I often use my blog to address feedback of my novels. I figure this is a good way to give readers insight into my psyche. That plot device that you liked or hated–this is your opportunity to learn why I dared to write it that way. This is your glimpse into my mind. More than likely, I agree with your assessment, but there was a reason for the madness at the time I wrote it. I share those reasons here, and store your opinions in my brain for future stories.
Today: Dicey’s commentary on the “train-crash ending” of SHAMEFUL (Taboo Fiction).
Just so you know, this novel is about a thirty-nine-year-old married mother of three, who has an affair with a sixteen-year-old, who also happens to be her fourteen-year-old daughter’s crush. So, yes. A BUNCH of craziness goes on.
I have been prepared for outrage and negativity over this story since before I finished writing it. I expected people to read the synopsis, say “Hell no”, and not bother reading it at all. Yep. That has happened. I’ve also expected to hear, “That’s gross. You’re sick. There’s nothing sexy about statutory rape.” And you betcha. I’ve gotten that too.
Like every single one of my books, SHAMEFUL is not for everybody.
Thankfully, I’ve had more people tell me they loved it than not, or I probably would have retired from writing by now.
Today’s commentary is for readers like Author Jiva Fang, who read it, liked it, but wondered how things ended up the way they did. This is part of her Amazon review to illustrate today’s focus:
“I mean, we were step by step with her emotions and thoughts from the beginning and suddenly the character was on an insane, irrational, suicidal/homicidal trip and I didn’t *quite* make the jump with her.”
Normally, I’d just post the comment or review and give my thoughts on it. This time, I actually have the pleasure of posting my full (unedited) conversation with Jiva about this subject. Yay! It’s surprisingly not too spoilery.
Dicey: I get what you’re saying about how Joanne starting flipping out and doing things that were out of character. Aside from trying to keep the ending unpredictable, I also tried to show how she really descended from sanity to obsession. I can’t think of a book that demonstrates what I’m talking about at the moment, but movies like Damage (starring Juliette Binoche and Jeremy Irons), David’s Birthday (Massimo Poggio and Thyago Alves), and Unfaithful (Diane Lane, Richard Gere, and Olivier Martinez) show the obsession I’m talking about. These movies showed characters that ended up doing things they never would have and many times, things that made absolutely no sense but they couldn’t seem to help themselves. They were obsessed with the objects of their affections and rational thought seemed to be nonexistent. I thought Jo’s feelings for Alex were obsessive to the point of destructive too.
I hope this sheds a little light into why I wrote it that way. I may need to do a blog post about since I see another reviewer said it was a “train-crash” ending. LOL I understand everyone won’t like where the story ended, but maybe I can let readers know my thought process behind it…if they’re curious to know. Thanks again! *smooches*
Jiva: I really understood her flipping out.. I am sometimes a very analytical reader and I think what i wanted to see was the “moment” when she went bonkers…and after i wrote the review i thought.. maybe what i was looking for wasn’t there for me as the reader, because Joanne herself didn’t know when it occurred… for her there wasn’t a conscious moment.
I remembered then, her thoughts after reading the diary, and how i expected her to immediately lash out at her daughter about the blackmail.. I was surprised at the turn her thoughts took but in hindsight I’ve had moments in life like that.
I loved the book. I wish i would get around to “Bonded Soul” but I’m still working on my own vampires and I’m afraid of “borrowing” ideas.
Dicey: “but in hindsight I’ve had moments in life like that”–LOL Me too. Let’s just hope I never meet an “Alex” in real life…Just kidding. Maybe. Do you mind if I blog about this convo? I can exclude your name or include it, whichever you prefer. If there’s something more you want me to include or exclude from the post, let me know. I’m always down for other author promos on my blog too.
Girl, get your vampire story on! I gotta tell–I wish I had more hours in the day. I’m always torn between picking up someone else’s book to read and writing my own. I’d have 5 more books published within this year if I could focus on writing. I’m constantly distracted by movies/tv shows too. Anyhoo…thanks again. I look forward to your vampire novels!
Jiva: lol.. I wish I could get the books moving faster as well.. I have soo many stories running and my so-called “real job” too.. I know it has to be worse for you as a lawyer.
Chances are you’ll see my Shifters before my vampires, but hopefully something new by the end of this year.
I don’t mind if you blog any of this.. I’m also okay with you using my name…
I spent many years buying into that “strong black women don’t need therapy” crap. I think as a community, if we were freer with the dialogue about “issues”, instead of hiding and condemning, we’d be healthier as a whole. Then we wouldn’t have verbs like “snap” and “blacked-out” to our credit.
That’s one of the reasons I loved “Shameful”.. even though the subject might’ve been a bit of the path for many of us, you reached into the character and put her issues on display in a way that ANY woman could relate to. As they say: “there but for the grace of God…”
So blog away…
Dicey: Thanks, Jiva! It’ll be two posts from now.
I have to say writing is definitely my therapy. I’ve displayed “angry black woman syndrome” enough times to know I need a healthy outlet. Working out helps a bit too, but writing fiction is really where it’s at. I should have started a long time ago and said to heck with grad and law school. lol
Thanks so much, Jiva! Much success to you in your writing endeavors. Sorry it took me over a month to post this.
NOTE: Jiva didn’t actually say my novel had a train-crash ending. Another reviewer did. I just thought the heading was very fitting since I was addressing it anyway. Be sure to check out Jivafang.com.
You can find more author commentaries to reader feedback under the Critics Corner category to the right–>
As mentioned many times, I appreciate ALL reviews, positive and negative. Keep ’em coming! If you have something specific you’d like me to address, leave a comment about it or email me: author at diceygrenorbooks dot com.