The cats are sleeping. Or playing. Possibly threatening to take over the world. As such, you get the general creator today. I’m going to start off with a warning that this includes a rant. Frankly, it’s starting with the rant.
Last night, someone decided to come onto the blog and lectured me about how I could “do better” about “cliffhangers” and that I am doing all of my readers a disservice through daring to use a plot mechanism type that all writers should forever ban from their writing toolkit.
To which I replied no, readers have zero rights to dictate who writers write their books. Period. If you don’t like how I write my books, sweet baby Jesus in a bucket chompin’ on crackers, go find someone you DO like to read. I like variety. Every single book I write will use different mechanisms. Sometimes, you’ll get something similar to another book. I do what the book needs. That’s it, that’s all. Every time I end a book, I am thinking about where the next book will begin, where I’m going with the series as a whole, and so on and so forth.
Just! Because! You! Don’t! Appreciate! A! Mechanism! Doesn’t! Mean! Authors! Shouldn’t! Use! It!
Generally, my books are HEA/HFN. (Happily ever after or happily for now) You know where the characters are, you understand they’re safe and sound… and while there may be something imminent lurking on the horizon, you’re GENERALLY left wishing the next book was here now because you want to continue reading the story, but you are NOT left with an anxiety attack because you don’t know if a character is going to live or die.
If you don’t like this, that’s OKAY. Go read an author you will like. Hell, most of my readers are loyal unto death on ONE series and one series alone. And never shall they stray. (This is common. It’s okay. I have Royal States readers who will never jump and try a Bernadette book. I have Mag Rom Com readers who won’t ever try a Royal States book. I have Fox Witch readers who will never try a Witch & Wolf book. It’s OKAY!! It really is. Like what you want to like, even if it means you only like three books I wrote and won’t try the others.)
But I will not allow some random reader I didn’t ask to dictate what I may or may not write. End of story. You can dislike a book. You can dislike mechanisms I decide to use. These things aren’t to your taste? That’s great. That’s fine. It’s okay. You’re never supposed to like EVERYTHING I write. I write a whole variety of things. Just because YOU don’t like it doesn’t mean others also dislike it. Me not bending to YOUR whim doesn’t mean anything other than I am not bending to your whim.
If I didn’t hire you or ask you to give me feedback on how to improve my books, I’m not accepting feedback on how to improve my books. You may mean well, but I have a typo form for a reason, and I go and check the typo form every time I go to run an update on a specific book. If I see that book has reported errors, I go fix those errors. I don’t like errors.
My choice to end a book a certain way is not an error, and it does not need to be improved SOLELY because you would have preferred a different ending to that book.
Nowhere in my typo form, the current place I allow feedback (to me directly) on my books, is there a box asking if you approved of how I ended a book.
If you don’t like how I ended a book, feel free to go convince other readers they shouldn’t read the book in reviews. That’s all on you. But… there is a boundary. I am not here to write the exact book you want me to write. I work hard on my books, and I’m working to tell a specific story. You don’t have to like or appreciate the story I’m trying to tell.
Obviously, I prefer if people liked my books enough to go leave a good review (especially to counter the readers who DO slam my books because they’re upset I didn’t write the book they wanted to read) but that’s a different discussion point altogether.
But at no point are you entitled to the point you can come tell me how to write them.
I am the one who ultimately pays out of my pocket to write and prepare my books for publication. As such… I get to decide how I end my books, not you, the reader. Of course, I’d rather people feel happy about having read my book. But I am not spending 300+ hours per book and holding them back (and being unable to pay my bills) just so you can read the whole thing at one time.
I don’t get paid an hourly wage for writing books. I have to hope that the book sells. If it doesn’t, the $5,000 or so in investment I put into the book, just to get it onto your kindle, kinda goes to waste. If in audiobook, the additional $2,000 to $5,000 needed to get it brought into production in that format. (Yes, audiobooks generally cost me a minimum of $2,000 to produce.)
I love writing books… but I do not love the entitlement that seems to be infesting readers right now.
