I had a very interesting review on Netgalley for my recent release, Stained Glass Shards. The review stated, "4.5 Stars! This is one of those hidden little gems. It probably won't do all that great and yet anyone who reads it will feel that understated "Wow" factor." It was a backhanded compliment, even if the reviewer didn't intend for it to be. Another review stated, "Well deep down I know this book was well written and to evoke such strong emotions from me, even if it is anger has to be commended, so my utter fury at the outcome is mine alone. Also I couldn't put this book down. It was cleverly written..." Yet, another review stated, "I think with a little help this could be a 5 star book. I thought it was lacking some dialogue and structure." This morning, I received a DNF from another reader. All of this was enough to make me manic/depressive--a high and low of emotion and energy.
The succession of divergent reviews prompted me to reevaluate this book--and my career choice. I came to the conclusion that I don't write mainstream romance. It really may be categorized as just general fiction, warning readers about the sexual content. A label of New Adult or Contemporary Romance clearly isn't appropriate despite there being a romance; just not the one expected. I do want people to like this book. There have been people who liked this book--and even "loved" this book. But I'm left supremely confused and uncertain about how to proceed with my writing.
I have a sixth book in progress which completes my Pentagon series, so I have to finish it for the readers who are expecting it and want to read more about Brady Clay. After I complete that story, I have two thrillers to write, which will take me out of romance completely. And honestly, I'm looking forward to the change. They will not be published under Rosemary Rey. I will have another pen name. My last blog post eluded to my invisibility in Romance, but I think the reviews and the post are a sign that I'm truly not a romance writer. But I know I'm a writer. I like to read and write suspense, keeping the reader guessing while turning the conclusion on its head. Mysteries and thrillers have filled my summer reading list and will serve as a study period in preparation for writing a mainstream thriller this Fall.
So while I feel defeated, I'm also empowering myself by strategizing to continue doing something I have passion for and will be a better fit for my writing style and voice. I'm excited and hopeful.