Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Why I'm a Selfish Author :-)

So it's occurred to me recently that I'm a rather selfish author. Now, now, it's TRUE. I write my books the way I want to and don't spend much time obsessing or worrying if there's something about them people don't like, or if a reader doesn't like the entire book. That's okay. That's their prerogative. I've decided it's far, far, FAR more important that I please myself than it is that I please anyone else. See how selfish I am? :-)

Let me give you an example. When it comes to my McCarthys of Gansett Island Series, there is a small camp of readers who do not like the fact that I include rather extensive stories for characters other than the hero and heroine. I absolutely get why they don't like it. The thing is, though, I like it. I love going back and revisiting couples who starred in past books and seeing what's up with them. Sometimes it's big stuff. In Season for Love, for example, Grant and Stephanie from Falling for Love hit a rather big speed bump in their love story. Doesn't that happen in real life? Don't people who are madly in love one minute start to wonder in the next minute if this thing that's sprouted between them will go the distance? See, I thought so! That's right when it starts to get interesting to me. How about you?

In Longing for Love, book 7, Evan and Grace from Hoping for Love will hit a bump when her parents come to the island for a surprise visit and discover that not only does their daughter have a boyfriend she never told them about, but he's living with her, too. Something tells me Evan is going to be rather hurt by the fact that she never bothered to tell her folks about him. Will that be the main story in Longing for Love? Nope. Tiffany and Blaine will be the main attraction in that book, but life hasn't stopped for the rest of the Gansett Island community, and I like to write about that. I suppose that makes me a selfish author, and shockingly, I'm quite okay with that.

The first person I have to please with my books is ME. If I don't love them, how can I expect any of you to love them? I will be the first to admit there is a LOT going on in Season for Love. I can totally see how some people might think it's too much, and I've already acknowledged that we can't have story for every past couple in every future book. Season was  definitely Laura and Owen's book, but I also used it as a wrap-up of the first six books and a launch pad for the next few. Did I succeed? I'll let you tell me!

The vast majority of readers, especially those in my McCarthy Reader Group, enjoy the subplots and want more of them in future books. Those of you who agree with them are in luck, because I do, too. And since I'm a selfish, selfish author, I plan to please myself first and foremost. :-)

Of course I'm teasing about being selfish. I always hope readers will enjoy my books, but if I'm not enjoying the writing of the books, there won't be any more. I've made a career out of breaking the mold a bit, such as the Fatal Series that features the same couple in every book (supposedly a no-no in romance) and now the McCarthy Series that keeps past couples front and center in future books. You may not always get what you expect from me (hello, Seamus and Carolina?), but just as I hope to keep things interesting for you, I've got to keep things interesting for me, too. Thus the road less traveled. I hope you'll continue to come along for the ride, even if I take you places you didn't expect to go. After all, my journey would be absolutely no fun without my lovely readers riding shotgun.

So tell me, are you in the "Want more of the past characters" camp or the "Want less of the past characters" camp?