So my book became available in paperback form today. I messed up some beeps and boops and accidentally didn’t release the paperback and Kindle versions on the same day. If by chance someone bought the book today, they could be reading it in 2 days, less if they paid extra for 1 day shipping. This is insane to me. In a weird, wonderful, horrifying kind of way.
I gave a copy to my aunt, who is a writer, and part of me can’t wait to hear what she thinks. The other part of me is terrified. I don’t write the kinds of stories that she likes to read. And that’s fine. I just don’t want her to get sad if I kill her favorite character. Not like she’s some delicate flower that can’t handle it, but it’s different when someone who didn’t change your diapers says “Why did you kill so-and-so?? I loved so-and-so!!”
Maybe it’s because the praise is different, too. When my family praises something, I know it must have been good. My family are masters of “it’s not really my style”, or “that was a good concept, but….”, or “I don’t really get what you’re going for right here,” or “Mmmm…. not so much.” My 2-year old uses that last one now. “Do you like those carrots?” “Mmmm, not so much.”
When some of my relatives read the first chapter of The Beast, they were all-too-willing to tell me what they wanted to see (“Her name is Jade Greene and she doesn’t have green eyes???”), and also what they liked about it. But there’s a difference between the reaction to a piece of it and the reaction to the whole thing.
I feel like a chapter, an excerpt, a synopsis- those are like a sexy glimpse of skin. The whole book is the whole thing. Naked. Out there. There is nothing left to the imagination, all of the words are there in black and whit. I chose all of the words. I chose all of the actions. I chose everything that has ever or will ever happen in that particular world. I get why so many writers and artists try to detach themselves from their work.
That way when I hear things like “You write a great rape scene” (and yes, I have actually heard that more than once) I can just say that it wrote itself. The characters ran away with the story. When my grandmother reads the part where a certain female someone is having sex with a werewolf and she asks “What, no doggy style?”, I don’t have to explain “Well, the character is surrounded by people who are pretty closed off to her. So she’s totally closed off and sarcastic once she gets the chance. I thought that this would be a great way to show that- in her moment of ultimate vulnerability, he’s in her house, in her bed, in her body, he’s in her heart and he’s in her head (she actually thinks that line to him)- she’s being a little sarcastic and joking as a way to cope with this total openness and this complete connection that exists in her life.” I can just say “Oh, well, you know her, that’s such a her thing to do lol oh look dessert better grab some.”
Most of my family haven’t read my writing since I was in third grade and my latest masterpiece involved 2 siblings and a magic albino tiger. (I wish I still had a copy of that story or any of my grade school aged stuff.) So it’s kind of strange knowing that some of them could be reading my book in 2 days, learning what I carried in my soul for three years while I worked on this book.
So what’s in it? Best friends who don’t get closure after they fight opposite sides of a war. Women who prove to be just as human as the men, and buck the conventions of the town they live in. Women who follow their hearts as minor walk-on characters while the main characters solve world hunger and genocide problems. People making water skins, throwing bolas, shooting bows (and even some light sex that doesn’t compare any part of a bow to any part of a body). A girl-on-girl romance that isn’t erotica or novelty or a struggle against the social norms, it’s just two people who fall in love. An effortless climb of the political system, glowing mutants, distilling humans, some charming men with bad teeth, and more than a couple scars, including ground dweller surgery and blinding a character who basically connected their identity to what they saw.
Even though I’m writing something that’s totally different from Great Minds right now, it still makes me anxious to know what people think when they read it. Speaking of which, if you’d like to read it, you can buy it here:
Great Minds Paperback or here :
Great Minds Kindle