to the author.

I am a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series. If you are interested in reading this Southern Vampire series, the first one is called, “Dead Until Dark.” This is adult reading only, and for good reason. There is some vampire love in these books.

The author, Charlaine Harris, keeps a blog. I feel like I got to know her pretty well through the blog and 13 books in her series. The last book was released on May 7 of this year. It has garnered many reviews on Amazon and Goodreads since then. I am sure she got many, many hits on her blog and emails and messages about how she ended the series. Two days after the release of that last book, she writes an emotional blog post,
“ I’ll be happy to put this behind me and go back to doing what makes me happiest: writing the best books I can.”

Authors are often told not to read their reviews. Perhaps there is a point where one can’t avoid them. Ending a book is hard. I can’t imagine ending a decade-long series on the perfect note. It could possibly drive me to madness before my fans (all dozens of them) got their hands on the book.

Rejection is part of a writer’s life, but hearing it from readers and longtime fans has to cut deeper than editors in New York offices turning down a manuscript. In the latter case, you can blame the industry. When it comes to the reader, it is different, perhaps more intimate. The stories belong to the readers, after all.

Whether fans were angry, satisfied or neutral about Sookie’s Happily Ever After, they ran out in droves to buy the book and put Harris at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List. Not many writers achieve that, and perhaps it is impossible without a bit of pain. 

No comments:

Post a Comment