Personally, I think the references intertwined loosely in the story work fine. I don't need to know the details. But I do think you have the possibility of an excellent series with Dani & Sophie going forward in time from here.
Hello John, I understand this is asked and answered. I'd only like to give three arguments for (eventual) publishing. My most personal argument is depth and texture. My favorite characters series and written realities have been those that fleshed out a complete origin to inform the present (Lazarus Long for example). Next, think about the opportunity as an artist to introduce a small amount of written and considered reality into our instant of the cuff TV-reality driven culture. There is an incredible need to begin reintroducing the idea that the answer to all of our problems is not a person on the other end of a "smartphone", thus another female hero\anti-hero becomes a societal net good. Finally I feel your stress and pain at the loss of your smile while writing this book. Unfortunately I believe we as Americans are entirely too wedded to these feelings of happiness. There are beautiful aspects to every single plane/level of this world. To appreciate each and every corner, including the dark spaces where angels fear to tread. One must shine the "sunlight' of our intellect in to the alcoves and tunnels of ones mind. Only then can we expect a reduction of evil's ability to mute our joy. That said, and for another authors take on inappropriate, check out the "Paladin of Shadows" series by John Ringo on Baen Books. Cheers and thanks for the irreverent levity that is now one of my favorite characters...Mr. Creed that is.
Hello John, I understand this is asked and answered. I'd only like to give three arguments for (eventual) publishing. My most personal argument is depth and texture. My favorite characters series and written realities have been those that fleshed out a complete origin to inform the present (Lazarus Long for example). Next, think about the opportunity as an artist to introduce a small amount of written reality into our TV-reality driven culture. There is an incredible need to begin reintroducing the idea that the answer to all of our problems is not a person on the other end of a "smartphone", and so another female hero\anti-hero becomes a societal net good. Finally I feel your stress and pain at the loss of your smile while writing this book. Unfortunately I believe we as Americans are entirely too wedded to these feelings of happiness. There are beautiful aspects to every single plane/level of this world. To appreciate each and every corner, including the dark spaces where angels fear to tread. One must shine the "sunlight' of our intellect. Only then can we reduce evil's ability to mute our smiles. That said for another authors take on inappropriate, check out the "Paladin of Shadows" series on Baen Books. Cheers
I liked the Dani Ripper character a lot, but reading about a 24 Y.O. and reading about a 15 Y.O. crosses the line for me. I say no, to the 15 Y.O.'s story, but would like to read more of Dani on a going forward basis from "Call Me"
I just finished Call Me! and I was intrigued every time dani mentioned her past. Unlike Donovan Creed, I feel she needs a back story. The little snippets of her past made me wonder what happened to that little girl to make her the complex woman she is now. I personally wanna read the book. If it's too much, I'll delete it from my kindle. Simple as that. It won't change my opinion of you as an author. I'll continue eagerly waiting for the next Donovan Creed or Emmet Love books.
I want to start by saying I am one of "those" book people who treat books like a sacred gift and would never even consider dog-earring a page. I am also an eclectic and voracious reader and have been since my preteen years. I'll read anything if the author can tell a good story. Until--I had an experience more than 20 years ago with a book (written by Jonathan Kellerman, I think?) about a serial killer with graphic scenes showing a little girl who was kidnapped, tortured, raped, and I assume killed. I don't know for sure if she died or escaped because I was so disgusted by it that I tore out the pages of the book and threw it in the trash. The back cover said he was a serial killer, but didn't mention he was a pedophilic beast. If it had, I never would've opened the book. I guess in a long-winded way, I'm saying that if that's the kind of story you feel compelled to write, at least make it completely clear on the back cover, so readers know what to expect--or what to avoid.
It is fiction. We already know the main character escaped. This prequel can do no harm but may do some good by reminding us the wrld is full of nutters. Personally though I would rather have the next in the series.
You wouldn't be the first author to change direction. I say go for it.
I just have one reservation and would like your thoughts or clarification. You seem to have upset a few people who claim (I don't agree with them) that you deliberately included words like Parkinson's desease and cancer to draw people into your site in an underhand (sick?) way to sell more books. Most of us would-be authors are aware of the importance of choosing key words to attract and build traffic to a website). PLEASE put our minds at rest.
