I Love You!

dani ripper, call me, john lockeA huge thanks to my loyal readers! I asked for your opinion about publishing a particular book and more than 500 people responded in 24 hours! That is just amazing! But even more amazing, I received more than 100 emails or messages of support for both decisions.

I’m not going to publish the book.

Those who voted yes gave me brilliant reasons that inspired me! Those who voted no told me tragic stories that hurt my heart.

I need to confess something: my book was not nearly as creepy and graphic as I led you to believe. But I wanted to phrase it that way because the subject matter was rough. While my advisory council thought I shouldn’t publish the book, they also said it was the best writing I have ever done, which is what led me to the quandary. So I wanted to get your opinion.

Your comments of support brought tears to my eyes. The votes were completely anonymous, but 20% of you wrote to tell me why you voted yes or no, anyway!

What moved me was you wanted me to know you were in my corner either way, and…wow, I love you for that!

Why did I decide not to publish The Little Girl Who Got Away?

In the end, the answer was simple. The Donovan Creed novels, Emmett Love novels, and my new book, Call Me! were written by a smiling John Locke. Yes, these books include some coarse language, graphic scenes, silly and outrageous plots…but they were all written by a smiling John Locke, intended for an audience cool enough to “get” the humor. Girl isn’t as awful as I implied—not even close!—but I didn’t smile while I wrote it, and that has always been my litmus test and will continue to be, thanks to you.

You helped me remember something important this week. You got me back on track. I almost forgot why I do this. I don’t want to change the world or write books kids will have to study in high school someday. I want to keep writing the kind of books I’ve always written: books that take you out of your stressful lives for a few hours and make you smile. It’s who I am, what I’m good at.

So why did I even consider writing something different?

Maybe I was getting full of myself, or trying to be someone I wasn’t. Or maybe my abandonment issues were overwhelming me again, and I was afraid I’d lose your support if I didn’t branch out and extend myself as an author.

In the end, thanks to your wonderful emails and comments, I realize it’s like it’s always been. Despite my mistakes and imperfections, you love me just the way I am, same as I love you. And we’re still in this writing adventure together, as partners and friends. We’re still having fun, still making history together.

So thank you for helping me with this reality check. I’m happy with who I am, and hope you’ll continue supporting me as you have so many times in the past.

In that regard, if you haven’t downloaded Call Me! I hope you will, because Dani’s cute and funny and you’ll like her. We’ll keep her past in her past. What’s important, she’s moved beyond it, and finally, so have I.

Call Me! was written with a smile, and I’m pretty sure it will make you smile. My advisory council loved it. Try Call Me! and let me know if you agree, and hang on because the next Creed is going to be a wild ride. It’s titled Maybe, and I hope to have it for you by Christmas, if all goes well.

Thanks for being you. I’ll keep trying to be me.