I would just like to say: I did not set out to write a weird book. I hope nobody does. It sounds contrived, like when I used to wear a bindi and silver lipstick when I was 15. I had the excuse of being 15 then, at least.
Nearly everyone who has read my book (Gemini Rising, in case you missed it) has commented on the fact that it’s ‘weird’, ‘different’, ‘like nothing else I have ever read’. Opinion has been split – some five-star reviews saying this is a great thing and it’s like I read their (weird?) mind; quite a few three-star reviews saying it’s ‘weird’/annoying/infuriating/too slow/they don’t get it. Then there was that one who said it was ‘shocking’ and ‘a terrible influence on teenagers’. Also, the critical ones tend to say that the main character is unlikeable – which kind of indicates that we don’t have a lot in common, since she is pretty much based on me (or elements of me).
I don’t expect everyone to like me or everything I write. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea; a lot of people in real life don’t like me one bit. I suppose, when it comes down to it, I’d rather inspire a strong reaction than everyone just saying it’s ‘OK’.
I’m getting used to my work being out in the world and not caring what people think. I’m trying and, in many ways, I’m much more relaxed about it than I ever thought I’d be. But I never expected to be ‘weird’ – that’s been a surprise. I thought I’d written a pretty normal book. I honestly did.
I’m working on a new one right now, and I’m trying not to let it influence me. If anything, I’m just working on the assumption that I probably need to embrace the weirdness rather than try to be something I’m not. I’ll never be like you, no matter how hard I try.
Anyway, it’s none of my business what anyone thinks of me. I put the book out there; it’s yours to decide what to do with it.