I cannot believe that the John Locke, who we have come to love and respect would, as Dennis Reacher put it "stoop that low". There are comments further down but one has to click on the 'disagree' button to read them. I did it out of curiosity to get a balanced view and now have real social concerns.
It was me, Dennis, who got wound up when I read what you'd done to rein in your readers and potential readers. How dare you use Michael J Fox who almost everybody admires, to get more sales.
I invited you to explain yourself online but I see my comment has been deleted or has it just been moved to a less obvious place?
Disappointed in you John.
As you know, some of your readers felt you were out of line by using the words Michael J Fox and Parkinson's in your blog in what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to sell more books. You admitted you'd not met him, or 'Mike' as you like to call him, but you found a way to link unsuspecting people suffering from a life-limiting illness to promote your books.
If you go ahead and release Dani's book are you prepared to promise that you will not include the name of a certain Austian girl on your blog to draw people in? That's my only concern. Not the book. Not the cover or content but what you may do to promote it.
I loved Call Me, but am so pleased to hear that you are not going to publish the next one. I for one had already decided it would have been the first book of yours I would not have bought. Thank you also for for keeping your books at 99cents so everyone can afford to read and enjoy your books. Love Janet.
I am addicted to reading, I have read all your books and thanks for the kindle price, it's a perfect price. I do not read this type of material, please don't print it. There are too many people doing harm to young men and women now, without knowing new techniques of torchure. I cannot read true stories about the horrow done to victims. I agree with your panel, your reputation is perfect as is. I love your books and wish you could produce one a week, but again I beg, don't produce a book on this subject.
If there is any question read Along came a spider. Just read the first three pages. So how could this be any worse. I think that all your creed fans will always be waiting on the next creed even if this new series doesn't go over well. Keep up the awesome works. And hurry with that creed by the way. lol
Wow, had to really think hard on this. I cannot watch mistreatment of children or animals even on the news, and truly have no morbid curiosity traits. However fiction is just that and if I square it with myself in that it is spellbindingly a page turner, I can and do enjoy terrifying novels. However I would not go to see it in the movies even if I did read it.
So to sum it up I voted Yes. Putting on paper what plays first in your head and keeps you there, twisting and turning the plot and the characters while you are trying to fall asleep, is a good sign for me. Good luck my fellow writer!
That's why books have jackets! If a prospective reader may be offended, the jacket will give a head's up and he/she can look elsewhere for reading material! Go for it!!
Writers write, that's what we are compelled to do. Ideas come to us for a reason, and my advice is to follow the voice inside--if compelled to write it, write it!
I didn't vote either way. I Personally don't have the stomach for books, movies, etc. where children are being mistreated in any way. Doesn't mean your book isn't terrific~I'm not your target market in this case. Best of Luck
Naturally the decision is up to you John, I am a big fan of yours and it would not change my mind about you and your other writing. Now that I know this about the book I probably would not buy it because when a book gets so down or nasty and ugly I just quit reading it, I don't have to spend my time reading this stuff, I know its in the world and that's terrible enough. I can spend my time reading about better things. I like Dani so far I'm about 60% finished I don't need the graphics in writing to know the evil man does. I really like Creed who takes care of people like this!
The underlying question to me is what are you trying to tell me? How bad the world is? or do you just want to write a creepy story? what's your motivation?
Good Luck in all you do John.
Lost the "Little" in the title. That is creepy. It gives you nothing; you lose nothing in the title without it. And it makes the character, regardless of her age, more mature; less child-like.
I voted for you to go along with publication. The same fears were expressed when Mel Gibson did "Passion of the Christ". Whether it be fiction or not, these things do happen and we shouldn't try to hold something back because it makes us uncomfortable. Some of the greatest things that have changed the world for the better, but made a lot of people uncomfortable.
.........wonderful philosophy......lets not write books about uncomfortable subjects...wouldn't want to offend.....wouldn't want to disturb.....wouldn't want to expect anybody to make a concious decision all on their very own whether or not to read it.......can't have that......
