I know, I know. It's been more than a month since I posted. I have a list of excuses, but you don't care, right?
Something happened the other day that, coincidentally, also hadn't happened in about a month: I got a new review on Amazon. When I discovered it, I couldn't wait to read it to see what had been written about my novel, as usual.
This one was different. The reader gave me four stars and was effusive in his praise, which, of course, is always appreciated. But he also took me to task for what he called "a wtf sublplot," the one involving Brian and Kate, and what they do during the overnight hours. He didn't like it, and said he thought the novel would have been better without it.
Bravo, James Reagan. Out of all the reviews I've read, and all the word-of-mouth commentaries I've gotten on A Pebble Tossed, yours is the first one to call me on what I have always considered to be the book's most glaring weakness. (Wait ... did I say that? I meant only weakness, of course.)
I had a lot of fun writing that little subplot, which is part of the reason it's still there. The character of Brian was difficult and at the same time rewarding to write, because he was neither good nor bad, but a little of both, and it was good exercise for me to write that and make it work. At the same time, it served to account for Kate's overnight activities and her mental progression (deterioration, some might say) during that time period. It would have been unrealistic for me to write that Kate simply went to bed while her husband was missing ... no spouse would do that. So what did she do? Aha! She met up with Brian, who conveniently knocked her out, taking her out of the picture until morning. Problem solved!
However, I feel that it could have been handled in a few paragraphs, rather than a few chapters as it currently stands. And in the exceedingly unlikely event that the book is someday picked up by a traditional publisher, and some editor tells me I have to pare it down to 100,000 words or less, that entire subplot is slated for eradication. So read it now, folks, if you want to get the full uncut version, the way it was originally intended by the author!
Much respect to James Reagan. I'd like to be able to meet him someday. I have a feeling we could talk.