Now, I suppose for most of you, in order to answer the question you’ll need to know what a Grapple is. I, myself, was just introduced to this fruit not long ago, and it made me think of my novel.
A Grapple looks like an apple, it smells like an apple and yet, it TASTES like a GRAPE! I know, genius!
But, it can also be compared to novels. Now, bear with me for a moment while I try to explain.
Recently, I’ve been getting feedback on my novel. It’s the best feeling in the world-- to know people are reading it, and not people you personally know. Feedback, reviews and discussions are paramount. But, what if someone picks up your novel, they look at the cover, they read the blurb and then, after having closed your book, realize it’s nothing like they had envisioned.
It happens all the time. Publishers make covers that will catch the attention of the reader. Sometimes based on cover alone, you have no idea what the book is about, that’s where the blurb comes in. Blurbs are designed to further grab the attention of the reader, they are supposed to hook, entice and ultimately give the reader just enough to show them that they NEED to read the book.
These are gimmicks. I know, that’s not a nice word, but that’s what they are. The cover and blurb are only a small snippet about what the novel is actually about. The best 250 words that sum up the entire novel but only giving you the basis. The cover is an attractive picture that may or may not have anything to do with the novel.
And, when this is the case, the novel blurb and cover suggest one thing, and yet your book is that, but also something different, you have a Grapple on your hands.
A Stiff Kiss is a Grapple. The cover and blurb are very much pointing you in the direction of a dark, perhaps even, action filled Paranormal Romance. Remember, each person will form their own opinions based on these two items. They will expect what catches them the most but that doesn’t mean that’s the only thing the novel is centered around.
My novel, ultimately, is a love story, even more so than the cover and blurb let’s on. There are also other plot messages that are twined into the story; forgiveness and understanding, are just two. When it comes to writing novels, several things come in to play, many plot points, characters, settings and so forth.
Having a Grapple is just simply someone thought since it looked like and apple, smelled like an apple, that must mean, without a doubt, it should taste like an apple.
There is nothing wrong with that, it doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong. What it means is, or rather further proves, that reading is subjective. I’m sure you’ve been told this over and over, but, it’s true. And, I don’t think I really understood it until I started reading reviews for A Stiff Kiss. Every person seemed to pin point different things about the book that made them either love it, or not. Or showed that based on the cover and blurb they expected one thing but got another. Some people will love that, they will take the twist your novel has and roll with it, some won’t. You really can’t please everyone. There either is not enough romance, or too much. Maybe there should be more action, adrenaline pumping scenes, when there isn’t.
But, because reading is subjective, remember writing is, too. Don’t try to conform and write what you think people will expect. Write what you love, whether it’s a Grapple, an Apple, or a Pear. Just be true to yourself as an Author and you can’t go wrong.