I may write for public consumption, but that doesn’t mean I am public domain.
This morning I received a very disrespectful comment. At first, my reaction was utter shock. How can someone say that to me? Why do they believe that they have the right? My second reaction was one of outrage. My personal stance is to never engage in a comment war- a very good stance indeed. My third reaction was to passive-aggressively say something sarcastic that could be taken either way (nice or snide). Lastly, I decided not to reply at all or approve the comment.
While I will not call this person out or even voice the comment I received, I do have to say something about it. I write a strong message in my stories. Empowerment. Respect, both for ones self and others. And it blows my mind how easily readers feel they have the right to say whatever they wish to me. I liken it to going up to a complete stranger and saying nasty shit. As my readers well know, I take respect seriously. So at seven in the morning, instead of enjoy the last of sleep’s warm embrace, I am shaking from how emotional I feel.
The Hunter’s first chapter was all me- the majority taken from my blog postings or straight from my head. I was personally giving a plea to my readers, a plea I hoped they would read, understand, and empathize with. Not just for me, but for my fellow writers as well.
A part of each of my characters comes directly from me- so when you bash one, you are also bashing a segment of me. So I take personal offense. I feel like you just told me my newborn is ugly and stupid. Cort received my writing and insecurity. All writers are insecure in some form. We write for public consumption- meaning the public has to like it or they won’t read any more. So when I receive negative feedback it negatively impacts my confidence.
I can take constructive criticism. It’s par for the course and necessary so that I don’t get a big head and arrogantly go down a path of destruction. Then there are the personal attacks, which I just cannot fathom. Even my nearest and dearest do not know me well enough to personally attack me since I keep my emotions and thoughts closed off. They are private, between me, myself, and I. So when a reader or stranger personally attacks me, and it is personal. As they do not know my person, then how can they attack me? Why do they believe they have the right?
I cannot please everyone. Hell, I cannot please half of you. Most of the time I cannot even please myself. Why? Because we are all individual and see things through our own eyes. Never will two people see the same thing in something- it’s impossible.
Some may hate what I do to a storyline thread, others may praise it. Some may hate a cover of mine, some may love it. It’s up to interpretation. But what it is not up to… is any of you. This is my creation. This is the world and the characters and the stories I’ve imagined from nothing. And while it saddens me that I might disappoint you along the way, I refuse to change for anyone.
I could cater to specific fans, but it would only alienate the rest…. and since ultimately it is my name on this work of public consumption, I’m the only one that has to be okay with what I produce.
There are a few things that I must take into consideration when writing. I must stay within a character’s personality traits, their ethics, and their preferences. It is my duty to put them through their paces and make them earn their ultimate HEA. The title must impart the premise of the story, give you an idea of what lies within the pages. The covers must maintain a theme and color scheme (M&M series) (red/black/white/gray), must relate to the title (you cannot have a badass title like The Hunter and have a romantic cover, how silly would that look? It would be like having a book titled Blade but it’s a bodice ripper image) and contain a picture best describing the character. Note: Best describing the character as I’ve envisioned, seeing as I’m the one that created them in the first place. Each cover must blend, but also stick out among the crowd of their peers. Also, many readers may not realize this. We do not just pick a picture off the internet and use it. We must pay for the right to use the image- and it is not cheap. We also have to find a representation of a person we know inside and out, but is entirely fictitious- their clone may not exist in real life, and if they do, their image may not be for sale. It also has to be an image that can be altered, an image where the writing (title, author, series, etc..) doesn’t disrupt the image’s integrity. Then you have to pay someone to design your cover. So insults to any of the above are insults to the author, the cover model, the photographer/artist, the cover designer. That is a lot of people to insult over your personal tastes, I might add.
I will never apologize if my stories, covers, who ends up with whom, or the order in which I write my stories. But I will say is that receiving negative feedback that is more personal in nature and is more of a personal tastes of the reader’s is not constructive and very demotivational.
