What’s most thrilling about the DearAuthor conversational review of The Edge of Impropriety isn’t the A rating they gave me (though I’d hardly kick it out of bed), but the wide-angle focus with which they’ve approached the body of my work (my oeuvre, my husband called it, half tongue-in-cheek and half bursting with pride — he’s a quiet kind of guy, but I got the message — thanks, M).
The DearAuthor reviewers don’t love everything I’ve written, and Janine’s take on Almost a Gentleman (her least favorite) vs The Slightest Provocation (her most admired) is almost diametrically opposite to what you’ll find, say, at All About Romance, where they also don’t love everything, only in a different way.
Which is, perhaps, a good thing (even for an author who’s guiltier of that Sally-Field-you-like-me thing than you might at first suppose from my wonky hyperintellected come-on).
But a bit belatedly, I think I’m beginning to grok the fact that I’m not in control of what people think about my work. And that that’s as it should be, because a book only really begins to live in the responses and imaginations of its varied readers.
And so, perhaps, does an author’s body of work — even the bits of it the author tends to think everybody has forgotten, like my 2004 Brava novella “A House East of Regent Street” in the anthology Strangers in the Night. I’m coming to love the serendipitous mentions of that one I find here and there, like in romance scholar Eric Selinger’s recent lovely post on the passing of time at Romancing the Blog. Thanks, Eric; perhaps I found what you had to say so apposite because I’m increasingly coming to believe that it’s about time — both in genre fiction in general and romance fiction in particular.
Leading me to leave these autumnal musings for the commercial ones that are supposed to be the point of having an author web site in the first place… to remind everyone that you can win a free autographed copy of Strangers in the Night and other books of mine as well — by entering my current contest. And a free autographed copy of The Edge of Impropriety by clicking on over to The Risky Regencies blog, where I’m being interviewed today. (And what’s up with that strange graphic of English guys in tight breeches and riding pinks lounging among the Elgin Marbles?)
And as for the bloopers — well, one of them was the book-signing that fell through yesterday. If you showed up, I’m so sorry. Please let me know. And the silly error (though not of time or date — that’s all correct) on the invitation to my book-party for Edge this Friday night, November 21, which I will detail on my next blog post, when I invite everybody I haven’t yet.