It was almost two years ago now (which doesn’t seem that long ago) that I was getting ready to release Her Reluctant Groom. About a month before it came out, maybe two, I gave copies for a little pool of readers to read an early copy and give me feedback.
One of the biggest complaints: There wasn’t enough Benjamin (Gateway) and Andrew in the book. Huh?? It wasn’t a Banks book. Nonetheless, the previous four books had included these two and their verbal sparring in a large way. I remember being at a total loss regarding this. As the days got closer, I began to panic that everyone would hate the book not because they didn’t like Marcus and Emma, but because there wasn’t enough of Benjamin and Andrew, two characters who really don’t even know Marcus and Emma that well!
So I wrote a blog post about it, asking people to be understanding.
Fast forward to now. I’ve had a copy of The Officer and the Bostoner written and edited for almost a month now, waiting to go out to the world, and frankly I have a lot of uncertainty. I explained this the other day to a group of my friends that I feel like a parent who took a chance and bought her son a Stretch Armstrong when he’d asked for a GI Joe for Christmas. It’s still a gift, but not the one he’s expecting…
Is the genre different? Yes.
Is the language going to be a little different? Yes.
The setting will be vastly different and none of the characters are anyone we’ve met before. It’s a huge switch. I know this. I also know this: the author is the same. The writing and humor and romance will all be similar.
So I’m asking for a little indulgence here and if you need any more convincing, here’s MY story of stepping out of my comfort zone and breaking one of my “what I’ll read” rules:
I have very few hard and fast rules for an “automatic no” for when I read a book. One of these rules is I’ll never read a romance with my one of my boys’ names as the hero. Why? I don’t think I could picture anyone BUT my son and that’s just creepy. Especially when intimacies are involved.
Fortunately, I’ve given my boys names that aren’t often used in books. Thank goodness. But I have ran across a few and always put them down. I know, I know, it’s just a name, but to me it wasn’t. I just couldn’t separate my personal life from the book.
Or so I thought.
A few weeks ago, I read a book by a new-to-me author and LOVED the book. Absolutely loved it. I was so in awe and in love and excited about the book that literally as soon as I finished, I went to Amazon and bought the next book WITHOUT READING THE DESCRIPTION. Yes, I was that excited.
I then waited impatiently for the next fifteen seconds while the book downloaded on my Kindle, and then, it was time to enjoy!
I opened it and started reading. Then I stopped, frozen. I blinked. It was still there. Those handful of letters in that particular order. My heart sank and I literally groaned. No, no, no, this cannot be! But no matter how much I groaned and blinked and wished it was different. Nothing changed. The name was still there.
I contemplated closing the book. I know it’s money that I just spent, but how on earth could I possibly enjoy it? I sighed and made a deal with myself, I’d read the first two chapters and if I couldn’t think of anyone but my son, I’d put it away.
I finished the book.
Not only have I finished it, I loved it and I’ve actually recommended it to people I know who’d probably like it. I’ve now read about half a dozen books by this lady, and it’s still my favorite.
So once again, I’m asking for a chance. I know westerns aren’t for everyone. But, the author is the same and you never know, you might actually like it! (And if you don’t, you can always re-read all of my old books and reacquaint yourself with the Banks family and Lad O, of course!)