I am a writer, and we operate on emotion. Certain emotions feed our need to create, and the output is determined by the emotion. Obviously I am not a sunshiny girl, which is evident by my writing style. Which belies the readers reasoning to outwardly challenge me on my own works.
I love reader interaction, the good and the bad inspires me to strive. The bad motivates me to do better. But the personal… well, that just makes me feel sad.
It saddens me that I have to write this posting today. It saddens me that I’m sure the person who dealt me the offense may not even realize it, but for the life of me, I’m unsure how they could not. It saddens me that when they read this they will know it was about them. But that isn’t entirely true either. I receive these types of comments multiple times per day. Whereas the comment was directed at me, this is not directed at the commenter- truly.
My reason for posting my thoughts was simply to express that you should watch what you say- you never know how it will be interpreted by the receiver. And as you may not have meant it as it was taken as it was, it’s not up to you on how the other person feels. It is their right to feel as they do, and no one should dictate feeling.
Live a life of respect for yourself and your fellow creatures. Because hurt feelings just… suck.
This is an odd posting, but in light of The Hunter premise, recent activity on my fan page, and my feelings as I write Integrated, I felt the need to get something off of my chest. I’m sure I will piss some readers off, and perhaps spoil some shit. You can dissect my words for clues on Integrated and so forth. But this is simply in defense of Katya Waters.
As I’ve interacted with readers and read reviews… People HATE Katya’s f’ing guts. It’s an everyday occurrence that I get an ‘I hate Katya’ from someone on my various pages. I’ve had actual death-threat emails over this, I shit you not. Katya is a fictitious character… ya know. I mean, kill her? Yes, death-threats. *smh*
It’s an interesting dynamic for me. I’m not trying to sway your feelings over the character. I actually want to know your view, because it helps me with character development in the future. I’m curious to see where I went wrong, or if it is simply a case of we see ‘this character‘ with ‘this character‘ and will accept nothing less.
It’s a phenomenon in psychology, how we gloss over the huge shit going on but pick on a character that has blended into the background as we hear about her through a tainted lens.
At first, I was waiting for someone, anyone, to stand up for Katya… when readers kept hating on her, I kept making it more obvious… and still… nothing. No one said, “Help Katya. This isn’t right. Why are you doing this?” Since I am a maniacal bitch, I started bashing Katya through the narration of other characters just to see if anyone would say anything.
You are aware that Katya is Ezra’s WIFE, right? No? Because we don’t seem to care that Ezra has NEVER acted like a husband…
My stories have STRONG females. Females who believe in empowerment and are borderline cock haters. A few are huge feminists. The readers love Faith and Regina. LOVE. & this pleases me to no end. I’m proud to make inspiring characters…
BUT, and yes, this is a huge but, it’s okay for said strong females spouting empowerment to bully Katya- both of the favorites do. They bully Katya for actions out of her control. & I had Faith say some nasty shit about a Tonka truck… and ya know what? That wasn’t even about Katya, that was about EZRA & CORTEZ… yes, that’s right. It was the disrespect they showed Katya. But, nope, the readers blamed Kat. And while written with a humorous twist, it was rather gross of Faith to think those thoughts about Katya and not blame the men. Again, no one noticed, or Faith was applauded for being nasty.
For me, it just shows how women think and behave. No matter what, we pit ourselves against one another. We won’t stick up for each other. But we will fight over a cock, even a worthless and faithless cock. Time and time again, I made it to where Regina and Faith could have stepped in and rescued Kat, but I didn’t have them do it to show how women do not stick up for each other…
I wrote the story this way for a reason. It was on design for what is to come. I’m known for cerebral fuckage. But I was astonished by the hate-on the readers had for Katya, how they felt no compassion towards her but felt it for her abusers and bullies.
