I just received a three star review on Amazon, and felt the need to respond to it. I will let the comment and my response largely speak for themselves, but I just want to add emphasis here – I DO NOT PAD. I do not think , ‘how can I get more out of this?’, or construct the story for maximum volumes. I have the story, I know how every single one of my series will end before I finish the first volume, in fact. It is just that often times, to give the full scope of the story the proper attention, (as I see it), it takes several volumes. It is true that I am sad when I know a series is coming to a close, but that is because I LOVE my characters – I hate the thought of putting them on a shelf; it’s like saying goodbye to friends.
I am also a fan of the ‘epic’ tale, the sweeping stories and sagas that grasp you and leave you emotionally invested in characters, and that is how I try to write. I would be lying if I said I am not hurt a little by the accusation that I am pimping; I do not sell a ton of books, and to compare me to HM Ward who has a series that is on something like book 14 or 15 I thought was a little unfair; but people are entitled to their opinions, and we all have our own frustrations and hot buttons.
I primarily write because it is fun, and I love my characters and stories; I sometimes re-read my books, because I write them as I want books to be written. I like intensity – a boyfriend once said I was ‘fun with an edge’. I throw myself into life and love and I want to FEEL it all; I am fond of saying that life is a full contact sport, and I hope that passion is reflected in my characters.
I started writing because I was disappointed and felt that most erotica – which deals with the most intense and intimate aspects of human nature – did not contain the necessary spark. I had characters forming in my mind that I felt captured that depth and complexity, and by the end of the series I wanted my readers – and myself – to be left a sweaty mess, hearts pounding because of the fervency and strength of the story. In my mind my characters are so real I can almost touch them, and I want that potency to be translated into the stories I share. Whether or not I always accomplish that is another debate entirely, especially since I am still growing as an author.
Below is a reviewer’s comment on Amazon about book 4, ‘Banish the Darkness’:
Good story ,great plot .I would have given more stars if I wasn’t being pimped. After reading so many books I don’t have time to keep waiting for the next one to be published. If you can’t get your story across in 2 books STOP writing.. There’s many things in my life that is repetitive already , reading about the same H/H continuing in3+ books is ridiculous. I might as well record and watch the soap operas , being that I already pay for cable. If you want to charge $5,6,7 + for you books do so ,at least complete the book. That’s the same reason I stopped reading H M WARD BOOKS a. I don’t like my hand or my purse being forced . I want to start and finish a book and move on not keep the conclusion dragging out
Hello, Sheryl! Thank you for taking the time to read the series and review it.
I’m sorry you feel you’re being ‘pimped’ – that is not the case. I do not write stories so I can drag them out and ‘milk’ readers, like some others do; I actually prefer them. I have been largely unsatisfied with single-volume romance/erotica stories because (for me), most of them feel rushed and unbelievable. I have always gravitated towards stories that have character development and depth; I find them more interesting. I mention in my bio that I am fascinated with how people adapt and evolve in situations, and how they deal with challenges. If I was making the kind of money HM Ward was, and had the following she does, perhaps I would be tempted to ‘pimp’, but I doubt it; I’m not that kind of person.
I do not write books to make money, although I appreciate that people are willing to pay money to read them. I write because I love, love, LOVE it, I write books to tell a story, to create characters that feel real and have to face difficult decisions or examine their long held beliefs. I have tales in me, things clamoring to see the light of day, characters struggling to get out, and I have to do justice to them. I like to write about life, but with the HEA and bliss that we often find difficult to grasp in our own. I let the story evolve over time and be what it is; I know the arc, and contain what I feel is necessary to give the tale an intense feel – I do not pad.
That depth – and perhaps that is a defect in me – I find hard to convey in 250 pages or even two volumes. I believe it is difficult to get the intensity, the connexion, the passion, the background needed to tell a GREAT story in that short a space. Again, perhaps that is because I am lacking a necessary story telling skill. Some of my favourite books tend to be things like the Lord of the Rings series or Gormenghast, both rather lengthy commitments.
You said the plot was great – I (personally) could not have accomplished it in just one novel. I am working on the last one now; I have no intention of dragging out Lily & Stuart into fifteen books or whatever, although I may publish stand alone novellas about them in the future – readers seem to really like them and their story. I hope to have that last book complete and published within the next month or two.
I do have four books in this series, and the first two are .99 cents and $1.99 respectively; I’ve just gone and lowered book three’s price on Amazon and the other channels I publish through – the changes should be reflected within a day to a week, depending on the channel.
I’m sorry you feel you’ve had a bad experience with erotica and series, and I hope you find the stories that make you happy!