Just read a thought-provoking post over at author Tess Gerritson's blog. All of her posts are great, but this one really resonated with me because of a recent concern of my own. Well, it wasn't so much a concern as a musing. She talks about inadvertently offending and losing readers because of something you've written, whether it be in an interview or work of fiction.
A few weeks ago, it crossed my mind that perhaps I'd lost certain readers because of the secondary romance between two gay characters that runs throughout JINXED, CHARMED, and SEDUCED. Reviews from critics on this series were outstanding. Readers who've written to me personally or who posted a review to Amazon or Barnes and Noble have been equally enthusiastic.
All but one.
There's a posted review at Amazon from a woman who read JINXED and liked it, but was totally disappointed in SEDUCED. I'm assuming she didn't read the middle book CHARMED which would have bonded her more with the recurring characters and their plight, but that's neither here nor there. Everything is subjective, so most of her gripes didn't bother me. What got me was this line: "The second storyline, which I felt didn't belong in womens contemporary romance, went into too much detail about the homosexual couple, Rudy and JP."
There are all kinds of reasons that statement bothers me. But I'm not going there. I'd only work myself up on the subject of intolerance. The thing is it did make me wonder if I'd lost other readers because I'd written about a gay relationship in a straight book. Unfortunately, probably. Because this isn't a perfect world. But would I nix Rudy and Jean-Pierre from the trilogy had I to write it over? No. Why? Because they came from my heart. And I will always, always write from my heart. If an artist allows a select few to define their creations, then they are no longer truly artists.
Hop over to Tess's blog and read the shocking reasons why a select few vowed to never read her again. Unbelievable.