Friday, July 17, 2020

A little secret.

Until recently, I've been pretty much OK with the rankings of my books on Goodreads. I mean, the rankings pretty much follow the order that I'd rank the books myself.

But there has always been exceptions:

When the books are offbeat, or a little experimental, they do tend to get worse reviews. In my eyes, the fact that I tried something different is a plus, not a minus. I've been trying new things over the last few books--some have done well: "Deadfall Ridge" was my first non-fantastical book, and it's probably done better in sales than any of my other books. I followed it up with an attempt to be even more realistic with "Takeover," and that wasn't as successful. While the reviews might be appropriate, I know that I tried hard to do something different, and I give myself extra credit for that.

I'm not sure how "Eden's Return" is going to go over. I purposely didn't try to explain the events of the book. I let a little philosophizing guide my way.

Here's the thing: the bigger the premise, the more explanations are unsatisfying. Watch all those seasons of "Lost" and the purgatory explanation just seems disappointing, lame. (Especially since that my first guess in about the first three episodes of the show.)

Explanations bring everything down to earth--they flatten the metaphors, erase the ambiguities, and are almost always a letdown. Whereas without explanations, the reader can supply their own answers, find analogs and symbols, relate to it in their own way.

There is probably a way to be both non-concrete and also satisfying, but that is decided in the end by the reader.

I was more than happy with "Eden's Return" and thought whatever loose ends there were needed to be loose ends.

P.S. The book comes out on Monday; audio, paperback, and ebook. 

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