Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why Some Books Resonate More Than Others

I’ve been thinking about this lately. So far, my latest release, Trust, has had a great response from readers. I’m thrilled, of course, when readers enjoy my stories. I’m not naïve enough to believe everyone will like it, but still I’ve had a fantastic response thus far. I loved my characters in Trust, in particular Brad (I do love Justin, too), and it seems many of my readers have fallen for Brad, too. I never would have guessed when I set out to write Trust last summer how well it would do. I just wanted to create a character who made a mistake (dare I say forgivable) and make him worthy of being loved again.

On the other hand, I’ve had a very mixed reaction to my March release of Jake’s Regret. I’ve received some lovely emails from readers who enjoyed the story, but I’ve also had readers who thought Jake was weak and unsympathetic. Just as I hadn’t expected such a great response to Trust I was equally surprised at the displeasure with Jake’s character. As his creator I never saw him to be unsympathetic. I just wanted to create a character who was the product of his upbringing by a hateful parent and so therefore found it difficult to accept himself for what he was.

So this brings the point. Some books resonate better than others with readers. I find even with the authors I read over and over some stories I like better than others. I don’t know why this is either.

As a writer I want all my books to be well-received by everyone but I know that isn’t possible. I treasure the times when a reader has been moved in some way by my books and hope to grow and improve when they are not.

Speaking of stories that got a mostly positive reaction (recently I've had some very lovely reviews pop up, too) time for a little bit of self-promotion. My story, Pulling Away, which as I’ve noted on the blog before was a spur of the moment story I wrote in less than a week when one of my publishers needed stories to fill in gaps, was pretty well received by most readers. So those readers might be interested to know that my June release, Car Wash, is Kevin’s story. Kevin was Noah’s friend in Pulling Away. While you do not need to have read Pulling Away to read Car Wash and vice versa, I would love it if readers read both, of course. Anyway, I don't recall now if I mentioned the connection prior to this.

I will be doing another giveaway, this time of Car Wash, when it gets closer to the release date.


  1. Kevin was the really flamboyant out-there friend with the motorcycle right? He was a lot of fun, one of those secondary characters that asserts themselves right into their own book! :)

  2. Yep, that was Kevin. He's a little more dramatic then some of my other heroes. I love giving secondary characters their own stories.

  3. Fabulous post!
    I think people relate to characters in books by their own experiences in life. Whether or not we like a book, might be because of something that struck true in our own home or life experiences. I know it's all a fantasy, but while we read, we are all wrapped up in the characters lives, whether we like their decisions or not.

    I haven't read Pulling Away or Jake's Regret, yet. But, as you know I absolutely loved Trust.
    I think we basically want to forgive people when they make mistakes. Especially if they are truly sorry or have learned from the error of judgement they have made. You made Brad a very noble character. Yes he cheated, but he had to live with that horrible choice for years afterward. He made the right decision to learn from it, and to better himself as a person. Your writing made that very clear. Even readers who never want to read about or forgive a cheating hero, has stood behind him and wanted Justin to love and forgive him, too.

    I'll (we'll) be reading Jake's Regret soon. I am looking forward to that one! I think that people want their heroes to be strong and to basically always do the right thing. Maybe they thought he did too little too late. But, I honestly don't know. Maybe they don't think he suffered enough, or somehow earned the forgiveness of the other hero. Maybe they thought the other hero was too good for him. Who knows. What matters is you made them think. Whether they loved the book or not, is irrevelant really. It still affected them enough for them to tell you about it. You still touched them and moved them for the couple of hours they used to read your book.
    Even Stephen King can't win them all.
    The point is, your gift moves people and makes them think. That is awesome no matter how you look at it!
    I feel like I am not making any sense, so I better stop while I am
    Love ya,

  4. I think Shayne said it perfectly.
    I didn't know if I was going to like Brad or not. You know I ended up loving him. I wanted Justin to get over himself and forgive him already! (I loved Justin, too)
    As for Jake. I am one of the people who loved him. He had difficult choices to make, and sometimes we don't chose the right one. His suffered greatly for his choice. I thought he was brave at the end. I never saw him as weak. I saw him as a broken man, who was starting to pick up the pieces of his life. That takes strength to me.

  5. Thanks, Shay and Shell for both of your very thoughtful and kind words. No wonder you are two of my favorite people! LOL

    You made perfect sense, Shay, love ya!

    And Shell, I saw Jake the same way, but alas as we know, others did not!