More feedback continues to come in for Bonhomme Sept-Heures and I’m incredibly grateful to the Eager Volunteers for that – having people willing to read my stuff and help me make it better is a tremendous resource and I’m very fortunate to have them on my side. There’s a lot to think about as always, but some comments in particular kind of stick out.
One Volunteer said that there were a couple of scenes that creeped them out. This reminded me of hearing that a friend of the family read King in Darkness and it gave them nightmares. I know the proper response to this would probably be to say ‘oh I’m sorry’, but somewhere deep inside I always do a little fist pump and thing ‘yesssssss’.
I don’t think this means I’m a sociopath.
What I think it is is that it’s satisfying to know that something I wrote caused a real reaction in someone. Both King in Darkness and Bonhomme Sept-Heures inhabit a space that’s close to the borders of horror, if they’re not actually inside, so it is a kind of success if people who read them find them scary or disturbing. It’s also neat to know that something I wrote is capable of having an effect on someone who reads it.
I think this is one of the satisfactions of writing, and probably art, in general – you get to express something from inside yourself and have an impact on other people with that. Being able to reach out and touch a reader – wherever they may be – through the words I put together is powerful, in a way, and its also very cool. It’s a kind of connection being formed between my imagination and the imagination of the reader and when I hear that that worked effectively it’s very cool. If I can lead you into creating a scene in your mind well enough that it becomes scary or creepy, that’s pretty fun and it’s cool to think that you and I were, at least for a little, on the same mental wavelength.
I’ve had people tell me that they found something I wrote inspirational, or that it made them laugh, and that feels amazing too. I suppose everyone likes validation, and the it’s extremely validating as a writer to hear that what you wrote had an effect on your reader, even if it’s something as simple as ‘hey, I really enjoyed reading that’. In a lot of ways I don’t think there’s a greater compliment than someone saying they read what I wrote and that it entertained or amused them for a while.
So I don’t think I just like making it hard for people to sleep at night.
Thanks for reading, this blog and other things I write.
I had a good time at Ottawa Geek Market this past weekend – it was lovely to meet new people and to have some of you who read King in Darkness come by to tell me what you thought of it! There are lots more Renaissance Press events to come through the spring, summer and fall and I’m excited to both return to some venues we did last year and hit up some new ones.