I get that, and I donít dispute that fact. For the rest of my life, I will forever be associated with the characters I write. Whether itís fair or not (and thatís another blog post entirely) my characterís values (or lack thereof) will be compared to my values. And thatís okay. Iím 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 donít mind leading the charge, because change happens when I tweak peopleís expectations, and I push people just beyond where they want to go.
With Casey, itís still a delicate act, and Iím working out the proper mathematical formula, but I donít mind giving it a few more rounds (novels). So Iíve 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 Iím a reader first, writer second. Itíll 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 Iíve read more books in one year than Iíll probably ever write in my entire life. Again, thatís the way itís supposed to be.
But where I draw the line is when you start attacking my friends and family. At that point youíve crossed over from being a reader into being an asshole, and I have a really low tolerance when it comes to assholes. Maybe itís the introvert in me (who met his share of bullies), or maybe Iím focused on truth, justice, and the American way, but whatever it is, I can no longer sit idly by and let this shenanigan stand.
Hereís the title for the Amazon review: ďJust because your friends said they liked the story, doesn’t mean it’s true.Ē 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 weíre 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 havenít 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 theyíre not entitled to their own opinion. Yep, even Casey Holden doesnít have his head that far up his ass.