Since the release of Possession, I’ve had a number of emails and messages from readers upset about Kane’s story. I had hoped the letter to readers I included at the end of the book would help, but it seems something more needs to be said. So I’m saying it.
I write what my characters tell me. If this seems odd, I don’t know what else to say. That’s my process. They come to me and that’s how I learn their story. Then I tell it. Does it please me when the story isn’t as happy as I’d hoped? No. But I don’t feel I should force an ending that doesn’t fit with my characters.
Some people aren’t happy with who they found out Kane was. To those people, I can’t really respond. They didn’t know who he was since he was such a mystery in Temptation and Surrender. If the Kane character didn’t turn out to be who they wanted him to be, all I can say is he’s no stranger to being something different than what others want him to be.
Some people aren’t happy that Kane’s story was left unresolved. I can’t do anything about that without disrespecting the character. To be honest, it’s not a cliffhanger. A cliffhanger would have left the reader with Kane gone from the scene and Abbi not being able to find him. As it is, Kane is acting very much in his character at the end of Possession. He’s someone who has never been enough (in his mind) for the people he most wanted to love him, so is it so surprising he doubts his ability to be who he needs to be for Abbi now? And can we all remember each character knows where the other is. No one’s lost as sea, and no one is in danger of dying.
And even more, I’ve repeatedly said that Satisfaction would tie up the Club X series, so why would a non-ending surprise anyone? Stefan didn’t get an HEA. The best that can be said for Cassian is that he got a Happy For Now (HFN). Fiction REQUIRES conflict. Without it, there is no story. What exactly would I be writing about in Satisfaction if everyone was happy at the end of Possession?
Some people think Abbi isn’t the right heroine for Kane. To that I say everyone is welcome to their opinion, but I disagree. After spending all that time with the two of them, I can’t imagine another woman making him as happy as she made him. Kane is a strong, Alpha male who loves protecting people, especially women. It’s what makes him heroic even though he’s got so many faults. The reason he would never be with Shay, who some people thought he would end up with in Possession, is she’s too much like him. Kane needs to be a savior. His past feeds this need, so if someone thinks he should be with a much stronger woman, they don’t understand the character.
Someone said that they didn’t think Possession was worth the money. The book is over 300 pages in print and over 80K words long. It has tremendous character development, action, great sex, and a story that resonates with readers. It’s been professionally edited and proofread, and it’s a professional presentation of my work. If all that’s not worth a few bucks, then I have nothing to say to that person. This is how I write. That’s not going to change. Go buy a mocha choka latte for the same price or more and enjoy.
Someone had a problem that there wasn’t more about the other brothers in Possession. This makes me wonder if they read Surrender since there was nothing about Cash and Olivia in that book. Other than that, I have nothing to say to that issue.
When I taught college writing courses, I used to tell my students the most important goal is that their writing affect the reader. In a world where thousands of books are published every day and many of them are mere pennies to buy, this idea of writing needing to affect the audience has never been more important. If Possession left you sad or unhappy, or you can’t seem to get Kane’s story out of your mind, that’s not a bad thing. If nothing else, when you finish a book, you should feel something.
My favorite books have often left me feeling emotions I didn’t expect when I began them. All the way back to when I was 10 years old and finished reading Charlotte’s Web and was practically hyperventilating because that spider died. Or the first time I read of Sherlock Holmes’ death at Reichenbach Falls and felt like a friend had left my life. Or when I finished The Great Gatsby and Miss Lonelyhearts and couldn’t shake the feeling of hopelessness for days (don’t read those books back to back). Stories are supposed to affect you. If you’re reading books that are easily forgettable, you’re not reading good stuff.
I had someone ask how I wrote this without being affected. I didn’t. When I’m writing, I spend day and night with my characters. They come to me in my sleep in dreams, and they sit next to me as I write their stories. I’m with them for months, so their stories naturally touch me. When I wrote in the letter to the readers at the end of Possession that one day Kane just wasn’t there anymore, I wasn’t being dramatic or inventing an excuse for why the book ends like it does. He just stopped being there.
When I say I fell in love with Kane as I wrote this story, I mean it. I miss him more than I can express. I miss having him there every day telling me his story. I miss hearing him call Abbi his nickname for her. I miss watching him smile when Abbi says something that makes him happy. To this day, I can write Abbi, but not Kane. She’s with me every day and every night waiting just like I am. When he returns, I have to believe that he and Abbi will have a happy ending. No one deserves it more.
I respect the opinions of all my readers, but it seems these days with people routinely talking about reading hundreds of books a year and remembering very few of them that the idea of a book really affecting the reader has been forgotten. Stories should envelop you, making you lose yourself while you’re inside them. If you finished Possession and felt anything for Kane and Abbi and their story, I did exactly what I should do as an author.
My job is to write stories that take people away from their everyday lives. When people read my books, they’re supposed to forget about the speeding ticket they got, the boss that won’t get off their back, the everyday chores that seem to be never-ending. I love my job. I hope readers will continue to enjoy my stories and let each one take them away to a different world. I can’t promise they’ll all be just what you want, but I can promise that they’ll be the best work I have in me and the truest story for the characters I’m writing. That’s important to me as an author, and it’s the pledge I make when I open up my laptop every day.
Even though I am anxiously waiting for Kane to reappear to you and finish telling his story, I fell in love with all of the brothers (much to my surprise as the brief appearnce made in Heart of Stone I believed that to be impossible). When I read a book, I hear the character’s voices in my head, I picture their story as it unfolds and feel their emotions as they experience them. This is so true for the Heart of Stone and Club X series. I wouldn’t want you to change a single thing. When Satisfaction comes out, I will re-read the others before I read it to get back in touch with the characters. Knowing that your readers are experiencing every emotion that you want them to feel for your characters tells you you are doing something so incredibly right that you don’t want to change it. Keep up the amazing writing! I will always be waiting for more.Reply