On weird reviews
It’s been a week and a half since it’s release and Fishy Riot is doing about as well as I expected. It’s had some people who love it and some who love to hate it and that’s OK. I knew when I wrote it that is was going to rub some people the wrong way. It’s quirky and a lot of people really don’t like anything that sits outside the norm. FR doesn’t follow the ‘usual’ romance genre narrative; it’s single POV for starters, but in third person, and it doesn’t focus on the MC’s, but on a cast who all contribute something to who these people are. I think it’s interesting that some feedback I received on book 2 was that they didn’t get enough of a sense of place – that they wanted more aussie lingo and more sights and sounds (and yet I also had a FR review that ranted about them not understanding anything that was being said because there was too much aussie lingo, ha ha ha). It’s a very big give away that the reader was not Australian, because it tells me how they’ve been taught to interpret the idea of place. Yes, sights and sounds and language are huge contributors to place, but ultimately I feel the biggest ‘tell’ about place is values and that’s definitely stressed in FR and it’s sequels. Australians value family, and friends; they value mates. They also value responsibilities above rights, and I think that’s a huge core difference between Australian and American society that colours everything we do and think and say. Aussies at their heart still believe we have a set of responsibilities to society and if we carry out said responsibilities to the best of our ability then we are entitled to our rights. Don’t contribute responsibly? Forfeit rights. But Americans, from an outsiders perspective, appear to place rights above all else. This tiny difference changes our governments, our laws, our beliefs and our interactions with one another. It makes us…quirky, I suppose. It’s where the idea of ‘mateship’ comes from; that we’re all in this together. And I think ultimately that’s what a lot of people don’t ‘get’ when they read FR. That everyone contributes, and that it’s that contribution that really makes the book Australian. Not the weird words, or the sunny skies, or koalas. Actually, there are no koalas in FR. FYI. Someone does mention hunting kangaroo’s though, if that offends you as it did one poor reader. Just FYI, we eat them and yes they are on the coat of arms.
Unfortunately, Fishy Riot made it’s way onto two piracy sites that I’m aware of, and probably a few more I’m not aware of. I’d never really thought much about book piracy before. Books really don’t cost that much; I’ve never been annoyed at the thought of paying $7 for a book on kindle. It’s just not a lot of money to support a writer, a publisher and all the work that went into creating something. It’s disgusting that anyone thinks they have the right to steal that and offer it around for free. So if you actually paid money for my book then thank you. If you didn’t, then I kind of hope you get bitten by a whitetail spider, because that’s about as nasty as you deserve.