It seems to be official. What the majority of ebook readers want is love and thrills. At least that’s what Kindle statistics are showing, according to Martin Perry, writing on Huffpo. Romances and Thrillers – Studying Kindle Reader’s Genre Preferences If you expect to get rich by writing novels, boys and girls, you’d better get with the program. It isn’t surprising, and it isn’t even really news, but it does come at a significant moment in time, for me.
As a result of spending a couple of hours discussing Hidden Boundaries, and novels in general, with #1 son yesterday, I’ll be giving some serious attention to re-evaluating where I want to go as a novelist. I finally learned (several weeks after giving him a copy) that, yes, he’d read it. Yes, he liked it. Yes, he thought it was well-written. But…
I was already aware of that “but,” even though it’s been floating around the periphery of my consciousness as a low-priority item I’ll get around to when I have the time/get this book finished and out of the way/get the next one well started … There’s nothing like hearing all about it from someone who has no particular interest in your genre (or cross-genre), and who has the ability to look on even his own mother’s work with a coolly objective eye. Once we got past “I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to come across as too critical, and discourage you,” it was a great conversation.
Maybe it takes the combination of someone who knows a good story when he sees it, and also knows you somewhat better than you’re comfortable with to home in on the big picture. Not the sentence construction, the commas, etc., but what he’s left with when he’s finished reading. That’s the “but.”
Hidden Boundaries is a decent first effort, and Crossing Boundaries is better. After all, it’s a learning process. But they’re not really the kind of books I should be writing. I let myself get sidetracked, probably by delving too much into the world of fictional male/male relationships. Most of those books are about romance and have big, fat doses of emotional ups and downs. And that’s exactly what I’m not very good at. I’d intended to write science fiction, and it wound up being tepid romance, instead. Well, some of my readers think it’s great, but when it comes to those ratings with chili peppers to indicate heat level, Hidden Boundaries is somewhere between zero and one, not just in bed, but everywhere. It was never intended to be a romance, but that’s how it came out. By the end of Crossing Boundaries, I finally got back some of the hard edge I’d wanted, and I’m not sure how that’s going to work for readers of Hidden Boundaries. But it’s done, and now it’s time to find the right path.