I’ve said before that I actually hate Tortured Dreams. I’m not sure how much I’ve grown as a writer since I first put the words for it on the screen, if any, but the series changed significantly by book 2. Unfortunately, by then, Tortured Dreams was already in audiobook format and there was nothing I could do about it.
Let me explain why I hate Tortured Dreams:
- What I wrote is not what I intended to write. It turned into a strange piece of cerebral thriller, but that had not been my intent. I had planned it to be an old fashioned mystery. Except, I’m not sure I’m a competent old fashioned mystery writer. Whodunits are only sort of my thing. I like books and movies with that plot line, but I’m not sure about writing one. I prefer to write a little darker, a little gorier, and a little more unmysterious.
- It needed killer chapters, like the rest of the series.
- It needed less Aislinn lecturing.
- It needed more interaction between her and Alejandro.
- It needed more internal thoughts.
- There are a few minor things that also make me hate it (like Eric’s name is wrong!!!! No clue how I screwed that up. Although, it has recently been brought to my attention that he’s not the only character whose name is wrong in one book or another, but at least I can fix those books – I need to redo my series bible, but I’m lazy and that’s a lot of work – for example, I can’t remember her nephew’s name or her mother’s which is giving me problems in Innocent Dreams).
Also, there’s a lot of controversy regarding certain aspects of it. Recently, I was bashed for the extremely large brazen bulls that exist in the book and someone very curtly explained why it would never work, but they said absolutely nothing about the iron maidens, which is weird, because we have evidence of the brazen bull being used and even being created in massive sizes to make it worse (oh, the stories that could be told there), yet we don’t have any evidence that iron maidens were ever used. As a matter of fact, we’ve only found a handful of them and none are old enough to have existed in the middle ages. Something as large as a maiden should still exist if it was really used as a torture device in the middle ages. I also get notes about the cult killings and how unrealistic that is. The stolen identity is a problem for others. And oh how it needs killer chapters and less know-it-all Aislinn…
I have considered rewriting it, releasing a revised edition, and leaving the original that I can’t change, in tact. But I’m not sure how that works.
However, to date, 50,000 or so readers disagree with me. They went on and grabbed Elysium Dreams. A few have suggested a prequel to Tortured Dreams that outlines Aislinn’s encounter with the serial killer that starts the book and brings the US Marshals to her door. I’m not a huge fan of prequels, but it is another thing to consider, since I don’t like the final product Tortured turned out to be.
For now, Aislinn Cain readers and I will have to agree to disagree on Tortured Dreams. Of course, it does only have 2 weird reviews: one who thought it had a predictable love interest and one who said it wasn’t horror, it was YA mystery (please don’t give this to your young adult without realizing that it has a lot of blood and guts in it, the D&R series is the only one I write that I would suggest screening before handing it to a teenager).
*Writers: there’s a cautionary tale in there. You can make all the changes in the world until it becomes an audiobook and then you get stuck. It isn’t something to be taken lightly, it’s hard to hate a book you’ve written and know you can’t do anything about it.