I am very proud of this book! When I began writing this story, I decided that I was going to write something different, something so out of the box that it couldn't possibly go unnoticed in the publishing industry. I started with a tough, hardcore female lead and a surprising plot. I added in some eerie scenes from the killer's point-of-view. I also used the unique voice of the lead character's autistic brother. I do believe I came up with something pretty noteworthy, if I do say so myself.
With that said, this book began in a wave of unforeseen controversy when an editor gave me some unexpected feedback concerning one part of the story. The editor told me that I needed to remove a scene involving an animal because I would lose readers that are animal lovers because of it. My instant reaction was one of shock.
The scene was not overly violent or graphic. It was not added in just for shock value. I've read other books where animals are hurt and I've never heard feedback from readers that they found that book to be offensive.
Honestly, it never occurred to me that this issue would be a problem. It's a work of fiction. There's no form of animal cruelty involved. It's not even like a movie where a real animal is needed.
My first loyalty is to my readers. I really don't want to do anything to lose them. I really don't, and I'm not the type of writer to argue a point with editors. I welcome the feedback and most always bend to their expertise. I definitely believe they know what they're talking about.
In this situation, I did the same, but for the first time ever, I did argue some parts to stay true to my story. This particular issue in the book is an important key point in the plot. So, the end result was that we reached a compromise. It's one I honestly believe will not offend readers and it also stays true to my story.
Do you think I did the right thing by compromising? Should I have refused to change any of it or should I have just taken the whole scene out? My one revelation today will be that an animal does not die in my book, not anymore. So, if you are a big animal lover, please don't be afraid to read it. I did listen to my editor and made big changes.
Also, readers, please contact me after you've read the story and let me know how it came out! I love hearing from you! You can email me at email@example.com.
Thanks, Miss Mae. I appreciate that! :)