I am often surprised at the reviews I get for Malefactor on Amazon.com. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to write a review, whether it be positive or critical. Feedback is the only way I know what needs to be improved as I continue writing.
The critical reviews of Malefactor mostly deal with the one scene of animal cruelty. Yes, there is only one scene, but it is definitely gruesome.
Possible Spoiler Alert – Skip this paragraph
Near the beginning of the book, one of the main characters is shocked into remembering an incident from his childhood, but it is not described in great detail. A short time later, his one and only pet, whom he loves dearly, is found by a neighbor in the woods that surrounds their properties. In this instance, the discovery was described in moderate detail, but in no way did it include graphic detail of the cruelty as it was being performed. Nor was it presented in a positive, approving way. It was a description of what the neighbor found, what he did for the poor animal and the devastating impact the discovery had on the main character.
This book is not about animal cruelty, and the scenes depicted pale in comparison to what happens to people. Isn’t it curious that no one has criticized how the people were treated? Only the animals.
As one reviewer on Amazon wrote: “I feel the person that gave it the one star because she was put off by the animal cruelty was quick to judge. There are a couple gruesome scenes, but that is just to set up the chase and to let the reader know what the hero is up against. Don’t be put off by those scenes.”
I appreciate those comments, because that was exactly my intention—to let the reader know what the protagonist is up against; someone cruel and ruthless with absolutely no conscience or fear of reprisal.
Even my younger sister commented to me, after reading an early draft of the book, “How did you come up with this? I can’t believe this came out of my brother’s head!”
Well, it’s fiction. I made it up. That’s what writers do.
As my close friend and mentor, Connie Suttle, told me from the beginning, “Don’t get wrapped up in the reviews. You can’t please everyone.” Too true! But I am thick-skinned and the critical reviews do not bother me. I feel I can learn and improve from them as well as I can the positive reviews.
On another note, I am about three or four chapters into writing the sequel, Transgressor. I hope to have it available in the spring of 2017.