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Rainbows & Unicorns, or Truth in Fiction

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An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmaster of ever afterwards.  — F. Scott Fitzgerald
I, like most writers with a modicum of self-control and a soupcon of good sense, don’t comment on reviews. But I do read each and every one. Mostly out of curiosity. I’m genuinely curious about what readers think of my work, of the stories I chose to tell, of the words I choose to tell them with—and yes, I realize that can be two very different things. I realize reviewers write not for writers but for other readers to either steer them to books they liked or away from others that somehow disappointed them.
I don’t read reviews to learn what readers want—I decided long ago when I started writing seriously that I wasn’t writing to market but rather writing the stories that burned in me and let the market find me. Perhaps a stupid approach—certainly not a lucrative one, but one that allows me to feel good about my work. And on those dark day…