Judith
Judith asked:

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Thqueenbee I agree--I think Karen should not have been so involved in the Moniac blogs. She often would answer questions that were not spoilers instead of letting what was written be a sounding board.

I remember we speculated that Ryodan might actually be Dani's dad then Karen nixed that---she should have left us to stew.... We also ranted about the young age of Dani--many felt that Iced had pedophilic overtones.

I felt Dani needed to grow up--I did not want sexual tension from a baby teen for years and wading through such until she was old enough to be with Ryo or Dancer or Christian or taking a page for Laurell K's books maybe be with all 3.

I did not worry about the pedo tip so much as you cannot expect supernatural beings to have American 20th C mores unless you forget what you are reading--in the REAL WORLD children are raped and murdered and beat up--that scene with the broke finger was the REALEST I have read in a long, long time and though shocked, I was also engrossed by the telling of it.

So many people want bows and rainbows and trite stories. Want a trite romance? Read a Harliquin romance from before around 1985.

Now. I objected to Dani because being grown, I want my sex scenes and she was too young and it was a turn off. I wanted her to grow up because books upon books of "almost and not quite " would have been too tense and frustrating--so grow her up then give her the intensity with Ryo that their interactions deserve.

After reading the one scene of sexual tension in Burned between DAni and Ryo I felt--NOTHING. It was dead. I am pretty sure Ryodan felt nothing either. Dani came across as some sort of Android--a bit of Winona Ryder in the movie "alien" when she wants to be real but is not--in Dan's case she could have cared less if she was real and Ryodan basically held himself in check.

Nope--I wanted sex scenes I could relate to--I know good sex and can tell when a writer knows the "business" or is guessing (if you never had great sex and do not know how to have great sex, you really can't even write about what you never knew) Karen could write great sexually intense scenes, even when there was no sex.

She does it far better than Kresley Cole who may have been a recipient of great sex, but maybe so so herself--Laurel? Great writer in the gun scenes, her sex scenes? CLUELESS--Karen? Karen has had great sex and given it--it shows up in what she says and what and how she describes things.

So I wanted Dani older so I could relate--I never wanted her marginalized and certainly did not want the supposed tension between Mac and Barrons back--BEFORE they got together, it was a delicious teaser, now it has as much flare and interest as your mom and dad fighting than fucking--get a room and we don't need to know.

To bring them back to what they had before--is not possible--because the one thing that all the books have is the HISTORY before them--which brings us to this travesty ofa book. It is a hot mess.

THERE. I said it--it is a HOT MESS and I believe we Moniacs have to bear at least partial blame--some of you (Not me, I never liked Mac) insisted she keep feeding you stories about Mac and Barrons--she should have done it as a spin off--but she READ THOSE DAMN BLOG POSTS and she tried to get involved answering some, refuting others, and even on occasion shutting us down.

No one can write that way--opinions can POISON a story and ruin a vision until the writer is no longer trying to write a new world but instead ends up defending their writing , and uses their characters to do this.

Karen, if you are reading (and you probably DO read these posts) know that I love your work--you are my more favorite writer in this genre though Ilona Andrews is giving you a run for your money (they can't touch you in the sex dept though)

Please, Please tell YOUR STORY and let the chips fall where they may. I cannot believe this is your story--it is the one you ended up writing to defend the one you wrote--it is appeasement, and back pedaling, and justification and in the end, only the most die hard or clueless can like this (clueless because they did not read these books and invest emotionally from day 1 so they just take what comes next instead of conjecturing, waiting and endlessly debating)

This Dani story is a Mac Story--and not even a Mac most of us like--it is as if by telling the story your fans wanted (instead of your own) you punish them by delivering a Mac who is a whiner, a meddler, a nosy busybody, an clueless and insipid twit as if, when you tell their story, you will subconsciously make them sorry for making you tell that story.

I sense another great story in there--I just wish... you had started dual stories like Kresley Cole did, LIke Illona Andrews did, like Laurell K Hamilton did. IN that way, you could have kept your Mac Lovers and gave them more Mac in their own way and continued with Dani in her own way--you would have gained more lovers of both--and chances are they would each have stood on their own merit--this way divided fans into camps and yes--lost fans. I had a group who I turned onto these books years ago and all but a few have sworn off your books totally now--they think you have lost your edge and if we wanted to read what fans come up with, we would simply read them and not YOU.

Please tell your story in the ways you feel like telling them--if we don't like it--we can get over it--it is never good to involve yourself in fan blogs--only the most die hard or squeaky wheels are represented and they are not always right--in fact, people want certain things from books but remember that adage: "eavesdroppers seldom hear good about themselves"

Best to do the amazing writing that you do in a virtual vacuum, I can only CRINGE at what the Highlander books would have been like had their been a forum to read opinions and let them color your own vision.
Pat Wow, what a condescending response. I just read her blog and think anyone who looks at these rants thinly disguised as a question should too.

Direct quote from Moning.

A few thoughts on BURNED (SPOILERS abound)

First, I want to say thank you to all who’ve written to tell me how much you loved BURNED. I love hearing from you guys, getting to meet you at events and am eternally grateful for your support. It means the world to me that you love the characters and come along for the ride with me every time!

But...I’ve also heard from readers that think BURNED isn’t the book I wanted to write. While I hate taking time away from wrapping up FEVERBORN, this mistruth needs to be tended to and disposed of.

