Train-crash Ending of SHAMEFUL Explained.

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.

Cool.

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. grin 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. smile

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. grin 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

Keep writing!

—————————————————————————————————————-

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.

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Think BIG. Plan Well. Make It Happen.

It’s a little late for New Year’s Resolutions, but I’ll share my 2012 mantra with you anyway: Think BIG. Plan well. Make it happen.

To start my new year off right, I was featured in the January 2012 issue of Woman’s Essence Magazine (For & About Powerful Women). In fact, I actually made the cover. Yay!

Click on it to read, download, and share the interview. Also read about the best jobs for women in 2012, fashion tips, how to exercise when you’re pregnant, relationship advice, beautiful destinations for your next vacation, and more.

Speaking of vacation…

I enjoyed visiting with friends and family in NC and GA during the holidays. Got a chance to sign a lot of books too. Hopefully, folks will visit with us here in TX next time. 🙂

#notholdingmybreath

Another good thing to start my year off well was a 4.5-star review from Jane at Lindsay and Jane’s Views and Reviews: “I liked the writing, the story, the characters, the pace, I enjoyed reading it and the editing was spot on!”

It’s hard putting my work out there for the world to criticize, but it’s always NICE to have it appreciated.

Thanks WE and Jane and Happy 2012 to all!

Three 5-Star Reviews For SHAMEFUL.

Wanna know why nothing is going to get me down this week? Because I’ve just noticed THREE 5-star reviews pop up for my novel SHAMEFUL. And there is nothing better for a writer than to have her art appreciated. Of course, I know everyone won’t love it. But today, I’m celebrating three who did. Yay!

Copied from Amazon:

5.0 out of 5 stars OMG!!, November 28, 2011

This was a very intriguing novel…indeed!!! You meet Joanne, a neglected military housewife, who’s life revolves around her family and making them happy with little or no reciprocity. As you take a deeper look at Joanne, you can see how a woman with no sense of, pediphilia, in her nature, could succumb to such a thing. Joanne is basically a single mother, her husband provides for them financially, but, other than that, an absentee parent/husband. So, I applaud Joanne for holding on to her fidelity and not “stepping out” or divorcing her husband sooner! lol..I feel that this book has the potential to be very controversal, in the sense that some will be offended by some of Joanne’s actions and decision in the novel. Oh yes, there will be a few heated conversations, but I feel, that this is what makes this novel such a great read!

Now, when you meet the other main character, Alex, a 16 year old adolescent, who appears to be wise beyond his years…you do have to remind yourself, that he is just a kid. As their two worlds collide, literally, you are slowly and painfully watching Joanne’s demise, so to say, into the inevitable!!! On one hand, you can see how she gets caught up, but on the other hand…you are yelling at her to remove herself from the situation, not because you don’t think that their feelings could be real..but, because of a little something called…Jail..lol…and the fact that he is still a kid! All I could think and kept saying to myself..”Nah, she’s not going to do that, she seems to understand the consequences, and how absurd that would be, and…Oh no she didn’t!!!” lol!!! I enjoyed this one very much, and look forward to more from this author.

Copied from Amazon:

5.0 out of 5 stars A Bittersweet Taboo, November 21, 2011

This novel is an engaging tale of Joanne, a 39 year old house wife and mother of three who appears to be living the American Dream, but who feels that dream is suffocating the life out of her. Being the wife of a member of the armed forces, she is both financially secure and extremely lonely from being alone for long periods of time. Additionally, the pressures of raising a family, without much help from her husband, take a mental toll on her.

When she meets Alex, a very mature, hardworking, and extremely handsome 16 year old he seems to be heaven sent. He is able to provide a helping hand, which she desperately needs, on everything from yard work to tutoring her children. Although, as time goes on, Joanne realizes that having a man, even an under-aged one, constantly around the house during her husband’s absence is probably not the best idea. Particularly, since her 14 year old daughter has an obvious attraction for him, limiting his interactions would seem to be the best option, but the more she tries to set boundaries the more she finds herself crossing them.

Although MANY can probably relate to the main character in a number of ways, this story is not for those who are easily offended. The sex scenes are explicit, there is strong language used, and there are numerous situations that many would consider inappropriate.

I would strongly suggest this book for those who are looking for a good story with VERY real characters.

