Saturday, May 24, 2008

Be Careful What You Ask For.

I always ask for people to give me reviews of Eyes of Garnet after they've read it. I've had some very interesting critiques come out of this process. Most have been great, some have been disappointing, and some have been downright scary.

Case in point. A woman I know bought a limited edition and I asked her to let me know how she liked the story when she finished reading it. About a month goes by and I've moved on, but then I get a phone call. It was her and she was all too ready to tell me what she felt about the story.

"At first," she said, "I didn't like Catrìona. I thought she knew too much for her age."

I thought to myself, well she did. But under the circumstances—being a reincarnate of her grandmother, and all—she had the advantage of being born with the innate ability to "know" how to see into the future.

She then continued on with, "But as I read on, I understood and it made more sense why she had the ability. I began to really like Catrìona. The plot became tense and it was great. Then, you had the torture scene of Willie Campbell."

I smiled, because it was one of most favorite parts of the story to write.

"Well, I just don't understand where that came from. You don’t appear to me to have those tendencies."

I thought to myself, I don't. I can't stand the sight of blood!

She continued by telling me that she told her two teenage daughters to stay clear of me because she wasn't sure about my displaced anger.

I had a difficult time trying not to burst out laughing. I do that at rather inappropriate times as a defense mechanism. You know, startle the aggressor.

Anyway, she ended her critique with, "But I can't wait to read the second book."

I think she liked it, but now I'm on the neighborhood watch's most wanted list!

I know that this line of work carries with it the ability to make people believe in your characters and stories, if you've written them well enough. I also know that a writer's skin must be armor-like in thickness, and one must let things roll off the back, but it isn't the first time I've been told that I apparently enjoy the morbid and sadistic. Huh. Maybe I'm a reincarnate of some deviant which enables me to write what I know, whether from this lifetime or another.

Something to ponder when you do or think something out of character, or what you perceive your character to be, isn't it?


TerriRainer said...

Holy crap! Was she serious?

Um, it's called's not like you were writing a biography for God's sake!

People are sometimes so narrow-minded.

At least she wants to read the next one...wonder what kind of "tendencies" you'll exhibit from that book?!

:) Terri

Mary Duncan said...

Oh, yah, she was serious 'cause I haven't seen hide nor hair since!

It did get me to thinking though. DO we keep some tendencies from one life to another?

If that is so, my ancestors may have handed me some very entertaining "tendencies" since my grandmother's maiden name was Vlad. Yup, you read it right. From Romania even! I could really write some interesting prose if I REALLY wanted to, now couldn't I?

I don't feel any of that came through me, though. I'm pretty mellow and easy to get along with ... as long as I'm not provoked (he he he!)


TerriRainer said...

I guess people who write often take for granted that readers are aware it's fiction, and actually know what the definition of fiction is!

Oh well, so she thinks you are a certified fruit-cake...could be worse, you might ACTUALLY be a fruit-cake (or a blood sucking vampire)!

:) Terri