Q: Your book is very much plot-driven. What do you say to critics who say there are too few character-driven stories?

A: I basically tell them the same thing I tell all critics. I begin by reminding them of my awesome greatness, of the fact that they are frustrated critics because they failed as authors, that my house is bigger than theirs, and that I was the one who urinated on their prize rose bushes last night. Then I drop to my knees, tell them I’m kidding, tug at their hands and beg for a good review. You know, many critics are spot on with their reviews, but lots of others aren’t. I’ve read lots of books, both good and bad, which have made me wonder what planet book reviewers come from. How many times have you bought a book based on rave reviews, only to find it stinks like cattle compost? On the flip side, I don’t know any famous authors, except that their work was intensely criticized by those who didn’t fully appreciate their work, right up until the time they became famous. I feel one fault with critics is that they, now stay with me here, criticize. They seem to feel bound by their occupational title to pick literary works apart, even when they are remarkably good. Having said the above, my books are both plot and character-driven. The uniqueness of the characters gives rise to the complexity of the plot. Both carry the story to its completion, and my readers comment on their love of both plot and characters. Is there a general paucity on the market of character-driven books? Perhaps. Many writers may find it easier to construct energetic plots than to design delightful but eccentric characters, or to delve deeply into their characters’ psychology. In my judgment, readers like a good dose of both, and they particularly enjoy finding characters they can relate to.

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