I have long fancied myself an accomplished author. Often, with no foundation but my fancy nonetheless. I now have doubt as to my ability and much of it is based on feedback from readers. “You're the worst writer I’ve ever read.” “Send me another notice of the trash, you call stories and I will kill you.” Constructive criticism for sure but I can’t help but feel there is a faction of my readership I’m not reaching.
I sometimes suspect I lack the hook, Stephan King implements to lure the reader in. While quite handy at courtroom drama, I admit I may lag a tad behind John Grisham. Tom Clancy was a successful raconteur but how much national/global intrigue can one handle? I mean once you’ve been through a nuclear submarine, what more is to be said?
The truth of the matter and I know full well this will spark outrage among my followers, I am not the fierce macho, ladies man I portray. Oh dammit, I’m a wimp. When it comes time to kill off a character, I wonder where this will leave his or her family and/or loved ones. Sure, there’s the school of thought I may be too close to my ‘people’, but who else do they have. What do I do, nurture them and then just cast them off like my five wives did? Forget that part. What my point is, that when a character is created, the writer has a responsibility to that entity. And I don’t mean alimony or child support, although that's what they'd like you to think.
When an editor or publisher chastises me, it is not unusual for me to wet my pants. I’m confident my colleagues would agree this is a normal reaction. I am firm however and take a stand when appropriate... I find it hardly ever appropriate... Actually, I’ve never taken a stand...on anything.
Michelle Mindcrank, P.H.D.: “I’m afraid your forty five minutes are up Mr. King, we can pick up from here next week.”
Me: (In my best and deepest John Wayne voice) ‘Anything you say toots.”