Vanity, Vengeance & A Weekend In Vegas (starring Sophie Katz) on Amazon and 27 of them were five stars. Obviously I was happy with that and my focus was on the 27 five star reviews, not the 1 three star review (which was posted by a "reader" who hadn't read the book yet but was upset that it wasn't in audio). But when my Facebook/Twitter readers saw that there was a three star review they were indignant, particularly since the reviewer literally hadn't given the book a chance. Immediately they started commenting on that one review and marking it as "unhelpful." By the end of the day that reviewer had gotten so much negative feedback she actually removed the entire review all together. Now I have thirty-one reviews for Vanity, Vengeance & A Weekend In Vegas and they're all five stars.
This whole incident gave me pause. As usual I had grossly underestimated the passion and loyalty of Sophie's fans. Furthermore, I had underestimated their protectiveness. It's tempting to say that it's me they're being protective of and I know that some of my readers feel personally connected to me through my blog and Facebook posts but for the most part I think they were being protective of Sophie. I spend so much time with Sophie and her friends, creating new adventures, new relationships, new sexually charged encounters and so on that I forget that this character doesn't just belong to me anymore. Thousands of readers see her as a friend. A close friend. One they can count on to be there for them, to make them laugh, to help them escape from the stressers of their every day life. And I'm moved by that. I'm touched that I've been able to give her to so many people and that she has brightened so many lives, even if it's only for the length of time it takes to read a book. It motivates me to keep writing her stories to star in. I don't want to take her away from anyone.
I would never want to take away somebody's friend.