BURNED IS the book I wanted to write. To those who felt so much disappointment with where the story went in this installment that they feel the only possible explanation is that I didn’t want to write BURNED the way I did, or I wasn’t in love with the story and following my muse—that’s not true. You didn’t like it. And that’s okay. But it’s not because I don’t love the book. I do.

I didn’t succumb to pressure from anyone, fans or publishing folks, to change my story after ICED. If I made any mistake at all it was in proposing the next three books while I was getting divorced and not taking the time to write a full outline. I pitched one book and stated “plus two more”. Because I’ve been with my publisher for as long and successfully as I have, they accepted it that way. Then, as I began writing ICED, I realized I had some problems to sort out, like: who the hell is going to narrate when Dani becomes Jada? There was also the larger problem that Mac and Barrons’s story had to unfold alongside Dani’s. I couldn’t keep them offstage that long. My mistake: I didn’t see it going in. A bigger mistake would have been to stick to a bad plan just because I made it.

A few say there’s talk that ICED wasn’t well received so I was pressured by my publisher to change the story to ‘appease’ fans. Neither of those assertions is true. ICED was well received by an enormous number of readers, in fact it’s the best reviewed book of my career, and over the past two years has sold very well. My publisher and I are extremely happy with it. If I’d wanted to appease fans with a book, I know how. I did things in BURNED that I knew would upset readers. The goal isn’t to make readers mad, there’s a purpose and that’s simply where the characters and story are right now.

If you think it was hard reading Mac feeling lost and uncertain of herself now that she’s no longer the MVP and has something brewing inside her that terrifies her—it was even harder writing it. It was similar to slogging through her eternal grief at the beginning of SHADOWFEVER. I began to wonder if it would ever end. Yet in the overall story arc, her grief, like her loss of direction right now, had and have purpose. You may not like or even see that purpose, you may feel strongly that I should have written it a different way. You may feel strongly that I should stop writing Mac. Or stop writing Dani. Neither is going to happen.

I follow my muse and my muse put Mac where she is at this time for reasons. I understand that those reasons are not apparent to others because only I know where the story is going. And I can see how that’s hard for the reader.

To those who were upset with what happened to Dani, it WAS foreshadowed in ICED. Dani was always going to go through those silvers and come back older. And as someone else. Jada was there in my head all through ICED, talking in the background, fighting to come out. I adore Dani. It kills me to see her contained in any way. But Jada is only a prelude to the real Mega. I always intended to give Dani to the reader (and hopefully make you adore her)—then take her away in this brutal fashion. The only concession I made in BURNED (and I said this last year) was making Jada 19 instead of 17. Was that because people complained? No. 17? 19? Not that much difference. In terms of freedom with her sexuality, a subtle nuance. It made writing her more interesting to explore and I need to be utterly riveted by what I’m writing.

Was there controversy over Dani’s age in ICED? Sure. There was controversy over Mac in DARKFEVER. There was controversy over the rape in FAEFEVER. There was controversy over the end of DREAMFEVER. There’s constant controversy because my books end in cliffhangers. If I were interested in stopping controversy, I’d stop writing cliffhangers. Hell, I’d go back to writing my stand-alone romance novels

My publisher has never tried to control my writing in any way. They make soft suggestions and if I tell them no because I have a plan, they trust me. I’ve been with Random House for fifteen years, and my current editor for the entire Fever Series, and have never had better champions.

If anyone thinks that writing the Fever books has been easy, I can tell you it’s been a battle every step of the way. First with the readers who wanted me to continue writing stand alone romance, then with my publisher when DARKFEVER sold badly for the first year or two. Then with my publisher when BLOODFEVER sold badly. They, too, suggested I go back to writing what we knew sold: stand alone romance novels with happy endings and no cliffhangers, new couple each time. I just kept saying: wait. I know what I’m doing. And they waited. And they—and you—trusted me. I finished the series and you guys took SHADOWFEVER straight to number 1 on most lists in the country. I’m incredibly proud of those five books.

I’m also incredibly proud of ICED and BURNED. I’m not saying that because I ‘have to put a good face on things.’ I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. That’s a rule I live by. I can’t wait to finish FEVERBORN and FEVERSONG, bringing the second story arc that was always coming, to the resting place I need it to achieve.

Voltaire says writing requires a certain complete self-renunciation and self immersion. It does. I do it for me. By myself. To satisfy my muse, my artistic drives and desires. I offer it to the reader and when I’m lucky and all the stars line up—they love it. And when I’m not, they don’t. But reader response will never change the story I’m writing for this reason: I’m not writing my stories to be rich and famous. That was never my goal. I’ve been blessed enough in a challenging field to be fairly successful. But that’s icing on the cake. The cake is the writing. I write because I have these damns stories in my head—and half the time I don’t even understand why I’m so obsessed by them. I write to get them out. And I love it when the readers get it, when they see the intricacies of the web I weave, when they fall in love with the characters I love so much myself.

But when readers don’t like one of my books—accusing me of not having written the book I wanted to write because they didn’t get the book they wanted to read is not only absurd—but not true.

At the end of every writing day, I answer to one person: the bitch muse that drives me bugfuck. She is the only one who must be obeyed.

But back to the happy stuff: thank YOU for reading my books, for feeling passionately about them, for loving to hate and hating to love the people I can’t stop thinking and writing about. At the end of the day, I feel I have the best job in the world and can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s writing brings. That’s the feeling I live for, and you guys make it possible!

Xo
Karen
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by Karen Marie Moning (Goodreads Author)
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