Once again, I honestly don't read reviews. It's bad for me. Whether they are glowing or scathing reading reviews is bad for my mojo. That being said, I cannot bypass my local readers and their opinions...especially the teenage ones.
Recently I was chastised for Katherine's Journal: A Novella being too short.....
"Novellas generally run 20,000-50,000 words. About 30,000 words is average" (Writer's Digest)
Katherine's Journal is 29k words. I have paid $1.99-2.99 for 5k words from big name authors to read snippets of stories that don't really qualify as full novellas. (For those who want to complain about paying .99 for 29k words or roughly 3 or 4 months work on my part.)
More than once I have been scolded for Katherine's Journal being too much of a "repeat." This is something I struggled with while writing it. BUT logically, if you were a 17-18 year old girl madly in love with Viktor and you were in Katherine's position, scratching out your love story with art supplies on stolen bits of paper would you leave out the balcony scene? I wouldn't.
Can you jump from The Bluestocking Girl to Lipstick & Bolsheviks without reading Katherine's Journal? Sure. It was a selfish endeavor on my part because I wanted to go back to that love story...and I missed some people. One person in particular. And I still do.
I've see a lot of authors being accused of writing in-between-the-numbers novellas and cliffhangers out of greed. If greed were my motivating factor I would A. Charge more per book and B. Spin stories out faster. For me, the story reigns supreme. I let the fictional voices in my head dictate what is revealed, when it is revealed, and end the story at its natural closing. If that makes people angry *shrugs*....that is the nature of my style. Stuff happens in these books all the time that causes me to go NOOOOOOOOOOO! And then I have to go back through everything, forward and backward and figure out a way to make it all make sense. It's more work, it's heart wrenching at times, but in the end it's more unique and unpredictable. That was my only goal when I set out to write these books, to be original and unpredictable. Regardless of whatever the ratings may say about novel length or cliffhangers or editing or anything else, if I have accomplished writing a story like you've never before read I will count it as a success.
All that being said, I adore my local readers (we've already hashed this out face-to-face) even if they are incredibly mouthy :) Their energy (boundless energy) and passion for this story keeps me going, even when we disagree.