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