Thqueenbee asked:

How many readers know that no matter how big the author, the rights to publish are often exclusive and a company maintains control on whether an authors books are published or not? If a novel harms a brand or is not marketable, it is sent BACK for rewrites often with "suggestions"? And it is continually sent back until the publisher and editors are happy?

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Sally KMM just addressed a lot of these made up accusations in her latest blog post.
"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!

Thqueenbee I believe firmly that with their pulse on the Mac Fans, Karen was forced to deliver a story that gave them what they wanted and in doing so, she had to write a story that brought Mac back and Barrons, addressed Dani's age, and "fixed" Ryo so he would be nicer and more likeable.

Some Mac Fans do not want to believe they have so much power--in numbers they do. NO matter how big an author they are still bound by their contract and if a story does not pass muster, a publishing house can TABLE a book for as long as they want--the writer then has had that particular story line killed.

This happens. Only a very stubborn and idealistic writer can risk letting an entire series go because they did not cave into rewrites. We have the power to create whatever story we want--but unless you self publish and can distribute (good luck with that) we (as authors) do NOT have the power to override or go to another publishing house once under contract.

Sure we can leave a house and perhaps even break the contract and return the advance money with interest AND become persona non gratis... or we can play ball.

The ball here: Give them Mac and Barrons...give them a grown up Dani... make Ryo nicer.... put more characters into play that you can later develop and launch off of (Lor, Kat, Jo...)

So Karen did--but each time it was not enough, the novel was sent back with notations to add more sex here... make Mac the undisputed center there... every date pushed back is not because the "printing presses" went down--it is due to rewrites (most likely) which is why Karen could promise a date but not deliver.

THIS is how a publishing company protects their initial and later investments in an author.

One way to find out if this is true is when Karens contract with her current company is up--if she moves to another publishing house--it is because they strong armed her and she hated it.

Another thing to look for is how she complied.

Mac Fans got Mac back--but she was depicted as boring, weak, whiny, stupid not at all the way they wanted.

Mac Fans got Barrons back--but he was absent a lot, argued a lot with Mac, came away calling her Ms. Lane again, and when the fought (SPOILER) and killed the fae princes, we got no fight--or description, just dripping heads in his hand--what an anticlimax. ..and the Mac Fans got no sex scenes.

HOW MUCH MORE ELOQUENCE can Karen subtly display of her hurt and disillusion with her own fans?

Forced to depict her creations not as she wanted them but as they demanded?

More? Very little of interest in Dani from Christian..No scenes of anyone with the Dani that is no longer fun and vibrant but is cold and robotic.

Mac Fans wanted Dani older--they got her--but no sex for this new version, and no Dani in this new version either--she (Spoiler) rubs up against and kisses Ryodan--there is little to no response from either of them---That's all , thanks for playing

Ryodan is made to look "kinder" nicer, and weaker--when Baron says shut up--Ryo does it immediately-- it is explained that he did not mean to break Dani's finger, he just "forgot " how fragile humans were... Oh. So when he broke her finger and then told her he would kill her then took her up to his office (in the book Iced) and repeatedly slammed her into walls, AFTER THE BROKE FINGER, he still forgot how fragile humans were? You can drive 2 semis, 4 mobile homes and 85 partridges in pear trees through that HUMONGO hole in the explanation.

But it does not matter. Mac Fans got what they demanded.

Now. Some Mac Fans don't want to believe they are responsible for this travesty of a book. They want to believe after telling us that this was Dani's story, Karen somehow made it a Mac story.

Mac Fans want to believe that no sex after growing Dani up makes sense and that Karen meant to leave Dani out, cut out what should have been epic scenes (destroying --SPOILER-- the fae princes from the unseelie and seelie courts) into just Barrons returning with dripping heads...

Right--and Mac Fans also want to believe that after several decades of writing, this new writing style which is disjointed and choppy, cryptic and long on boring soliloquies by Mac and devoid of hot new sex scenes just HAPPENED to coincide with a book that basically addressed every concern on the blogs and acquiesced to every Moniac demand is just COINCIDENCE.

Karen rebelled (IMO) in the only means still left to her that would not involve a lawsuit or breach of contract--she did what was demanded of her--but she left out the bit that makes her novels SING--Karen's HEART and SOUL which is what makes her books great-- are not in this book.

You can make a person do many things and a Publishing house CAN make an author do many things--but you cannot make them like it--and you cannot control how much of themselves they put into a work.

So if this is correct--AT any point while we journey in the Fever worlds, does anyone really want to continue to scream and dictate what should or should not be in Karen's work--because you may get her "writing" and the mechanics of it--but if you don't get her creativity and heart and soul, she is NOT going to be present and a book like this one is what you will get.

Respect your authors--let them create their vision instead of dictating your version of their vision--

"BURNED" IS HOLLOW because Karen's heart and soul were not there when it finally went to press.
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by Karen Marie Moning (Goodreads Author)
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