It’s interesting. Lends to the blame the victim mentality. By no means should behaviors be forgiven because you were once a victim. But what about those victimizers that are so nonredeemable but we seem to love them anyway…
I just really feel the need to defend my creation. I just don’t see where this anger is coming from- this hypocrisy… and as I continue to write a story that Katya hovers around, I’m left feeling frustrated. Yes, I wrote it this way. It’s the readers’ perceptions that are baffling me…
I mean, it’s not like Kat is a whore, a murderer, a serial rapist, a criminal, a drug lord… that’s all good, right? I mean. we can just forgive that shit, right?
Kat’s only crime is that she wants to be the best at her profession instead of staying at home with the kids.. It’s the only thing Kat has any control over, and even then, it’s only perceived control. I’ve heard the mother complaints from a lot from readers. I’m a huge advocate for stay-at-home moms, I was raised by one. We are all different. Some ppl are not meant to be mommies. Neither is better than the other, it’s just lifestyle choices… choices written in a series about alternative lifestyles, I might add. Ironically, what’s perfectly fine for the beloved women in my series isn’t for Katya. Think on that for a moment… …. …. okay, Regina and Faith have careers. I actually did that to see if anyone would bitch, but they never did. Just about Katya.
Kat has sex. OMG! Yes, why, yes, she does… It’s dark erotica… aren’t they all fucking someone? But Katya isn’t banging husbands behind their wives’ backs… that’s okay for the beloved characters to betray Katya with Ezra, though, right? & the readers don’t even blame Ezra or Regina. That’s perfectly acceptable behavior… if your name isn’t Katya.
But Kat is dog shit because she doesn’t want to be humiliated and disrespected by the very women that spout empowerment and feminism? Everyone is huge Regina and Faith fans. While I love and respect my creations, I love them equally, and I made them equally as flawed as they are good.
This is something I’ve been examining for well over a year, and when I went back to fix Restraint & Unleashed… I was like, “wow. I never noticed that before.” I just want to give Katya a fucking hug.
& yes, this is raw in my mind because I wrote a 6,000 word chapter today on this very subject within Integrated. & I could list the merits of Katya Waters vs her bullies or copy/paste segments of what I’d written. But I won’t because I don’t want to taint your view of the books. I go into great depth with this, and I could now. But if you don’t realize Katya’s motivations right now, I’d rather you just read about it in Integrated.
I hope when you read Integrated that you regain your compassion and actually see things clearly. if not, I tried my damnedest through 6,000 words of my character bleeding out…
Katya is my stalking horse… You guys might not love Kat, but she is my creation… my very first creation… and more than 75% of her personality traits, physical characteristics, and even the town she lived in and the life she had led… was all me. I’ve used her to express how I’ve felt: violated, trapped, confused, lost, alone, trapped, scared, and tortured. Kat has been living how I lived, in a much more fanatical way, obviously. Right now, she is lost and trapped, and stepped on…I’ve been there- we all have. That is what is baffling me- the lack of empathy and compassion as we praise the victimizer and blame the victim… just step back and truly think on this. Your feelings of all the characters and why.
I use Katya as an example of life. We all overlook what the cocks do… and we will take sides with the vaginas, even if it’s the wrong side. But there is always one person that we hate for no fucking reason at all. Think about it… it’s true in all walks of life, every part of the world, and in every age group… and for some fucked up reason, just among the vaginas.
Interesting… as I said, never forget, I write by perception. One person’s lens may be tainted because they aren’t in the other character’s head. And everything I write is for a reason- and most likely, a psychological reason.
Please, feel free to tell me your thoughts. It’s why I wrote this. Join us in the M&M of Restraint Closed group on Facebook or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hunter: Mistress & Master of Restraint, #10 is Live on Amazon for $4.99. Will be available on B&N shortly. You can add it to your Goodreads shelves as well. Cortez would appreciate it if you could share the links and spread the love around.
Cortez Abernathy, the modern day whipping boy. The orphan always walked alongside the man he was destined to shadow, enjoying the wealth, the indulgences, the influence, and the opportunities of the elite. Ezra Holden Zeitler was coddled, protected because he was the last of his family’s line. The heir would act out, and fearing Ezra’s tantrums and his mental illness, Cortez took the blame… the consequences… the punishments.
