An email from an unhappy — and proactive reader.
Ms Donati, You have created a wonderful but unfinished story with very lovely and interesting people. Since you have written that you like to leave unanswered questions at the end of your books I will not be able to read your future works of art. I read– almost uninterrupted —” The Guilded [sic] Hour” and could not believe you would give up on the story without having an ending.—I know you think there was one—but I beg to differ. I have read the blog about this story—-and your answers to the comments were not satisfactory. I am writing my own ending to your story with each story line having a happy or unhappy closure and will not need to read any sequels. Thank you for your lovely start —now to start on my own end of the story lines.
Ms Williams — I take it as a compliment that you feel so strongly about the story and the characters. You are, of course, welcome to do as you please, as long as you don’t attempt to publish what you create. I wish you best of luck with it.
I didn’t have to think very long about how to reply to this reader, and I meant what I said: she is free to write whatever she likes and resolve storylines to her satisfaction, as long as she doesn’t publish what she writes. It’s not in me to be angry or even irritated by this. I’m a little unclear on what she thought she might accomplish with her letter. Is she hoping I’ll change my ways? Ask her to collaborate in writing the sequel? Tell her I want to see what she writes? Maybe she’s just hopping mad and needs to vent in my general direction.
To be really clear: I have no problem with fan fiction. You have to really love and care about the world I created and the people in the world to go to this kind of trouble, and I really do see that as a great compliment. But I can’t and won’t read whatever she — or anyone– might write. The risk is that if I read fanfic, I’ll be accused of stealing ideas and sued. Am I missing out on something? Impossible to know. Ms Williams is missing out on whatever I come up with in the sequel, which is her right. I can certainly carry on without reading her endings to my stories.
So, I thank Ms. Williams for the compliment, but I can’t interact with her at all about this.
I’d be curious what people think about this subject in general — not specifically the email from Ms. Williams, but her need to resolve the story to her own satisfaction and timeline.