My new book, Meet Cute, is now available for kindle. (The print version should be ready in a few days and it will eventually be released for other ereaders.) This book is a collection of 5 sweet romances. There is also a 6th story called “Where’s the Love” that is a bit of a stunt. I posted the story as a discussion on the Amazon sales page for Meet Cute.
My original idea was to include a story about a couple who met on a forum. I wanted to write it as actual posts, something like a modern epistolary. But I knew right away that formatting would be a challenge. Anything I included, like lines or time stamps, to separate the posts would need to be as unobtrusive as possible. I feared that getting something like that to line up properly on various ereaders might be an insurmountable challenge, at least for me.
My husband suggested I post the story directly on an Amazon forum. I had to think about that for a while, and do a little research. I haven’t found anything in Amazon’s terms of service that says I’d be breaking the rules by creating accounts as fictional characters. Amazon (and my own value system) prohibits anything that could be considered fraud. I think I’ve been very clear that I am behind the character accounts. I worked a mention of sock puppets into the story to establish that I know what that is and that that’s not what I was trying to do and I had the characters mention checking out each other’s profiles. That was also deliberate. I hoped it would encourage readers to check the profiles. If anyone missed the part in the book’s description that says the discussion is a work of fiction, each profile says, “I am a fictional character” in some form.
It’s simply a free story, and it was kind of fun.
Once I planned to use a few Amazon accounts, I decided to use my existing account to make myself a character in the story. I’m sure it will be the only time I use a real person in fiction. I’m not worried about getting sued by me. The only problem was that I knew myself a little too well. The real me would not have joined that discussion. That made putting words in my mouth sort of tricky.
I should clarify that writing the story was fun. Running back and forth between computers while trying to keep the characters straight was kind of stressful. For me. My family thought that part was highly amusing.
I think the story turned out pretty cute and I hope anyone who finds it at least appreciates my attempt to do something a little different. I also hope it might provide an extra space for readers to leave feedback. I love feedback. Not enough people write reviews. Anyone can post a quick comment at the end of the story without having to assign stars or add a lot of detail. Please… if you read the story, consider letting me know what you thought. I’ll even take criticism. I had my own characters making fun of me. I can take it.
One more point while we’re on the subject of free stories. Each of the 5 stories in Meet Cute will be offered individually and those will be free for a limited time. Insiders (which means people who have read this post) will know to check Amazon on the 16th of each of the next five months to collect all the stories for free.