Public Opinion

Public Opinion and Cookie Recipes

Public opinion can be devastating.

Remember the first time you realized someone didn’t like you? A classmate, or perhaps one of those playmates you had to get along with because your mother was friends with her mother. Maybe it was the neighbor boy across the street who always called you names while you waited for the bus.

As we grow up, we stop expecting to be liked by everyone. But then, we have children. And we relive that difficult realization all over again. It’s worse watching your child process social rejection than experiencing it yourself.

One of the hard parts of writing novels is how much you hope other people will like them. I’m not accustomed to worrying about whether people like me anymore. And I’m beginning to think that might be a reasonable approach to writing novels as well.

Of course, if you want readers, you must supply a product a reader can enjoy and want more of. There is no point in whipping up a batch of olive-cauliflower-limburger cheese cookies if no one can get past the smell long enough to take a bite. You certainly won’t be selling a boxed set of them.

So I’m not saying public opinion doesn’t matter.

But I do think, as authors, we have to remember our novels are not our children. Well, obviously. Children bear a disturbing resemblance to deciduous trees, but no novel will leave a chicken wing behind his bedroom door for a week. No novel will climb into your bed at five in the morning with a soaking wet diaper and ask for a cuddle.

Novels are not our progeny, they are our products. If someone didn’t like your product, you wouldn’t run into your room to lick your wounds. Instead, you would ask how it might be improved. Then you might take that information and turn your olive-cauliflower-limburger cheese cookies into chocolate mousse tartlets and make a fortune.

Rose Grey has written three romance novels and is hard at work on a fourth. Wednesday is generally book review day. Unless it isn’t. If you liked this post, come visit the rest of the blog at Hot Pursuit and Not As Advertised are available as ebooks and as paperbacks online.