Copied from Smashwords:

Review by: Tasha Wilson on Nov. 28, 2011 : star star star star star
“Shameful” is the new “Lolita” in reverse. Joanne is the typical hypocritical American who lives her life in a bubble and judges others through her filters. As a wife and mother of two, life can be so stressful that you are sometimes placed between a rock and a hard place. The frustrations of life push some people into drug addictions, sex addictions, gambling, depression, etc. The author did a great job of laying out Joanne’s frustration and displaying the internal and external battles of life. Joanne succumbs to the battle by having sex with Alex, but in the end she ultimately wins by finding internal peace.

I would recommend this book to someone who is not afraid to face the ugliness of life with an open mind. Child abuse and statutory rape are very serious issues, but it is a reality that cannot be ignored.

Keep reading, folks. Keep reviewing.

Thanks!

 

An Atypical Paranormal Romance.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times–my novels are sexy, wild, daring, and risky. I write both paranormal and women’s fiction with a preference for the bizarre. Taboo. Shocking. Atypical. So, if you’re looking for the same old books–there’s Dickens, Hemingway, and Shakespeare. That’s not me. And it’s not Dicey Grenor books.

Thankfully, there are readers looking for unique story-telling. In fact, there are now six excellent reviews posted on Amazon. Three on Smashwords (turn adult filter off). And two bloggers have dedicated a whole post to reviewing my debut novel: Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul: The Narcoleptic Vampire Series Book #1.

Mistress of the Dark Path wrote: “For those who want a typical paranormal romance, this one may not be for you.  If you want to try something new and different, then you should give Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul a chance.  It isn’t going to be a perfect romance, if that is what you are looking for, but it will be highly entertaining and unique.  All the characters involved have serious issues, yet you enjoy seeing how they deal with them.  Dysfunction is key in this book, but it all works to enhance the story.  I am assuming there will be a second novel, based on the ending, and have every intention of picking it up.  Dicey Grenor’s writing style is enjoyable, humorous, and entrancing.  Not a combination you can find often!”

Read her entire blog review here.

CJ Johson Writes wrote: “Dicey creates a world were vampires are apart of life; contemporary and yes, taboo, but she provides a logic for those taboos with explanations that most books or movies in this genre fail to do. Which made the book a more stunning read, because as much as it is a fictional tale, you could imagine it in some other worldly reality.”

Read her entire blog review here.

In a market saturated with paranormal/vampire novels, I am HONORED to have my book labeled unique. And taboo.

Read chapter one here. If you dare.

Another 5-Star Review.

I’m feeling pretty good today.

Now, I get why people say to focus on the positives. In doing so the past few days, I’ve gone from feeling rather sh*tty to feeling like I can conquer the world.

T. Wilson posted a review to Amazon and Smashwords that makes me feel like I want to read my book all over again:

5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT READ!,October 18, 2011

OMG! This book is awesome! Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop until I finished it. It is so well-written and interesting that I know it will be a best seller soon. I was able to connect with the characters and fell in love with Remi, Franco, and Punch. There are so many twists and turns in this book that my heart raced throughout my reading of it. The author has a great imagination and it shows throughout this book. There were so many things that happened that I did not see coming. Normally I’m pretty good at figuring out the ending of books and movies, but this one caught me by surprise. I can’t wait to read the next book to find out what my guys are up to and to find out is Willow got what she wanted. Lol!

Great reading! I would highly recommend this book to a friend.

And here is another on Amazon from Bgreen2ncsu:

5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for the sequel…,September 26, 2011

It is definitely a “pageturner” and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys something different. It was full of hot scenes with twists and turns that left me wondering what would happen next. Had an excellent plot that was written in first person making me feel like I was in the scene myself. I can only imagine what the sequel will look like!

Since I’ve been so hyped up over the reviews, I dropped the price from $2.99 to $.99 for a limited time! Halloween’s in a few days, so perfect timing, I think. [INSERT CREEPY LAUGH AT THE END OF “THRILLER”]

Have a wonderful day, yourself!

Things Going Right For An Indie Author.

It’s hard out here for an indie author to gain exposure. Read this post to learn why I decided to go this route.

But never mind the hardships.

This week, I’m focusing on the positive aspects of my publishing journey. A lot of things are not happening as fast as I’d like, but dammit there are some things going right! I’m celebrating that.

1. The paperback edition of Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul: The Narcoleptic Vampire Series Book #1 is flying off the virtual shelves. Within the first week of its release on October 1st, my husband and I have sold twenty-seven copies. You read right 2 7! I don’t know how many paperbacks other authors sell within the same short period of time…and I don’t care. All I know is–THANK YOU! to everyone who bought mine.

