This post cracked me up. Got me thinking about some of the perspectives people have shared privately and publicly about my characters over the years …comments like:
“So she’d kill the tree with gasoline? I wish she’d have come to some other conclusion.” (in response to After Glow which can now be read in the anthology So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End)
“I am thinking of the child and her grandmother. People show love in so many odd ways. They do not hug and squeeze you but they do show love.” (in response to Country Club Kids in the Caribbean Writer)
“I want to imagine that Matthew Henry Luke, somewhere down the line, lifts his feet and runs to bowl a cricket ball at 100mph with the same accuracy that won him a marbles championship and that Cheri becomes his cherie.” (in response to a yet unpublished story workshopped at the Caribbean Literary Salon)
“I wanted to strangle Michael and slap Selena; loved their conclusion; hated the ending.” (in response to Dancing Nude in the Moonlight)
“I have a love/hate relationship with Nikki. Sometimes I identify with her thought processes and other times I just want to smack her.” (in response to Oh Gad!)
Now what is it about my female characters that makes people want to smack/slap them? Poor Nikki and Selena. Don’t worry, ladies, I still love you.
I am humbled and tickled always by people engaging with the writing in whatever ways they engage with the writing, and especially so when they get caught up enough with the characters to have a genuine emotional reaction to them (tears, laughter, anger, frustration…). But one of my very first reader responses remains my favourite. It was from my sister in response to my first book The Boy from Willow Bend for this “Tanty’s dying all over again made me cry” (because…yeah) and, as relayed by her, this from my niece who was maybe five at the time and “wanted to know if you wrote the book all by yourself and why???” (laughter, tears…because, forget readers, kids say the darndest things).