Kirsten Beyer wrote:
We all knew before this book came out that there were a number of people on the planet who could not, under any circumstances, be moved to read a Voyager book that did not feature a living, breathing Kathryn Janeway. In fact, we've met many of them over the past few years. It should not, then, surprise you that now, there will be a number of people who, likewise, are not inclined to read stories that do feature a living, breathing Kathryn Janeway. For any number of reasons. It's a fair choice to make and any effort to disuade them is not likely meet with much success.
I knew this going in. I'm okay with it. Everyone has a right to spend their money, or much more valuable time only on those things they believe will entertain or satisfy them as readers. At the end of the day, the reasons why this story was written don't matter. The story works or doesn't work on its merits for any given reader. Full stop.
I spent a lot of time in the past trying to explain the reasons we were exploring Janeway's death to those who were angered by it, and it never made the slightest bit of difference. In fact, my efforts tended to further alienate those individuals. They formed opinions of me that bear absolutely no resemblence to the genuine article, and usually decided that I was simply lying to them, or playing politics.
What I learned through that process was that no amount of explanation or justification or defense of my position was a worthwhile way to spend my time, because it changed nothing. So now I find myself facing a new group of disappointed people who I have already angered by writing what I have. And all I know is that to try and defend myself or justify my choices would be equally meaningless.
I am content to let those who are unhappy or angry or disappointed say what they need to say. The usernames may not be the same. But the perspective isn't anything I haven't seen before. Nothing I can tell you about why I made the choices I did is going to make the story work better for you.
And who knows...maybe as the story continues, current objections might seem less objectionable, and current fears may be allayed.
Either way...understand that when I send a story out into the world, I hope that it will be met in the spirit in which it was intended but I am not permitted to be surprised when it isn't. That part is out of my control. The best I can hope for might be a little faith, even from those I have disappointed, particularly when I had managed to grudingly earn it in the past. I've learned again over these past few weeks, that in some cases, this is just too much to ask. When people feel angry, or wronged, or that their trust has been broken, they can often be unkind. But I sleep just fine at night, knowing that I have done what I can to keep this story and series alive and compelling. And that nothing I have planned for the future is anything we've seen before. I write these stories from a place of deep love and respect for the characters and their journeys and always with the hope that following the character's adventures will bring the readers something they can't find anywhere else. I think most of my readers sense that, even when they don't understand all of my choices. And to those that don't...
Peace and long life.
Kirsten, your comments are very heartfelt and insightful. I think that expressing your opinions / feelings on this board the way you have, serves only to bring you and your readership closer.
As for my comments on this thread and the novel:
I've started the novel yesterday, and so far found it to be engrossing and a very good read. But that doesn't surprise me, based on my opinion of your previous VOY novels.
I just want to clarify my previous posts: I have indeed expressed my disappointment in the decision to bring Janeway back and I fully admit that there's a chance that this will be my final VOY novel for awhile - or not - based on my opinion after reading The Eternal Tide
. This, however, does not reflect on your writing, but rather on what I see as an editorial direction I have a hard time connecting with.
With that in mind, I hope to see your name attached to other Trek settings/series, as you've managed to make me care about VOY, and that's quite a hard task
.. so, when are you writing Tit
an or Enterprise