thoughts post publication

i got some distance and six months later went back to reread the latest book i wrote. TROUBLE’99. i read the first half on friday and the second half on sunday. i don’t think i would have changed much. i was really happy about the first half. the character development and the plot and the struggle and the setting were all crystal clear. dialogue was good. no typos or obvious grammatical issues. in the second half you saw an intensification of the problems my characters faced, both internal and external pressures mounting: socioeconomic hardships leading to sacrifice of values, addiction, conflict, suffering. a reader hoping for them to see a way out of their dilemma will be disappointed. they struggled to make enough money busking and selling weed to get off the streets. for them this was a great success. Kay freed herself from an unhealthy relationship with Aden. the hardships they all faced together clearly strengthened their friendships.

yes i allowed for a little light to enter the story, but mostly they marinate in their problems. i admit as a stand alone TROUBLE’99 fails. this book is intended to be the first in a series, so there will be a sequel.

my point in writing these somewhat dark tales of hard reality these past several years is to highlight very real social injustices. to give names and faces and make these people real. it’s so easy to walk down any city street in America and ignore a large segment of our population. to recoil and turn away from those faced with addiction and homelessness and great depths of mental illness and trauma. i know many readers read books to escape reality and go somewhere that fills the heart with joy. my books may not always offer that kind of escape. they may take you somewhere you never wanted to go. but if you are looking for an adventure of a different kind, if you are hoping to have your heart stirred with understanding if not compassion for the downtrodden and alienated among us, my work may interest you after all.   #katyamills

readers take

i shared my latest novella (not yet published) with three chosen readers, two of whom are authors, no nonsense types whom i felt would give it an honest appraisal. i got a call from the only one who finished and held my breath…turns out they liked it! they liked the rhythm and lyricism of the writing. the setting was clear. they cared about the protagonist and her friends. they found the character development to be solid. the plot kept them interested and the end left them wanting more. one of the areas i could work on, they suggested, is by limiting the time i spend in the headspace of my protagonist. they found these extended daydreams much less interesting and wanted me to get back to the storyline. i am grateful for this critique! with a little luck i should have my 6th title out on goodreads before the year ends. here is the link to my author page if you are interested: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7276703.Katya_Mills