From the outside looking in, Cortez is selfish, lazy, and untrustworthy. Cortez tries to scream the truth, but no one ever takes him seriously- never listens. “Ezra did it!” In actuality, Cort is brutally honest while his lips twist into a charming smirk and his eyes glisten with amusement.
This life, this game, Ezra, has taken a toll on Cortez. The whipping boy only had one thing to call his own. It was inborn, a passion for words. The latest punishment rendered Cortez blocked, left to walk an endless abyss of an empty imagination. Without Cort’s ability to delve into his imaginary worlds, he was forced to live in reality.
Lost… confused… Cortez Abernathy struggles to survive.
One simple acknowledgement frees Cortez’s words. “Daddy.” The muse awakens from her long slumber and demands that Cortez go back to the beginning. Cortez Abernathy begins writing a memoir, The Hunter. As he pours his soul onto the pages, he begins to heal.
No longer lost or confused, Cortez realizes he doesn’t have to walk in Ezra’s shadow. Whether beside Ezra or without Ezra, Cortez will survive.
Jaded, Queened, and Checkmate also available in a discounted omnibus edition- QUEEN.
Begin the Playroom series with Good Girl. Playroom #2, Widow, coming soon…
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Silenced, M&M #11, Grant Whittenhower. September.
Integrated, M&M #12, Ezra Zeitler. October
Widow, Playroom #2. September/October
I updated the coming soon tab on this website. I thought I should expand on what I’m up to.
The books are listed in the order I am writing them, not the order of release. I write out of order and 3 to 4 books at a time. I will list the release order at the bottom of this posting.
The Hunter is in the final stages, and I should be pressing publish on Sunday Nite. It will be in Amazon & B&N’s hands after that. I am pushing for an August 20th release. The Hunter is the 100,000 word first part of a two part story that ends in the Grand Ballroom at Whittenhower Estates. The cover reveal, blurb, and the first three chapters are available on this website.
I am currently writing Integrated, Ezra’s story. I guesstimate that it will be around 100,000 word as well. Maybe slightly shorter. It is the second half of The Hunter, but it is not to be read immediately after. A generous release date of early October. I believe it will be earlier than that, but that depends on other factors. No more than two months will pass between the release of The Hunter-Silenced-Integrated.
Note: The Hunter & Integrated are not a twisted ride of WTF! It’s an emotional journey. The Hunter is written half in the past and half in the weeks before the explosive Christmas Meeting. Integrated is a push into the future, starting with the meeting. Combined they are the resolution for Ezra and Cortez- they’ve earned it since I’ve toyed with these two characters for 12 books. Warning: do not expect the usual. I’m just saying this because I don’t want emails and reviews and comments wanting to know where the kink is or the game playing. These books are about the characters and absolutely nothing else.
Widow: is currently 87,000 words (expected length 120-140k), read thru 4 times, and has the last of the scenes heavily outlined. M&M kept dominating my time from this story. Some if it is because I’m on the fence over a part of the storyline- omit it or evolve it- does it lend to the story or just twist it. This is the nexus novel of the series. It’s the ties that bind the next 5 books. This is pure romance. You start the book knowing how the end of the book will play out. Completely different from anything I’ve written before. But it’s necessary to glue the rest of the books together. That storyline thread is a twisted one. I fear my fans will find my detour boring if I don’t kink it up. But that isn’t what this series is about. This is real life versus M&M’s twisted insanity. I’m marinating on this while I finish Integrated and as I reread Widow from the beginning… again.
Silenced. Grant Whittenhower’s novella. It’s about his naughty exploits within the game to get a woman’s attentions. This book is a palate cleanser between The Hunter and Integrated. The blurb is currently available on this website. I will NOT be posting the first chapter of this novella- it would spoil way too much from the past books as well as the entire premise of the novella.
