Hey, gang. A quick announcement, then a lengthier post, okay?
First, I’ve gone ahead and posted the title & cover reveal for the final installment of the billionaire series. It’s here on Goodreads. Go see and add it to your “to be read” lists, if you’d like. Those who’ve stuck with the adventure through all six parts so far will be pleased with the direction of part 7, I think.
Okay, now here’s the lengthier post. I guess actually it is an announcement of sorts, as well.
That book up there^ I listed on Goodreads will be my last. I will probably do up a bundle of all the Billionaire books together, and take down the series “pieces” when I release the total story together, but it will have no new chapters. It’ll just be a collection, pieced together so that new readers going forward can see they’ll get the happily ever after they want, even though this story is still not really a romance. (Lisa does find love, and freedom in the end–I’ll give you that spoiler–but I still maintain this story is pure erotic adventure. We don’t think of Indiana Jones as a romance, so we should’t think of Fuckdoll that way, either.)
Anyway. *sigh* Here’s the thing. Am I proud of my work? Yes. Of course. But upon months of reflection, I realize that I could have done a better job understanding the market before I released these works. Not just the Fuckdoll works, but the Grimm & Dirties, too. As a writer, I’m glad I just had at it–that I felt my way through the forest, so to speak. I learned what I was comfortable writing about (incest? anal? really? okay…) and what I wanted to write about but just didn’t flow (spanking, m/m, bdsm). Other things I have wanted to express, such as my near-goddess worship of the female form and my fondness for lesbian love were not surprising when they showed up in my stories.
The thing is, I have written professionally for decades. I have edited so many works. But…that work wasn’t sexual in nature. It also wasn’t romantic. I didn’t set out to write romance as A. Violet End, but I did set out to explore my boundaries as a writer, when it came to sexual topics. I feel like I have found those boundaries, and I’ve experienced a taste of what works and what doesn’t.
And I’m not the only person making explorations. Readers do this, as well, all the time. My books have sold thousands of copies at this point. There is a real dichotomy between those who buy a book, and those who leave reviews. Very, very few of my readers leave reviews. It is truly disproportionate to the # of sales/downloads–and I know this firsthand because I publish books under another name in a more socially-acceptable genre. Sometimes I sold more books as Violet End to that other name by a ratio of 20-1 or higher, yet Violet’s books would have zero reviews. The other name had scads, because nearly every reader left a glowing review of one book in particular (my biggest hit under that name). I’ve witnessed similar scenarios with other authors who write erotica under one name, other genres as someone else.
Additionally, because I write about noncon and dubcon, there are is a large contingency of readers out there who see me as asking for verbal abuse because they, themselves, were raped. Instead of dealing with their feelings in a therapeutic or proactive matter, they’ve chosen to look for authors who express their own issues with rape and sexual abuse, and heap abuse upon the books these authors produce. So…I guess what I’m revealing here is that maybe I write what I write because of my past. Maybe this is my outlet for that. I think anyone would understand that. And I think anyone would understand why other victims of abuse might NOT want to read it. But I don’t think that contingent has stopped and connected the dots that they are punishing me for their abuse. It hasn’t happened tons, but it has happened more than once that a group of pals on Goodreads one-stars my books without even reading them, just based on the description. They see their efforts to 1-star bomb my books as taking down someone who is exploiting sexual abuse, and a message to authors-at-large. I know because I have tried to apologize to them for hitting their buttons, and have tried to warn new readers about possible triggers.
But, there are more angry readers out there and only one me. They’re not looking for a writer to meet them halfway, they are just looking for someone to take out their anger on. To pick on, really. They’re not really warning anyone off from my books–people who are traumatized by sexual abuse are going to be warned off from the cover, the title, and the book description. It’s all right there in black & white. Actually, what their warnings do is shame the readers who do like the books, so they don’t leave reviews and don’t encourage others to try the books. It creates a herd mentality where other readers pile on with the bad reviews, and before long, a book is sunk. It doesn’t matter to the one-star brigade that the writer behind the book is working out her own issues and expressing her pain artistically–they see it as someone trying to make a quick buck off of their own pain. I can’t fight that. I have tried. I have fought it with kindness, with reason, by updating my blurbs & marketing, and even by writing a romance with a HEA on demand. There is nothing more I can do than accept that I didn’t research this market thoroughly enough. If I had realized how brutal these reviewers can be, I would have gone about the series very differently.
There is really not anything wrong with the Fuckdoll series. It’s fun to write. It’s fun to read. The writing is good. The story is good. YES, it has its dark moments, and yes, the precept is dark, but I maintain that it is fantasy, less harmful than most written by Stephen King, for sure. Definitely has a lower body count than any mystery novel!
I’m going to finish telling the story despite what anyone might think. I like finishing things.
But, as A. Violet End, I don’t see much of a future as a writer. Amazon has lowered the adult filter on 2/3 of my books, and I don’t want to keep throwing new books out there if they’ll be filtered in such a way. So far As You Wish remains unfiltered, so I guess I did okay with it. I’m glad, because I’d like to write more romance in the future. Just not as Violet.
I am still going to write erotica. I’ve thought it over and although this will probably never be my career, I do enjoy it. If you want to be informed when I unveil a new pen name, then please make sure you are on my email list. You will get updates there for the new pen name, but I must warn you–it will not be fairy tales & billionaires. I don’t think so, anyway. I’m not sure. I have a laundry list of story ideas and it is my plan to see them all to fruition in their own time. I’ll just have to do it as somebody else.