Why Does Charlaine Harris Hate Me?
Since Krystal deigned take a well deserved vacation (Hmph!), I've decide to borrow her blog for a day and rant about something that's been eating me lately: Why does Charlaine Harris hate me?
For those of you who faithfully have followed the Sookie Stackhouse novels, as Krystal and I have, you'll know why the end of Deadlocked has many of us scratching our heads. Charlaine—yes, after twelve books we're on a first name basis—seems to be taking the series in a disappointing direction. With only one book remaining in the series, many of us fear Sookie may well end up with someone other than Eric. Readers are pissed, and her ratings reflect their ire. 65% of her reviews on Amazon for Deadlocked were 3 stars or less, with 51% on Goodreads. While this may not seem significant, her past books have enjoyed 4 and 5 star reviews. Let's face it, we feel as if she's pulled the rug out from under us. We've suffered through Sookie and Eric's trials and tribulations, believing—based on clues from Charlaine herself—they'd end up together. If she chooses not to give us an HEA for them, I swear I will never read another novel by her again.
All of this leads me to another question. Does an author owe it to their readers to give them what they want after they've faithfully devoted themselves to a series? Or should the author always stay true to their story regardless of the fallout?
I personally struggled with this exact question when I wrote the last chapter of my first book, Colour Wielders. I ended the book on a big cliffhanger, one I felt rather proud of. However, after receiving a rather angry text from Krystal, who's my critique partner, I began rethinking my strategy. Why? Because I was worried I'd piss off readers I don't even have yet. In the end, I caved, deciding it was best to not anger my future readers. So, I wrote an epilogue. Krystal was happy, I was happy, and hopefully the book will do well.
Did I do the right thing? I don't know. Will Charlaine Harris do right by her readers and give us what we want? Don't know the answer to that either. As with life, a happy ever after is never guaranteed. What I do know is as authors, we ask our readers to take an emotional journey with us. When they do, it's crucial for authors to value that and not screw us over because they can. So, I really hope that Charlaine Harris doesn't hate me!
Sookie and Eric forever! (Yes, I'm 15!)
Dawna Raver is the author of Colour Wielders, and one of my closest, dearest friends. You'll find her work on a shelf soon, if I have anything to say about it! You can follow Dawna on Facebook, Twitter, or . . . umm, that's it because I haven't quite convinced her to start her blog. Sigh. A girl can try!
There's a new Who Said It contest running.
Wilde's Army is now on Goodreads! Make sure you add it to your TBR list!