Over the years I’ve been told by critics that:
- I wrote my books “wrong” (whatever that means);
- That that my series wouldn’t be “successful” (by whose standards?) because it wasn’t like other people’s books series;
- That if I really wanted to be popular (why would I want that much attention?!) I needed to change x, y, z and rewrite the whole thing;
- And my biggest problem, I’ve been told by a few, is that my books don’t fit neatly into one particular genre. Didn’t I know I was supposed to write to conform to what’s already out there?
Yes, I knew I was doing it “wrong.”
But I didn’t care.
I wanted to write something that I wanted to read (selfish, yes—but it’s my time I’m investing in this project). I wanted to do something different, unpredictable, and not easily shoved into some neat little box.
Deciding not to conform is what made writing this series so much fun.
I took inspiration from J. R. R. Tolkien who wrote a huge fantasy series when no one else was, and he didn’t even know if anyone would read it, but that was ok because he loved what he was doing.
I also took inspiration from Terry Pratchett whose Discworld doesn’t follow any order or even scientific laws, but he didn’t care because he loved what he was doing.
I certainly don’t class myself with those two, but I sit on the sidelines and point, saying, “See? They did what they wanted—so can I!”
And so can you.
Who cares what you’re “supposed” to do? It’s your life—try something different.
I’ve been at this book series for over eight years now: has it been “successful”?
Yes, because I’ve never had so much fun in my entire life! I’ve researched, studied, learned, developed, and accomplished more than I ever thought I could. That, I believe, is success.
Some want to measure success in money and numbers, but those are meaningless to me because I make my books as free as possible, and whatever revenue I do make each month I donate to charity. As for numbers, I don’t know how many books have been downloaded on other venues, but I know that on Amazon a couple of months ago it was around 70,000 downloads. Is that a “successful” number? I have no idea. I’ve never bothered to find out.
You’ve heard it a hundred times before: be yourself, don’t follow everyone else, be your own drummer, don’t copy everyone else . . .
But hear it one more time: noncomformity is too much fun to pass up.
“She always said exactly what she thought, and she didn’t care how others took it. She only wanted to say what she was sure was right, even if she might be wrong.”
~Book 8, The Last Day, coming summer 2018
10 thoughts on “Yes, I know I’m writing these books wrong, but I don’t care. (plus a sneak peek to Book 8)”
I am my own drummer. Jesus is my guide. I love your books. I’ve read each one and look forward to The Last Day ” sometime this summer”.
“Jesus is my guide”–perfect!
I’ll try to get you that last book, I promise!
I loved this post! I knew it was Aunt Trish, but I heard so much of my mother in your wise, matter of fact words. I could picture her saying to me so many times “who cares what everyone else says, do what you want and what makes you happy!” I love that you are so much like her. I love your wit and your humor. I think it’s about time I started reading your books… I know I’d love them. I think I’ll download the first one right now. Love you!!
Oh, Judy is in here SO MUCH! I even have a character later named Yudit–the oldest sister of a major character. I frequently heard her voice in my head when I was writing Mahrree, too. Judy was my hero (wasn’t she everyone’s?). You’ll definitely see your mom in here, so yes–start reading!
“Explicit scenes” are exactly what one critic told me to include! And I thought, “That’s a worldly suggestion.” Excellent point that the world changes its rules on a whim.
Thank you for recommending me!
It’s mine too! My favorite fiction books are the ones that are entertaining, yet also leave you feeling inspired to change your way of thinking or acting.
Also, the characters are so real. I’ve always been a crier, but I think I cried more in the first half of book 6 than any other book I’ve ever read. I’m just so attached to the characters that I could almost swear they actually exist somewhere.
Sorry you’ve cried so much. Does it help to know that I cried when I was writing them? And editing them? Again and again? And I’m not a crier!
(I think they exist, too. They’ve taken total control of the books–I just transcribe what they tell me. I have no idea how this works, but it’s pretty darn cool.)
For something supposedly written the wrong way, this definitely is my favourite book series ever written! So you keep doing whatever you’re doing 🙂
Ahh, you’re so sweet! Thanks!
What you have written is only “wrong” according to the world that changes their rules upon a whim, to make anything which they might not approve of in an attempt to conform it to what they desire, or which they see / think is inconvenient … like truth, as well as God’s teachings… Your series uplifts and inspires as well as attempts to show that there is a better way. Is it perfect like the Lord’s? No, but it does say look unto God and follow God’s word. If you were to follow the world’s rules to this series… it would have explicit scenes and other very graphic material which very frankly would make it so disgusting that I would not be able to recommend this series to anyone… as it is I am happy to say I am able and do recommend this series to many friends. Keep up the good work.
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