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.