Prince: Niel’s book is time sensitive. It’s no secret that he has a big secret about to enter the world in less than 5 months. Niel will be the first of Generation Next to have a novel. He will be sharing it with one other character. I am debating on going against the series’ norm and writing it as a dual perspective with the mother-to-be. I won’t know until I get there.
Hero: Caleb Green, our war hero comes home to a life he hasn’t led since his eighteenth birthday. Haunted by the past, he sees something within a woman that intrigues him- pain and the eyes of a survivor, a fighter- when he looks at her he sees a mirror into himself.
Master: Marcus Zeitler, the fallen Master of the Universe. This will be a 20 year epic journey that will take me a very long time to outline, write in a piece meal fashion, and I will have to go back to the series as a whole to make sure that every detail is accurate.
After Hero’s completion, I am investing my sole focus on Master & the Playroom series. Master will be that difficult to write. Faithless took a lot out of me, and I believe this will be far worse. I will write scenes of Master while completing the Playroom series.
The Playroom series isn’t infinite as M&M is… 7 books are outlined, and only 7 books will be written. The main cast are the only ones who have a voice, with each book having 2-3 narrators.
After Master, it isn’t the end of the M&M series. I am offering resolution to the well-loved and most known characters to open up the ability to expand on the members of Generation Next (the kids) and the side characters. They are clamoring to tell their stories.
I have several projects outlined that I cannot get to since I will not write more than 2 series at once. Completing the Playroom will allow me to explore other avenues.
Very Tentative release dates:
The Hunter: August 20th
Silenced: Late September/early October
Integrated: Early October
Master: Late 2014/Early 2015
(working titles) (Narrators do not denote couples)
Wayward (Augustus, Isis, Robin)
Waver (Willow, Kieren, Devon)
Warped (?,?) <- narrators would ruin the surprise.
Wicked (Raven, Violet)
Wanted (Seth, Weston)
My brain is bleeding… seriously, that’s how it feels sometimes. But I wouldn’t change it for anything. Happy Wicked Reading, and thank you to all that interact with me on a daily basis, share my books with friends, and just make me laugh!
I’m off to enter the mind of madness known as Dr. Lunatic!
Slightly premature since I’m writing Integrated right now. But the muse writes whatever she wants, & she wanted to write Silenced’s Blurb. The cover is completed as well, but I’m not showing that yet 😉
Our Wicked Writer, the creator of our universe, refuses to have a character of less strength than she grace the pages of her books. I’ve begged, pleaded, gotten down upon my knees in supplication and batted my eyelashes at her. I even deployed my dimples, to which she scoffed in reply. Don’t repeat this, but I even offered myself to our Wicked Writer, to which she hastily palmed my forehead and shoved.
Months I annoyed her by whispering sweet nothings into her mind. When that failed, I began to silently scream. Finally she turned to me and spoke, “Grant, what the hell do you want?”
I quickly replied with, “I want a voice.” I pitifully pointed at my silent mouth and pouted. Our Wicked Writer rolled her green eye at me. “I’ll make it good,” I promised.
I was ignored. I thought and thought and thought. It tried the writer angle, to which she happily replied she would publish one of my numeral books for the masses. I am Grant Whittenhower, The Whittenhower. My pen name is James Atwater and our arrogant Wicked Writer said she’d publish one of my books in her name- the audacity. But being the weakest willed of all of her characters, I wouldn’t say as much to her face.
Finally, I appealed to her nature. For our Wicked Writer is really, really wicked. I have committed all of the seven deadly sins, some of them more than once… and several at the same time. A sardonic smile and a, “regale me with your tale,” and I knew I had her.
I’m a coward, but I’m a naughty coward. Only one person brings the bravery out of me. My first love has evaded me for twenty five years. My tale will be one of all the deadly sins, for I’ve used every sin to capture her attention.
…But this is only half of my tale, for our Wicked Writer will not allow me to voice anything that isn’t a part of the hunt and capture. In a moment of kindness, Our Wicked Writer will allow my first mistress to voice the rest of my tale, but only when she sees fit.