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Once upon a time, I was a control freak. I was called on it, chastised for it, mocked for it.
So I made a concentrated effort to change. (Just because Lady Gaga would assert that I was born this way doesn’t mean there aren’t any areas screaming for improvement. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone stayed exactly the same from the moment they were born?)
Now I am proud to announce that I no longer am one.
I just prefer things to be done exactly to my specifications, exactly when I say, and exactly how I say it. There. Isn’t that better?
One area in which I… hold strong opinions… is the books that I read. I usually have a preference for how I would like to see a story turn out.
Sometimes, my preference does not mesh with that of the author. (I’m one of those people who thinks Madame Bovary is a comedy, Jayne Eyre can do a lot better, and that Mr. Karenin got a bad rap.)
I suspect I’m not the only one.
Which is why, in a joint effort to empower readers and get my previously noted controlling tendencies under… uh… control, I have launched a new book project, Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga, where my readers will tell me what they want to happen next!
First, a little background: In addition to writing romance novels for Avon and Dell, and figure skating mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, I spent many years working for TV soaps, first at ABC Daytime, then at Procter & Gamble’s As the World Turns and Guiding Light.
And, if there is one thing I learned from working in soaps, it’s that everyone has an opinion about storylines, heroes, heroines, villains, paternity puzzles, and who belongs with whom Happily Ever After. (I also learned that consensus is an impossibility and nothing is loved by everyone all of the time. Viva le difference!)
Even a few years ago, an interactive series like mine would have proven an impossibility. It takes so long to get a book written, edited, printed, shipped, and distributed that any reader feedback would have come too late to make much of a difference. (When I wrote The Man From Oakdale, an As the World Turns tie-in, the entire process “only” took six months and, even then, a character I’d written as dead in the manuscript still managed to be alive again on the show by the time the book hit the shelves.)
But, with the advent of electronic publishing, the timeline has shrunk dramatically. My plan is to release a Volume of Counterpoint a month, collect reader input, and have the next Volume ready to go in thirty days or so.
Am I setting myself up for failure?
But, I hope I’m also setting myself up for a lot of fun. I can’t wait to hear what my readers direct me to do with the characters and situations I’ve created.
And I really can’t wait to see how I do with writing a book that’s… out of my control.
Alina Adams is the New York Times’ best selling author of soap opera tie-ins, figure skating mysteries, and romances, including Annie’s Wild Ride and When a Man Loves a Woman. Her latest project is Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga. In addition to turning her own backlist into enhanced e-books, she has produced enhanced e-books for others, including Dan Elish, whose middle-grade fantasy novel, The Worldwide Dessert Contest, now includes its own original musical score. Learn more at http://www.AlinaAdamsMedia.com
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