I get that, and I don’t dispute that fact. For the rest of my life, I will forever be associated with the characters I write. Whether it’s fair or not (and that’s another blog post entirely) my character’s values (or lack thereof) will be compared to my values. And that’s okay. I’m a big boy with a steel spine, and I can take whatever the world dishes out about me and Casey. The first one through the brick wall always gets bloody. Always. And I don’t mind leading the charge, because change happens when I tweak people’s expectations, and I push people just beyond where they want to go.
With Casey, it’s still a delicate act, and I’m working out the proper mathematical formula, but I don’t mind giving it a few more rounds (novels). So I’ve sat idly by while everything from my plotting to my character development to my writing was questioned, and sometimes spewed with enough vehemence to make Hannibal Lector blush. But I brush myself off and move on, because readers are entitled to their opinions, and I’m a reader first, writer second. It’ll always be that way, because I started reading (or more accurately had books read to me) before I ever picked up a pen and paper, and I’ve read more books in one year than I’ll probably ever write in my entire life. Again, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
But where I draw the line is when you start attacking my friends and family. At that point you’ve crossed over from being a reader into being an asshole, and I have a really low tolerance when it comes to assholes. Maybe it’s the introvert in me (who met his share of bullies), or maybe I’m focused on truth, justice, and the American way, but whatever it is, I can no longer sit idly by and let this shenanigan stand.
Here’s the title for the Amazon review: “Just because your friends said they liked the story, doesn’t mean it’s true.” For you grammatically astute folks playing at home, we have a tense shift in the middle of a sentence. Last time I checked, not a good idea, but we’re moving on. This reviewer is an author. Yep, that scared the shit out of me, too. But it gets better, as I dissect this a bit further. Reviews are opinions, and I haven’t found a single person yet that disputes this, not even this reviewer. But what this one simple sentence says is that my friends and family are liars, and they’re not entitled to their own opinion. Yep, even Casey Holden doesn’t have his head that far up his ass.