Response to scathing review

As I have mentioned before, I generally don’t read my reviews and have very little idea how people react to my work unless they email me directly. However, the content of a particular review was forwarded to me, and I do feel the need to comment on it. I guess there is someone out there who found “The Sjöfn Academy” so objectionable, they referred to it as “child porn.”

Now that is a pretty serious accusation, so one I have to address directly. I was deliberately vague on the “Age of Consent” in this book for a number of reasons. First off, neither of the two races (the Ha’kan and Tavinter) in this book are human. They are longer lived and have different rates of maturity and development. In my mind, these characters are physically in the 18-22 year-old range, and the Academy is similar to a college. If you want to get very literal about it, based on the timeline of the first book, Skye is about 20 years old when she enters the Academy. But again, I was vague so people are free to have their own interpretations.

Some of the inspiration for this book was personal, when I thought back to a time in my life (again, college and early 20’s) when women who were even a year or two older than me seemed so much more mature and experienced, and that gap of even a year or two seemed a lifetime. So some of the language used is expressive of that perceived gap, and not necessarily a reflection of an actual age gap.

To put it all together, one of the fascinating things about books, far more so than any other medium, is that what a person takes out of them depends a great deal on what they took in with them. In other words, a reader will interpret my work based on their own thoughts, memories, beliefs, culture, and experiences.

So really, if you somehow thought “The Sjöfn Academy” was about children? Um, that’s on you…

5 thoughts on “Response to scathing review”

  1. Hi Samantha,I have recently stumbled upon your books trawling through Amazon and think they are great. It seems strange that someone is so bothered by age of consent but are happy to read endless scenes with multiple partners etc. Don’t buy the books – that’s obvious isn’t it?
    However, you can rest assured I will buy them. I have read Dragons Lover and the Academy – and I can only say looking forward to reading the third which I have just downloaded.
    Cheers Sue Andrews

  2. I personally loved all three books and (not so) patiently await the next book. Your writing is very captivating, I could not put them down. Thank you for being so awesome! I never at any time thought of your books as porn or inappropriate, I hope you don’t change a thing in your writing style. You are now one of my favorite authors and I will constantly look for your work.

  3. Thanks for your support! And Sue, you paralleled my thoughts exactly. If someone found this book “so offensive,” it’s difficult to understand why they then continued to read all 100,000 words of it, cover-to-cover, then felt the need to comment on it in excruciating detail. It takes all kinds…

  4. Cheryl Tembrock

    Hi Samantha, let me first say that all three of your books are absolutely fantastic. They are highly engaging and wonderfully descriptive, people, places, things…etc. As for the review that person left, I tried to think where in your book that person could have thought that it was akin to child porn. I couldn’t find the references because it was clear that these characters were all over 21. Even by todays standards of “adult” being 18 you clearly were over that standard. I am sorry you felt you had to respond to that A..hole’s comment and I hope that you now realize that 99% of your other readers think you Rock! Please don’t let this one comment alter you writing, I for one would be heartbroken.

  5. Don’t worry–I won’t alter a thing! Thank you so much for the praise. And I’m hoping to have the next book, “The Rival’s Concord,” out in an August/September time frame.

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