Taking Back Forever released a few weeks ago. I held my breath and waited for reviews to come in. Thankfully, the reviews have been mostly good. *fist pump*
I took a chance with Taking Back Forever because I did something different. Actually, all I did was genuinely worry about my readers, put their enjoyment of the story as my top priority, and then I followed my heart. I let the reader choose their ending.
Yes, I let the reader choose how they wanted Taking Back Forever to end.
You can’t please everyone. Storytelling is way too subjective. Some readers love cliffhangers, some despise them, some just don’t care. I didn’t want readers to be upset with me for leaving them on a cliffhanger. But I also loved the cliffhanger ending. I tossed and turned about which path to choose, and then I said to myself, “Why should I have to choose? Let THEM choose.”
Toward the “end” I paused the story, wrote a letter to the reader--with a fair warning of what awaited them--and then left the decision of whether or not to continue in their hands.
Almost every review I’ve seen mentions that they loved the option to choose. THANK GOODNESS.
“OMGGGGG. and the award for best AND worst cliffhanger goes too...
This book was wonderful (obviously) but that ending, the REAL one was awful and awesome at the same time. Where's the NEXT one already?” ~Mandi Ferguson
“The ending. You get a choice people!!!! Heaven bless Karen Hooper. If I didn't have a choice to read the ending or wait until Fighting for Infinity I might have just lost it.” ~ Inna at Inna's Little Bookshelves
Following my heart, and putting the reader first paid off. And let’s face it, even those who hate cliffhangers, but read on anyway, have no one to blame but themselves. (See how nicely that worked out? *wink wink*)
One reviewer said what I did, letting the reader choose, was “remarkable.” I don’t know about it being remarkable, I guess I thought of it as being considerate. I dedicated Taking Back Forever to the reader because I mean it when I say my readers are everything to me. I listen to their comments and criticism and I apply what I can to future books I write so that, hopefully, I become a better writer, and they can enjoy my future books more. I like involving my readers. I loved giving them a choice. Based on their comments, they love it too. Win win.
This is what I love about telling stories the way I want to. I can think outside of the box. I don’t have to follow rules. I can follow my heart. And from what I’ve seen, the path with heart turns out pretty enjoyable for those who travel along with me.
The kindrily series has a long way to go, and I’m excited to watch readers continue the journey with them. Choices, forks in the road, and all. (Hint hint.)
Haven't started the series yet? Of course I'm going to tell you that you should, but I'm very biased. If you like reincarnation, magic, soul mates, super powers, or strong family bonds, then give it a try. You have to start with Grasping at Eternity (or you won't understand what's going on in Taking Back Forever) but then read Taking Back Forever and make your choice. To end on a cliffhanger, or not.
“Hooper delivers in a rather awesome way. At the very end of the novel, Hooper tells readers that she couldn’t decide where to end the novel, because some readers like cliffhangers, and some don’t, so she does something I found rather remarkable: she lets the reader choose.” ~A BookVacation
Let's give away a signed copy to celebrate the positive reviews!
Winner's choice of a signed paperback of Grasping at Eternity OR Taking Back Forever.
Open internationally. Contest ends Monday!
a Rafflecopter giveaway