2. People have been watching the promo videos for my books.

The video for Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul has been watched 233 times.

The video for Shameful (book will be released November 1st) has been viewed 52 times.

3. Online social networking has been a time-consuming, yet rewarding experience. My facebook fan page now has 189 “likes” with 33 people talking about it (whatever that means). I still do not understand how the new FB works, but I know my numbers have gone up, which has to be a good thing. Likewise for twitter. I now have 104 followers and I’ve only been tweeting for a few weeks.

4. I’ve also gotten some 5-star reviews. Gotta love that. I posted one yesterday. Here is another, copied straight from Smashwords:

“Review by: Damiane Banieh on Sep. 25, 2011 : star star star star star
WOW! This is a huge page-turner. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and all the thought that went in to making it a nail-biting series. From the onset, I loved the fact that the writer effortlessly laid out her characters and then just allowed the characters to draw me in. New little tidbits of the plot just fall into your lap and the book is such a pleasant read that you just accept these premises as fact and anticipate what crazy turn will come next. The characters are sexy, intriguing, and honest — even in light of the fact that they are fantasy-fction. Not only do you want to believe that their lives are real, but there is also a part of you that longs to be a “fly on the wall” and dip your little “fly paws” into the buttermilk of thier lives. Don’t cheat yourself out of a great fantasy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You gotta read this book!”

Thanks, Damiane! Good reviews are always awesome!

I’ve been told that I expect too much too soon and to just give it time. I have great books. The world will know soon enough. I’m hanging in there. Thanks for hanging with me!

 

5-Star “Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul” Review

Today was just one of those days.

I’ve been burning the candle from both ends. Staying up late. Waking up early. Downing energy drinks in between. Doing everything I can to spread the word about my book. Most of the time, I feel like it’s falling on deaf ears.

Let’s just say–marketing/promo is not the funnest part of being an indie author.

And on top of rearing my one-year-old son and four-year-old daughter, practicing law, and keeping the house tidy so my husband will still want to come home–sometimes I think I’m kidding myself trying to do it all.

Well, what’s the problem, Dicey?

Glad you asked. It’s like this:

1. Everybody wants to read books from well-established authors who already have glowing reviews.

AND

2. With so many new authors, the queue of to-read books is sooooo long. Unmanageably so, for most people. Unless the book is written by an already-established author. Then it moves to the top of the pile. See #1.

I have to beg and plead for people to read my work. Then I give away e-copies to make it more convenient. I do it hoping they’ll get to it quicker. But who am I kidding? They have lives. And jobs. And other books to read. See #2.

Yes, I wrote the book for myself. But any artist worth her salt will want her work appreciated. That’s just the nature of the beast.

I’m human. So sue me.

No, don’t. I got enough court cases right now.

Where was I?

Oh, yes. I want to share my art with people. I want them to read it. I want them to enjoy it. Then I want them to tell others. And read my next work of art.

Simple enough?

Not really. See #1-2 above.

Even as I write this I’m thinking, what’s the point? No one’s going to even bother reading it.

#pimping aint’ easy.

So after all the self-doubting, self-loathing, whining and complaining I did today, I decided to focus on the positive feedback I’ve gotten. There’s enough out here to beat down an aspiring writer. Sometimes, you just have to ignore that mess and focus on what’s going right.

That’s what I’m going to do everyday this week.

That’s right! I’m going to post all the 5-star reviews I’ve gotten for my labor of love.

Am I tooting my own horn? You betcha. I have to do it because no one else will unless I do it first.

This is what TheMokaMommy had to say on Amazon and Barnes & Noble:

“Must read for vampire lovers!

Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul is the first of Dicey Grenor’s, The Narcoleptic Vampire Series. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! If you love vampire novels then this is a must read. Willow the main character is a female vampire and her sexuality drips off her. You get completely engulfed in her life. She’s a vampire with narcolepsy…genius! It’s well written, and I felt like I was at Club Hades some nights! Not only are there vampires, other supernatural creatures make an appearance in this book. Be forewarned this book is for mature audiences…this isn’t your typical high school vampire romance…and thank goodness! The story is well written and after reading you find yourself wishing for the next book in the series. Definitely five stars!”

Thanks, TheMokaMommy! I needed that.