Currently, Life in the North is sitting at around 4.6 stars on Amazon.  Of the negative reviews we get, it can be split into two portions.

  • the majority complain (and rightly so!) about spelling / grammar/ issues.  That’s being resolved by hiring a proofreader who is working on Book 1 and probably will work on Book 2 (depending on final results of Book 1).
    • this is is a more than fair complaint.  While everything has been read over, there are certain things that my mixed background (studying English in Asia, the UK and Canada means I DON’T write American English and have some weird grammar usage at times) just doesn’t get picked up.  Unfortunately, since I didn’t have the money to pay for the proofreader (and still haven’t gotten paid by Amazon!), it meant publishing without professional editing. So complaints on that is more than fair.
  • Being a lefty / SJW / pushing gayness.

Firstly, I should point out that technically John is bisexual.  I believe on the scale that is used, he’s technically only ‘bi-curious’.  It might be better to call him xeno-curious since he is attracted to an alien, but eh.

Secondly, it’s kind of amusing really since I never went out of my way to write the character / story with that in mind.

When writing LitN, I knew when I introduced Roxley the character I wanted – a VERY hot, charismatic and aloof Dark Elf.  That was the mental image I was pulling from when I created him.

It was only as I was writing the chapter that I started thinking about how John would react to running into Roxley and realised, yes, this was something that he would be interested in.  The entire sub-plot of their romance was one of those things that happen when you write – when two characters interact and you suddenly finding yourself writing something that you didn’t expect.

It felt / feels right.  And personally, as a writer, I love it when things like that happen.  Characters become more than 2 dimensional creatures in my mind, they grow and add stories, personality, desires and it makes the characters ‘breathe’ in my mind.  I know there are writers who are more disciplined, who have very specific things they want / need characters to do.  That’s their process.

Mine has been and will always be a bit more organic.  Writing this way means that these characters don’t bore me, and I find it more fun to write.  I’ll admit, I do cut out scenes eventually (sometimes because those scenes are wrong or just don’t fit), but in this case, it did.