Welcome back to Letters to My Editor, a series of blog posts hashing out the relationship between an author and editor. In this case, my editor, Kate Homan, is my pen pal, and you can catch her latest letter to me at her blog, Long Story Short.
I think you’ve struck a gong with your last letter. Gong I say, because you point out a very real concern for the writer: will your manuscript be read?
Why is this such a real concern? From a readers perspective, one might think the author has written an adventurous tale for a jolly good time, and the author might want someone to read it and have fun. This is true some of the time, for sure, but there are other reasons authors write.
I often times tackle real life issues through my stories, and your point here hits home with my first contemporary romance, When She Knows. This story began when an editor at a major publishing house asked me to write it. When it finished, I realized I had let rip a lot of angst that had sprung up as I transitioned from my 20s to my 30s, things that real life women in the same age bracket might face. (And others, too!) After I finished the story, I realized it wasn’t a fun, flippant ride through a love story. (Although it has both of those characteristics.) I was really, truly, honestly trying to get a point across about issues very near and dear to my heart.
Thus, in my case, I want people to read my story because I’m making a real point that could help a person in a similar situation bear the burden of life.
So as an author, I care whether or not the story will be read. But will my point be sacrificed in order to ensure it will sell?
Like I said, a big ol’ gong has been struck.
Be sure to subscribe to Kate’s blog to get her response next week!