With the official release of my book tomorrow comes great excitement with a fair measure of despair. Why despair, you ask? That’s a pretty harsh word. But it’s true. I have not been able to win the hearts of everyone who reads my book.
At the same time, that’s okay. We don’t all love the same books. What really causes me the despair, then, is the readers who say, “The reviews for THE DOLLHOUSE ASYLUM are mixed so I’m not going to read it.” I, for one, understand such feelings. Time is so precious, and we want to spend it reading only the best works. At the same time, please allow yourselves to consider this:
Are some of your favorite stories disliked by other readers? Do you enjoy books that spark heated conversations? Don’t they say such stories make the hallmark of a book club book—one that can gain a debate from two separate sides?
I’ll admit while writing THE DOLLHOUSE ASYLUM, I had no intention of writing a book that would spark such a diverse reaction. I wrote what was in my heart. A girl’s struggle to overcome unhealthy love was important. When early reviews started coming in, I was tempted to call my publisher and say, “Hold the presses!” Because there were reviewers who weren’t connecting to Cheyenne’s story, but then I knew: this was the story I had to write and I knew there would be people who would connect with it.
And then the good reviews started showing up. I started getting texts, and emails, and reviews, and tweets, and visits from people who adored my book. It validated everything I tried to do. They were completely stoked about the plot, the pacing, the twists, the writing, even the characters. Shocking, I know.
So, with tomorrow as my official release date (Amazon’s already been shipping it, and I spotted it in Barnes and Noble on Saturday, so the official release day is more of a formality) I beg of you: please don’t allow the mixed reviews to stop you from reading my book. Decide what you think of it yourself. Think of other books that have sparked controversy. The Bible, the Koran, some of my favorite authors have books some love, some hate. I let several of my friends borrow my favorite book of all time, and I would say half of them absolutely loathed it, and only one loved it like I did. We all have crazy personal subjective analytical skills while sorting through the web of themes and characters and plots of any book. If we all followed each other when it came to choosing what book to read, there would only be ONE type read, ONE type loved. What, then, would be the point of art?