“Too much sex” – “Not enough sex”
“Too much about the clothes” -“Loved the shoes and clothes”
“Julian’s hot” -“Julian’s not my type” (what???)
“Poor Luke” – “Luke’s a jerk”
These are real things I’ve heard. All I can say is wow; it’s so fascinating how differently each person sees things. It amazes me how people can all read the same book and have such different reactions. How is this possible? I think it’s because our reaction and interpretation really depends on the lens we’re looking through.
It was my intention to write a romance novel that was entertaining. I wanted to write something that included all of the things I loved about romance novels, and left out all the things I hated. I wanted people to connect and relate with my characters. I had a plan (shocker… I’m a planner) and I pretty much stuck to it. However, some parts of the story just created themselves as I wrote, and I’ve been so amazed at the varied reactions people have had.
The fun lens
Who doesn’t want to (at least in your mind) escape to sunny South Florida, dance in the clubs, hang out at the beach, shop for shoes, and meet gorgeous guys? If that’s what you got out of Stay, a fun escape, then great! Maybe your lens was focused on easy and breezy. I’ll take that and run. I wanted you to be entertained and go on an adventure.
The physical lens
It’s sexy, sassy, and racy. What great adjectives. Some of you have indicated the “steamy” parts were your favorite. Great! Maybe it made your toes curl, maybe it gave you some ideas, and maybe it ignited a little passion in your own relationships. If that’s what you took from it, if your lens was focused on the erotic nature of the book, then more power to you!
The emotional lens
Lexie turned out to be a much more layered character then I had anticipated. She’s complex, confident in some ways, and insecure in others. She’s trying to find her way through a very trying period in her life, and she’s doing the best she can. A bunch of readers have told me they related to Lexie for a variety of reasons. Some have even told me they shared real personal experiences that were similar. I’ve been told that my story moved, touched, and impacted them. I can’t tell you how meaningful it is to hear that. I tried to make her real. I think if your lens was focused on the emotional journey in the book, you probably walked away with a different perspective than some other readers.
Maybe you took it all in, and looked at through a variety of lenses. That’s the ultimate to a writer.
Take what you want, or need
Personally, I don’t think it matters what lens you were using. Before I was a writer, I was a reader, and my take-away from books depended on what my connection to the characters and story was. I totally get how we can all have different viewpoints. From an author standpoint, if you’ve made any connection to Stay, to Alexa, Julian or Luke, I’m satisfied. Nothing is everything to everybody. I’m just thankful you took the time, looked at my work, and focused.