My mom said this to me yesterday as we discussed the MLS contest.
It had never occurred to me before, but she's right. Mom's bookshelf nowadays is stacked with political thrillers by authors whose names I can't even think of to write. When we were younger, she liked historical romances and westerns like Louis L'Amour and that guy that writes about Indian reservations. Hillcamp? Huxtable? Something like that. Perfectly good books I would never read.
Another friend who only read biographies and non-fiction historical commentaries also read my book and liked it. We were talking about cover art once. I told her I knew what picture I wanted for the cover (Caissa sitting at the feet of a dragon as they talk) and what picture a publisher would want (Caissa with sword drawn rushing a dragon breathing fire). I was told in no uncertain terms that my friend would never pick up a book with a picture on the front of it. She suggested a star of justice symbol instead. Maybe I suggested that and she concurred.
My sister-in-law read my book. While her taste runs to gangsters and vampire/horror, and she cannot stand English romances (or authors, for that matter, who are my main inspiration), she liked it. She even suggested I add a few more fight scenes. The dismembered monks in Manarot are for you, Triny.
Even my postman read it, and gave me the greatest compliment I have yet heard: "It's like a real book."
Either all these people are flat-out lying to me, or my book has appeal. Which floors me, considering I can't get a mention in the MLS contest. Yes, it's early, but once again, Star of Justice is noticeable by its absence. (I am not telling you to mention it, mom.)
So now I'm wondering, is my book too normal for real nerds? Is my lack of fantastical and uniquely startling creatures a drawback with the hard-core fantasy crowd? Is the very thing that makes the book accessible to people with other interests making it boring to those I would normally market to?
Egads! What a disaster! People who like the book would never pick it up to read, and those who would pick it up won't because it's too normal.
Welcome to the story of my life.