Let’s assume I get paid minimum wage. $15 an hour where I live. It takes me, on average, 300 hours to write, edit, and do all the other things required to get the book to market. It costs, on average, a minimum $1,000 for cover art, and $1,000 for editorial. There are other expenses, which can add up REALLY quickly. But let’s just assume $2k for cover and edits.
I’m out $6,500 to bring a book to the market, holding my breath and casting a wish hoping people like it enough to pay for it. I have to pay that long before I receive a single penny for the work.
I ask for $5.99, on average, for a book. That means I get between $3.80 to $4.20 per copy… much less if it’s a library copy, but I do that on purpose because I want libraries to remain accessible. This is a mere sliver of the investment, heartache, and so on I invest in the book.
Honestly, I kind of cry when readers think $2.99 is too expensive for a book the author bled hours upon hours upon hours of their lives into.
But, here’s the thing: readers have one entitlement, and that’s the choice to spend their money as they please.
Don’t like how I write books? Go give your hard-earned dollars to another author. Please. Pay them. If you don’t like my books or how I write them, I don’t want you to fling money at me. I don’t WANT people buying my books if they’re not going to LIKE them. You worked hard for that money, and you absolutely SHOULD spend it on things that make you happy.
But $5.99 does not buy you access into my creative process, period. It NEVER buys access into ANY author’s process, unless they say, “Pay me this, and I will give you this access.”
My patreons get some access in the form of polls where they decide what type of story I’ll write for them next. They asked for a mythological beasties “short story” I am working on. I’m working on scene two of what is inevitably going to become a novel, I’m sure. Why is it going to become a novel?
I fucking like the lead characters too damned much, and good luck to me reining them in before 10k. Or 50k, even. Whatever. It is what it is. (Maybe I can do it, maybbbeee I can do it… but do I want to?)
A huge shout out to my patreons, though–you folks are absolutely amazing, and I fucking appreciate you. Patreon is basically the only source of “reliable” income I have. (And it fluctuates, but it exists because the readers just want me to write.) Am I 100% good about posting on patreon with news and stuff? Nooooo. I’ll try to do better. I got distracted with the Sekrit Projekt.
Even if you pop on Patreon and figure out the Sekrit Projekt, I will still deny, deny, deny. Please don’t make me deny. (Please.)
But seriously, having access to authors does not mean you get to let your entitlement show… and telling an author that they should never do this thing you dislike is showing your entitlement.
I am a human being who works hard on my books… and I promise you, I wrote that book precisely how I meant to write my book.
And you disliking the mechanism means nothing to me. You’re not the audience for that book. That book ended that way for a reason, and it usually has to do with where I’m going in the next book.
And sometimes, that reason may involve with “Fuck this book and the horse in rode in on.”
Fortunately for everyone, I put the “rocks fall, everybody dies” endings in a cut folder and rewrite the ending to be appropriate for what actually needs to happen, even when writing the book is hard.
So, onto the news.
Silent Stalker comes out in March.
Plaidypus comes out in May.
Dirty Deeds 2 comes out in June.
Sekrit Novella Projekt will be revealed sometime in the year 2022.
Sekrit Me releases something by the end of the year. Patrons know the secret, but I will forever deny, deny, deny.
Here are your clues if you’re not in Patreon:
1: All of my pen names share this one thing in common. Think about the book industry and how you know you might like a certain type of book. I will be even nice and give you a clue: Four words, three words start with P.
If you’re not sure, look over some of my books, on Amazon or Goodreads, VERY carefully. Once you figure out the secret code, search for the four word secret handshake. One thing will not be like the other thing. If you spot the matching Secret Handshake, Congratulations, you have found it!
2: Female Sekrit Me, Speculative (fantasy/science fiction) genre.
3: Sweet. It’s sweet. Everything about it is just sweet.
Good luck on your hunt. I will NOT be confirming it anywhere outside of patreon, and even on patreon, you can ask me and I will DENY. Deny, deny, deny. All there is is DENIAL.
I’m tired, and I have a bunch of work to do before I can quit for the night, so I’m going back to work. Have a good day, y’all.