I’ve never been a “Happy Medium” kind of girl. I guess I’m a drama queen at heart because my writing has always been the kind to evoke strong emotions in its readers. My words are words of extremes: Either people absolutely love them and want to read more, or they hate them, and consequently hate me.
I have to admit that there have been times when this bothered me. I was of course happy that there were people out there who could appreciate my style, my point of view, and me, in general. But I was confused and somewhat torn by the number of “haters” I seemed to attract.
I don’t sugar coat things. If my bad guy is going to pan out to be a real bad guy, I write him that way. He’ll give you chills, make you sick, and keep you turning pages because you can’t wait until the devil gets his due. If one of my characters is a werewolf afraid he’s going to lose the only chance he has at a meaningful relationship with a woman, I write him the way such a werewolf would behave. Like an animal, determined, fierce, and a little mean. After all, no alpha wolf in the wild would simply nod and step to the side when faced with adversity. No way in hell.
You get the point. I pull my readers into the world and make them feel as if it’s real, and sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes they are certain it isn’t.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about humanity, it’s that it makes absolutely no sense. Despite the fact that our youth are more jaded today than they have ever been in history, our adults appear to retain more delicate sensibilities than ever before as well. It’s highly illogical, to quote a pointy-eared alien, but there it is. I think it’s usually pretend, to be honest. I have a feeling it’s fear of being found out hastily masked by indignation. But whatever it is, it certainly riles people up, especially when they have nothing better to do with their time or lives.
Normally, I look at this one of two ways: 1. Wow, I must be doing something right if I’ve pissed people off this badly, after all “well behaved women rarely make history.” And, 2. Oh, give me a break. *rolls eyes, shakes head*
But today I realized that I should look at this a third way, from an entirely different angle – one that cuts out the negative aspects altogether. A reader wrote to me yesterday, “I don’t care what some reviewers say about The Strip, I feel you wrote Malcolm Cole just for me, and for that I’m eternally grateful.”
I reached someone. I gave them something that no one else dared to give them, and I made them happy. I improved a life, even if it was just a little. In this, I’ve made the world a better place.
So there it is. 3. I’ve made the world a better place.
That’s an extreme I can live with.