As an officer specialising in the investigation of serious sexual offences, and the interview of child victims of abuse, I would not wish to read such a book, nor could I condone such a work of non-fiction. Maybe it's just too close to home for me, or maybe I've become too sensitive to the subject (usually you might expect the latter, in my line of work).
Those who have been through this, and come out the other side, who wish to write about it? Fair play, I suppose. Let them deal with their demons, expose their abusers, whatever the case may be. God knows, most of society shuns or skips over the subject matter, anyway, showing little true concern other than to shake our heads and say, "Gosh, that's terrible. I hope they lock him/her/it away for a long time". They don't want to undestand what the victim had been through, and certainly do not want to consider the mindset or motivation of the abuser.
So, to be faced with a fictional account of serious child abuse, let alone an entire book dealing with the topic? Hmmmmm. I know your novel will not glorify or "glamorise" the abuse, however, I ALSO know - from your previous novels (and I have now read them all) - that nor will you shirk from any... difficult... material.
Sir, it's entirely your choice what to do here. You have created something and, as the artist, obviously feel the desire to share it with others. I can only provide you with my own opinion and viewpoint, based on the forensic interview of child victims of serious abuse, and also the interview of those who have abused them.
Strangely, I WOULD read the novel, were it to deal with her experiences, in flashback, as part of another larger storyline. But solely on her experiences, even as a "successful" survivor? For the first time, I can say I would not be reading you.
A friend, who works in the same area, but for another Force, delivers talks on this subject to other professionals, in different agencies. He always describes child abuse as "worse than murder". "You can only murder somebody once, than that's it, they're dead", he explains, "But to abuse a child is to effectively murder that person every day for the rest of their life, as their will not be a single day when their experiences do not come to mind, or affect who they are or how they act and inter-act, as an adult."
Do you understand what I'm trying to say?
I hope so.
I will leave it to you, and your army of loyal fans, I have said my piece...
If you're worried about offending your loyal readers, you could publish under a pen name. You wouldn't be able to market the book as effectively, perhaps limiting it's success, but it would protect what you've already built.
Publishing under a pen name is better than not publishing at all. (I'm betting that you're going to publish it under your own name, no matter what anyone says. Or which way the poll goes).
Read Jack Ketchum's 'The Girl Next Door' then ask if you should publish this.
I'm in the minority and would vote no. Let me qualify that by saying I can't personally read anything horrific or watch a horror movie, so I'm probably not the right person to answer this question in the first place. Yet, I can tell you I wouldn't worry about it affecting your career. It would probably enhance it on some levels and with a certain audience. Why not publish it then? If this is to be a series, I would hold back the details of her experience and let bits and pieces of it inform each of the books. I would reserve her backstory as a continuum woven through the books and cap the gory details so that it's bearable for the weaker readers (like myself). That's just the way I'd play it. Good luck on this.
Steig Larrson (sp?) has a waif for a heroine who actually looks as young as Dani. Strong characters go above the subject matter and inspire us. This shouldn't frighten us. The story will serve as a reminder that we are strong, we can overcome, and everyone is a hero, even those that are wrongly considered victims.
Any intelligent reader will know the difference between fiction and nonfiction. No one should confuse an author with one of his characters unless it's plainly the author's intent. The worth of the story is a matter of taste. For my money, a dark story is fine as long as evil does not prevail.
Please delete 1 if this shows up twice. Thank you :)
I fully understand the concerns of your publisher and others on your business advisory team; they are looking out for your interests as they pertain to your writing. What they may not see from their perspective is that your fan base has a powerful tool at their disposal. It is called "Freedom of Choice". Yes we still have that here, who knew? As long as your plot description is sufficiently honest, your fans will then choose to either purchase the book or skip over it due to it's disturbing, yet very real, content.
So I say put it out there. I would be incredibly disappointed if readers judged you by the words that you write in telling a story. I also can not believe that any person who has even a moment's conversation with you would believe you capable of any heinous act. Again my opinion.
Tragically horrific acts are played out every day in our newspapers and the evening news and many would choose NOT to also read about the subject matter further but a story which portrays survival and fortitude can still warm the heart with hope.
That's all folks.