What’s up, world? I come to you today after having spent the past 5 weeks reviewing everything that I’ve done as an author. I’ve looked at my sales, I’ve reviewed where my books have ranked on bestsellers lists, and I even checked the activity on my Facebook fan page dating all the way back to my very first post as Author W.S. Greer. We’re talking about 2 years and 5 books. It’s a lot to look at and think about. So, I’ve been quiet, but I’ve been thinking . I’m so thankful and proud of what I’ve been able to do up to this point. The 5 books that I’ve put out so far have been a dream come true because I absolutely love writing. Seeing them all together is truly gratifying.
We’re talking about 4 books that hit the bestsellers list on Amazon in one way or another. Every book after Frozen Secrets has hit the erotic suspense and erotic thriller bestsellers lists on Amazon, and the 3 Carter books hit up to #2 on the interracial bestsellers list. My newest book, Defending Her, peaked at #14 on the erotic suspense list. It’s something I’m very proud of.
But, when Defending came out and I tracked the sales and the bestsellers rank on Amazon, I really started to feel a sting of disappointment. Hitting a bestsellers list in any capacity is something to be proud of, but I realized that I’ve been selling out. I’ve been doing it wrong, and I’ve been struggling to find my identity as an author for 2 years straight. I love all of my stories, and I’m proud of them all, but I’ve been holding back. I haven’t been being myself. I’ve been trying to be politically correct and trying to avoid drama, and I’ve been trying to do things that I’ve seen other (more popular) authors do, thinking “Well, this is how they do it. This is how authors do it. This is how so & so does it.” I’ve been wrong this whole time, and I’m sorry. I’m not apologizing to you (the fans), I’m apologizing to myself. I’ve been holding myself back. I reviewed every book that I’ve written, and 4 out of the 5 of them had elements written in them that I would never enjoy as a reader, but I added them because it’s the hot thing, or the normal thing, or the common thing, or the latest fad, or because I needed to keep up with the other authors (especially the male ones). I’ve been selling out to try to be like them–like all the other authors that fill up your news feed. I’ve been doing it wrong. Hell, you haven’t even met me yet. So, that shit is over.
ALLOW ME TO RE-INTRODUCE MYSELF
From now on, I’m not selling out, or watering down anything (not my books or my social media posts) to please anybody or fit in. I am who I am. Trying to be like everybody else DID NOT result in more sales. In fact, my newest book (that I’m the most proud of), Defending Her, sold the LEAST since my very first book!! How about that?!? It’s obvious that trying to please everybody hasn’t been working. So, again, allow me to re-introduce myself. Let’s get a few things out in the open.
For starters… I cuss… A LOT.
If you read a post from me and it doesn’t have a cuss word in it, you can bet that there was one, but I deleted so I wouldn’t offend anyone. Well, fuck that. I’m a 30 year old, 2-time Iraq veteran, with a wife, 2 kids, and nearly 11 years of active duty military service in the United States Air Force… as well as a struggling, aspiring author. I’ve earned the right to cuss like a sailor. If you’re offended by cussing, you’re gonna have to unlike my fan page. I promise I’m not cussing to intentionally offend anyone. I’m cussing because that’s just who the fuck I am. It’s not about you. It’s about me being comfortable being me. Feel free to cuss up a storm when you comment on my statuses. It’ll make me like you more. Seriously. I don’t trust people who aren’t comfortable enough to cuss around me. So, fuck it. Cuss it up.
Next up… Fuck Erotica.
Yikes. That one’s bound to lose me some fans, for sure. Now, I’m not saying fuck people who read erotica. I’m saying fuck erotica as a genre. I hate that shit, and I don’t read it. Now, please be a grownup and keep in mind that this is only MY OPINION. If you love erotic books, that’s fantastic! Please continue to support authors who write erotic books and keep yourself entertained however you see fit. What I’m saying is that I hate erotic scenes in books. I tried to read 50 Shades of Grey, and I failed… TWICE. I just couldn’t do it. The way it’s worded just drives me crazy and makes me want to throw my Kindle, and them shits are expensive so I can’t do that. Now, if I’m admitting to you that I hate erotic scenes and stories in other people’s books, imagine how I feel when I edit and review my own books and see those scenes in there. I don’t like erotica, I don’t read erotica, but I put it in my books? That’s dumb, and I don’t know what the hell I’ve been thinking. I’ve been constantly struggling, trying to think of ways to add erotic scenes because erotica is the hottest selling shit since… well, since 50 Shades came out and the bandwagon was born. I have watered down 4 out of my 5 stories to try to fit erotic scenes into them, cutting them up and putting the story on pause so that the couple can have sex on the kitchen counter. Having sex on the kitchen counter is the shit, but I personally don’t want to pause my suspenseful, thrilling, dramatic story just so I can call it erotic. For the record, I fucking love sex! My wife will vouch and attest to this. I’m as freaky as they come, and I watch porn just like every other man. I just don’t want to read it. I know that’s weird, but fuck it. Just had to add that in there. Anyway, so, if you love erotica, I still love you and think you’re awesome… you’re just gonna have to get that shit from another author, and there’s plenty of them out there. I’m a much bigger fan of romance, so the erotic elements of my stories will now be replaced by romance. However, the main genre that I write will be the one that I love to read. The one that made me want to be an author in the first place. Which leads me to my next topic.
I love dramatic, emotional, SUSPENSE-driven stories… and that’s what I’m going to write.
I have officially moved on from my first 5 books. I can honestly say that I wrote those for you. They’ll obviously stay on sale, and I’ll continue to promote them from time to time, but I’m over them. I’m already working on my next book. It’s actually already on Goodreads. Everything I write from here on out will be 100% for me. Every aspect of my books will be something that I enjoy as both a writer and a reader. At least then if it doesn’t sell, I can at least find solace in the fact that I did it the way I wanted to and I was happy with every part of it. It’s all about being true to yourself. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in both my military career and my “second job” as an author, it’s that you just have to be yourself. If people don’t like you for who you are, then the hell with ’em. Just do you, and fuck anybody that hates on your for it.
As you can see from the synopsis of my next book, I don’t give two shits about erotica. I don’t want to make you hot. There, I said it. I want more than that. I want to hold your heart in my hands. I want to hold your life in my hands (metaphorically, obviously. I’m not a murderer, people). When you open my books, I want you all fucked up. I want you confused. I want you frustrated, scratching your head, squinting trying to figure out WHAT THE FUCK. I want you so up on the edge of your seat that you fall the hell off and struggle to get back up again. I want you to struggle with the decision whether to keep reading my book or to eat. That’s right, I want the story to be so mesmerizing that you’re willing to starve to death just to finish reading it. That’s how good a book should be. When I read a book by my favorite authors (Harlan Coben, Gillian Flyn, Lisa Gardner, Linwood Barclay), I’m stunned. I’m shocked. I’m transfixed, and I don’t want to do anything else until I finish the book. It’s an amazing feeling that only a phenomenal story can give you, and I don’t think I’ve given that to you yet. I haven’t done that yet. And for that, I’m sorry. But, that’s about to change. I’m doing what I want now. I’m going to do what I love, and nothing is going to sway me from that path.
I’m different… on purpose. I don’t want to be like what you’re used to. I want to take you to a place you’ve never been before, and I don’t want you to be comfortable. I want to take your mind and imagination hostage and give you the most ridiculous book hangover you’ve ever experienced in your life. That’s what I look for when I pick a story to read. That’s what I will deliver when I pick a story to write. So, excuse me while I stop giving a fuck about fitting in.
Allow me to re-introduce myself.
Will the real W.S. Greer please stand up…