I knew I was taking a risk when I kept the dream sequences in within A Change of Legacies. The "safe" thing to do would have been to take them out, or reduce them to summaries, and then only those who had read the story during its posting online would even know they had ever been there in the first place.
I actually went back through all of my online feedback, before publication, to better quantify the for- and against-dreams camps, and the for camp was significantly larger. Obviously, I wrote them, and I was in the for camp. I had always felt that they enhanced the main story: Georgiana's guilt
in her dream was the inverse of Darcy's in the real world; Darcy's fate
in the dream world contrasts what is happening in the real world, where
he is married and his heir is born; Elizabeth's "fixing" of Georgiana's
dream greatly enhances the emotional moments between Elizabeth and Darcy in the real
world. And for Georgiana, her dreams help her understand and process
better what it is she wants in life; she will continue to use this
knowledge in the future, even beyond this book. Thus far, at least on Amazon, opinions of them have been very split, and it's a pretty dramatic split.
I don't mind 1- or 2- star reviews, as long as I'm getting constructive feedback as a writer. What really made me sad about them was that I felt like I had let those readers down, disappointing them with a book that's been a year coming. If any of you reading this have felt disappointed by Legacies, I am truly sorry. I know how it feels to anticipate a book, and for that book to not be what you expected, and I never wanted to be the cause of this feeling for readers.
I will tell you all that I was pretty near giving up on the series last week. I don't really know if the book's current star rating is affecting sales, or this is simply how a JAFF sequel sells. I got a couple good pep talks and heard from some readers who enjoyed the dreams, and that has me mostly back on track -- I at least don't feel that I've let everyone down, now.
My day job keeps me from writing as much as I would like, but the flip side of it is that it means I can continue, regardless of how this book sells. If I was a writer entirely reliant on this income, I would probably have to stop the series at this point, so I'm glad that's not the case. I love to read a series, to have that sensation of returning to your literary "friends," to spend more time with them. I've always wanted to have a chance to give others that feeling, and that is why I wanted to continue on, after the first book. It's possible there will only be a handful of us left by the time I get to book seven, but as long as I know that handful is enjoying the series, I'll keep writing. And I hope that if you didn't enjoy all of Legacies, that you are still at least invested enough in the characters's arcs to give me a chance with book 3, which will not use the story-within-a-story structure (it's got way too much to cover, just in the main story).
Sometimes people ask what they can do to support my writing, and there are many ways to do it -- purchasing the books, of course; providing feedback when it's posted for online beta; and participating in a proofreading squad. But always at the top of that list is leaving a review, and I could really use your help with that, now.
If you have read Legacies and did enjoy the dream aspect of the book, or even if you weren't a huge fan of the dreams but felt they didn't cause the complete and utter ruination of the whole story, I could really use your voices on Goodreads and Amazon (particularly Amazon) right now.
For those of you who have already done so, THANK YOU. You've reminded me of why I write this series -- so that wonderful people like you can read it.
With much love to you all,
I'm a guest at Austenesque Reviews today, talking about these very things !
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