Dear Readers of Click Date Repeat,
I’d like to start by thanking each and every one of you for reading, rating, and/or reviewing my debut novel. Whether you loved it, had lukewarm feelings toward it, finished with a definitive MEH, or even hated it, I appreciate you giving it a chance.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
When I wrote CDR, I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was I had a story stuck in my brain, and I had to get it out. I didn’t follow a genre-specific formula, so it walks a few lines between genres. While this has made the book somewhat challenging to market, it has also helped me gain insight into the minds of a variety of readers, from lovers of chick lit and romantic comedies to those who prefer contemporary romance and women’s fiction. How have I gained insight? By doing something a lot of people recommend authors NOT do . . . I read reviews–the good, the bad, and the ugly. I read them all.
I never expected every reader of CDR to love it, but I also never imagined there would be such a mixed bag of critical feedback. While some of the more negative feedback has been tough to swallow, I’ve been able to process and let most of it roll right off my back. People like and dislike different things. That’s why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream, right?
For example, a few readers have voiced irritation over the cliffhanger-ish ending. The truth is I didn’t mean for it to come across as a cliffhanger. In fact, I didn’t even initially have plans to write a spinoff in which readers could find out what happens with Chloe post-CDR. So I’ve just let criticism over the ending roll.
Other repeated criticisms are about Chloe’s characterization. She worries too much about what others think, drinks too much, carries on with her ex way too long, and she’s selfish, immature, shallow, and sometimes bitchy. I can’t deny any of this about her because she is/does all of these things. I mean, come on, she’s in her early twenties and trying to figure out her shit. Am I saying every woman in her early twenties is like this? Of course not. But many, including Chloe, are. So these criticisms roll.
As for those who’ve said CDR is boring or that it has too much bad language, too much porn, too many characters, too much drama? Again, we all have different likes, dislikes, and perspectives. Roll roll roll . . .
Now for the feedback that I have not been able to shake off and the thing I want to apologize for.
There’s a situation in Click Date Repeat that has ruined the book for many readers. Some have found the scene to be too sexually graphic, some have said the main character is “too loose,” and some . . . (I’m taking a deep breath because this is the feedback that has been haunting me) . . . some say she was raped.
I can handle it being called too sexually graphic, and I can handle Chloe being called “loose” because, like I already said, she’s in her early twenties and people in their early twenties tend to have sex–a lot of it. What I can’t stomach is the number of readers who feel she was raped, because that was not my intent. One Amazon reviewer even said, “For a mother of 3 to downplay and ignore the horror and criminality of date rape is simply unconscionable.” UGH. That comment stings horribly. 😦
After much contemplation, I shared the scene with my reader group and asked for honest feedback regarding whether they felt it could be considered date rape. As I suspected I would, I received mixed responses. Those who felt the scene had too many gray areas posed some extremely thought-provoking points to consider. A few even mentioned laws in various countries that would most certainly make it date rape (if a woman in Chloe’s position felt she was raped and reported it as such). As a result, I’ve revised the scene and all parts of the book that reference the scene.
Please know that I didn’t make these revisions to avoid negative feedback. I did it because I felt a moral obligation to remove any action or statement that could be perceived as evidence of date rape. That was never my intent, and I apologize wholeheartedly to those who saw it as such.
K. J. Farnham
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