Aug 27, 2014

Open Letter to Author "X"

I have had to suck it up and try and finish a beta read in the last two weeks and I've struggled with how to tactfully respond.  Below is what I wanted to write, but the actual message sent to the dude was

"Sorry, I don't believe I can help your book as I do not fit your intended audience."

What I wish I had the guts to say is here....

Dear fledgling author;

I have to admit defeat and admit that I've had to add only a second book to my 'did not finish' stack, a feat I have never done for a beta read.  The purpose of my go through is to give you feedback as a reader, not an editor, but a general population book reading point of view.  And for that reason I can not finish this book.

While I will not publicly review this book, either positively or negatively, I do feel a responsibility to share with you why.  This responsibility is from a parent's perspective, but also the mother of a son and daughter, much like yourself.

It takes a confident approach to delve into certain topics, one that many authors will either write from personal experience, research, or anecdotal sources; however it is very apparent that this is not the case with these subjects.

Sexual trauma and assault
Stillborn deaths

If you wish to  have young women as the main characters of your stories, young women who both endure repeated sexual assaults by your sadistic antagonist, you ought to research into the psychological behaviours or reactions survivors have.  You cannot have a repeated rape victim immediately be comfortable enough to be flirtatious and touching with your hero.  She would not be comfortable in her skin enough to be proactive and initative of intercourse after the abuse she endured for so long.  Her sexuality and self-esteem would be marred from such trauma from that young of age.  She would not be eager to be dependent on any person, let alone a man.  She would not voluntarily allow herself to be alone with a group of men and no safe person or position to be in and be comfortable and flirtatious with said strangers.  Within a week's time from a rape?  This is unrealistic for any survivor, male or female.

When a young woman who was physically and mentally abused by a relative and lived in fear of the sadistic predator's sexual threats survives and escapes his torture.....she does not run to the arms of an unknown man.

In fairness I did find the world, languages, setting and dynamics of the story very promising.   The flow of the story when not on the sexuality of the characters was nicely drawn, however the dialogue and character interaction could not be redeemed. 

A young couple who loses their unborn child in a rescue scene is void of any emotion for the characters.
"X sat there with his dead baby."
And then have next sentence literally be dismissive of what transpired and if I recall correctly, has the formerly pregnant woman now cooking a meal. How traditionally cliche, don't you think?

As a woman:
It is very clear that this novel is not written for the general demographics, but likely a small select group of people who would find pleasure from the sadistic behaviour towards women and the naive interpretation of how their sexuality would be shaped.

If this book is to be marketed;
 -- it would not be young adult.
 -- it would not be even adult fiction. 
 but rather
-- adult with a warning label or descriptions such as: fetish; sexual control; rape; young girls

As a mother:
Your book would be described as: badly written, elementary dialogue, fetish-porn for men

I'm sure you will do fine with a self-publication of this 'book' if marketed correctly.

Thank you for seeking my input, as I know you will not take heed from my comments or input.


Don't get me wrong, I'm all for an exciting story with some smut. 
 I enjoy morbid serial-killer psychopath type books, supernatural, etc. 
 But this was just bad writing and with an obvious agenda.

**No, I will not share the author or title of this book in an effort to not give him any views/hits or ideas that people are actually interested in this very poorly written story.**

The Hump Day Blog Hop


  1. I really appreciated this review and can't wait to have you take a look at mine. Though mine could not be a further spectrum. It sounds like the author is trying to play "keeping up with the Jones" in a world full of "it now" fetish and sex books.


  2. Yikes. What a cluster @#$!. Surely his editor (if he has one) will put him through the wringer with all similar suggestions. I don't blame you one bit for setting this one aside.

  3. That story sounds terrible! I would not have been able to finish it either, and I imagine would be fuming about what little I read.

  4. do you really feel about it??? Yowsa, I wouldn't want to read it either...

    1. I'm not ballsy enough to speak that way directly, but I had to air it out here at least.

      Sigh. I do feel badly for trashing it here, but I felt icky the whole time thinking 'I'm reading some dude's rape fantasy book.'
      It was obvious in the style and dialogue that the writer spent more time developing those scenes and the antagonist.


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