On the completion of Desire and Despair I knew there would be aggro' from some readers when they discovered Caroline had been killed off. And there was … the score for the story took a nose dive after chapter 24 was posted, which was not entirely unexpected.
Although I would like to keep my readers on board all the time there will be occasions in my stories that the plot development calls for some … err … collateral damage. It might not appear to be so but I do put quite a lot of thought as to how my stories develop. I didn't just get up one morning and decide to wipe out Jack's family on a whim. To every action there is a reaction, as Jack's old school chum, Izzy Newton, once said, and for every plot twist there is a reason, not immediately obvious I grant you, but bear with me ... this is only book 3 of a five book series, and in fact DD4 has 12 chapters, in rough draft, already written. It ain't all over 'till it's over!
About 60% of the readers who downloaded chapter 1 and 2 of Desire and Despair didn't continue reading the rest of the story. Obviously my starting chapters are not snappy enough to keep readers engaged. Unfortunately there's not much I can do about my slow-start style of writing, although the next book in the series may have a bit more action early on. My thanks to those 1000, or so, readers who stuck with Desire and Despair, and to those who took the time to vote, even for those 3, 4 and 5's :-)
I should also like to thank my three editors; Derykb, Ron downunder, and Old Rotor Head (ORH). Without the hard work and expertise of these three gentlemen it''s likely that even fewer readers would have reached journey's end.
A special mention for ORH, who even when on vacation returned edited chapters of Desire and Despair. If there is an award for editors on SOL then I nominate ORH for the OOEE; Order Of Exceptional Editors, First Class.
I shall take the rest of the year off, and then start the New Year working to complete the series Over the Hills and Faraway. Although Dewey Desmond is not as popular as Jack Greenaway I know there are one or two readers who would like to see more of his adventures. The final book of OTH will be set in Civvy Street, so no more dangerous daring do's with Her Gracious Majesty's enemies. Although, as those of you who have served will bear witness to, a recently demobbed squaddie may find Civvy Street to be just as dangerous as service life, and without the benefit of having mates watching your back.