I'm surprised to hear that the people that decide the direction of these stories don't, even in some way, consider the fans opinions in the matter. Surely they must consider something --- otherwise, why even bother having this panel? What would be the purpose of it other than to allow a place for people to constructively vent and for your clarification of the story process?
Correct me if I've misunderstood something.
Again, thank you for participating here. I love your writing.
I guess fan opinions matter in the sense that if sales of the books are affected in some perceivable way, the editors might consider changing course or authors. But when it comes to story specifics, fan opinions can't matter because they are always widely divergent. It may seem like the fans who want Kathryn Janeway back are the only or biggest group out there, but in my experience, they aren't, and their opinions do not reflect much of what I've heard about the novels since they started coming out. This does not, however, invalidate their opinions and I think for a long time most of them have thought just that...their opinions don't matter. What they need to understand is that no one's opinions matter in the way they seem to think they should...and why that is.
The purpose of the panel was, my attempt, futile though it seems to have been, to make sure that the Janeway fans, and those who felt strongly otherwise, had a chance to air their concerns directly to someone who is really connected to the process and hopefully that in addressing their specific questions I could offer some fresh insight into the process for them. I kept hearing for so long that no one was listening to them, and that troubled me. I wanted to make sure they knew that I was listening, even if I haven't yet been able to write a story that they find appealing.