a bit of grace

The random musings of Kate Grace

This is where I’m coming from…

It’s hard not to engross yourself in the first reviews from readers coming in about the book that has lived like a second personality in your mind for years. Most are inspiring, encouraging and valid. Everything any reader says I take to heart as a writer and I apply as I write the rest of the series to make the characters as vivid to you, dear reader, as they are to me. These characters are like bolts of lightning in my mind and I only hope that my ability to write their story comes close to how they deserve to be represented. For this, I thank all of you for your reviews and comments because it challenges me to write better.

However… this has to be addressed. Burden of the Soul is the first book in a series four books deep. I get what readers are used to, because it’s part of why I withdrew Burden of the Soul from submission and went out on my own. Majority of the first books in series are stand alones. Then the author got a whopping advance from a publisher (to basically buy readers, not necessarily that more story existed) and in some cases the author finagled their way into a series within the first three chapters of book 2, and we all overlook that fact. We’re used to investing in Book 1, because that’s what publishers do. Publishers don’t invest in a series, generally, until book 2 brings with it a massive audience from book 1.

Fact.

The Burden series never played that way in my head, and any time I tried to rewrite the ending to appease the industry the characters retreated, angry at me. I asked them and myself a number of times, “Why?” And the only answer I ever got was, “Because life doesn’t always offer you that.”

This story has always been a series from the beginning… from the first word written. I know exactly how it ends. It’s something that plays out in my mind and dreams like a haunting. Clara, our main character, doesn’t get to have everything wrapped up in book 1 because (and this is the best I can understand it) if Clara was a real person… it wouldn’t be. It rarely is.

There’s some reviews out there asking if I ran out of ink or if I ran out of steam… Absolutely not. I stopped where the characters told me to stop for now. Some things aren’t resolved because, honestly, they won’t be until book 4… the end. Because in life majority of the closure we get is endings. So it makes me wonder, and I just texted this to my editor because it’s an interesting question…

I wonder if life offered us clean closures for a penny if it would add up to $0.99 before we die.

One of my favorite writers in all of history is Kate Chopin, specifically for her short story The Story of an Hour. If you haven’t read it, you must. Unless you are someone who needs something resolved and clear at the end. I will not spoil this short story for you, but let me say the ending is the most brilliant I have ever read of any story ever. Because it’s open. Because there’s room for interpretation. Because it gives you room to talk.

I also ask for my coffee with room for milk, so that says something about me.

There are a number of works of creative art that have taken this route with endings of late. Two come to mind immediately… The Sopranos and Lost. Both upset a number of loyal viewers because the endings weren’t delivered with a shiny bow making it all make sense and thus ending conversation beyond “Well my favorite part was..” No, they inspired conversations for those willing to start with, “What I THINK happened…”

Think. Such an interesting term.

Where does the light come from? Is it good or bad? What do you think?

So who does she choose? Devin or Dave? Who do you think?

Is she really going to save everyone or is she really there to join Rex? What do you think?

When you venture into such an endeavor as writing a book, a song, a film, or performing a play, monologue or creating a painting, sculpture, mural, etc., you know there is no pleasing everyone. All you can do is stay true to the story that’s in your mind beating at the inside of your skull to get out. But I am surprised at the number of people who are saying “I loved it until the end, I hated the end. Therefore I hated all of it.”

What I think you’re saying is you hated that the pages ran out for book 1, because the story has not ended. Granted, readers are used to a certain formula in general for what they read. My characters and therefore I am doing something different. It’s not going to be for everyone, but what I hope some walk away with is some sense of comfort that someone else out there recognizes that closure doesn’t come necessarily when it’s all tied up nicely in a bow the way we want. It comes when it comes. So we accept, and we wait. Until that moment, no matter what it is, when our only healthy choice is to accept again.

For those willing to invest in these characters and their ongoing story, I swear to you it will be joyous and heartbreaking and complicated and exciting and everything the good things in life are.

For those who wanted a clean cut, cookie cutter ending where everything is explained and wrapped up succinctly… email me your name and address. I’ll send you a personalized check for $0.99.

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6 comments on “This is where I’m coming from…

  1. Valerie
    February 20, 2012

    I liked the book. Enough that I googled to see when the next one is coming out. I, like others apparently, did find that the book just ended, leaving me wondering what happened next. Which is okay, as long as the next one is available, lol. So can you give us an idea as to when to expect the next in the series? A time line perhaps…. I get what you are saying about life just not being like that. And you may not be able to predict when the next one will be ready, but I hope that it is soon. Your book is fresh and the idea behind it is compelling. It will be interesting to see where you go from here.

    • Kate Grace
      February 20, 2012

      I absolutely can. Expect book 2 in November of this year, and then the others will go more quickly… six months between releases. I hope that helps. I certainly appreciate your comment!

      • Shoemom
        February 20, 2012

        that was my question…i was upset with the ending..thinking that was it…but if there are more to come, I’ll try to be patient…It was definitely an interesting story that captivates you by the end. Well done!

    • Kate Grace
      February 20, 2012

      Valerie, you may have just sparked a fantastic idea and for that I thank you. I’m going to chat with my team and possibly move that November date up and possibly make the rest come earlier.

  2. Jennifer Arens
    February 20, 2012

    I loved the book. I saw that is said it was the first in the series and then went back and looked for the others. I almost wish I had read it slower so it lasted a bit longer since I have to wait for the others… Not a bad thing though. I am excited to read more and see where the characters go.

    • Kate Grace
      February 21, 2012

      Thank you for the comment, and remember you all can help keep Burden going by posting your thoughts to Amazon or Goodreads. Let other people know about your experience with it!

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This entry was posted on February 19, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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