I’m not all that surprised the stories don’t sell well. There’s no real romance, no long lingering looks, no tender caresses. It’s not a typical romance.
But it’s almost there. I’ve had people offer to put these elements into the series. Give it a sizzle so that it sells, but that’s not the point of them.
It’s also not a typical mystery story. There’s a touch of mystery. But the crime is just the focal point to move the stories along.
The point of the stories is family; the good, the bad, and the comical. Because the one thing Tolstoy and I agree about is that every family is dysfunctional in its own unique way.
I have always despised the picture of the happy, normal family. What makes me happy and what I consider normal is very different from the next person’s. Each of us has blood family and we have chosen family. We just accept these people no matter how insane they are.
That’s the point of The Dysfunctional Chronicles.
Consider your first “real” friends. Were they cousins? A sister or brother? Your mom’s best friend’s child? Or maybe your dad’s best friend’s child? Chances are good that they were, because as children, these are the only “other” children we get introduced to… Even the days of daycare.
Now, think about your relationship with your mother, your father, your siblings. What are they like? Do you love them but not necessarily always like them? Do you occasionally wonder how they tie their shoes or how you managed to grow up to be so normal? Chances are good, you’ve had those moments.
The three girls are the basis for the blood family. The three guys are the basis for the chosen family. Ivan, Melina, Telisa, cousin Katya, these are characters that we love, hate, wonder how they tie their shoes in the morning… On the surface, they seem normal, but when you start spending some time with them, you realize that they are a lot of things and normal probably isn’t one of them.
That’s why they only get stories when something “big” is about to happen… A wedding, a baby, a honeymoon, some situation that throws the entire universe out of whack for at least a few moments for a family. These are the moments that test our bonds.
I’m not at all disappointed in how the series sells. Most people try too hard to pigeon hole a genre for a book and they miss the point. It’s why symbolism from classics is not appreciated by the majority of modern readers. I find those that do love The Dysfunctional Chronicles at some level identify the significance of symbology.
They are more than a love story. They are more than a crime story. They are more than a mystery. They are more than a humorous tale. Unfortunately, most people who write about family do it in a dramatic way. That’s the point of drama. I don’t. I look at the comedy of family.
For instance, I spent a lot of years being blamed for the behavior of one of my cousins. When I would babysit, he would steal packs of cigarettes from my aunt and uncle. I could have argued it, but I wouldn’t have been believed, after all, I was older than him and I smoked. What they failed to realize was that I hated menthol cigarettes, which is what they smoked, and their kid wasn’t stealing them to smoke them, he was trading them for things at school. I found it entertaining because it was either be amused or strangle someone over it and I don’t think I’d do very well in jail or prison.
All too often, we only think about our families in serious ways. It’s why dramatic family stories sell so well. But my family reminds me daily that there is a lot of humor in being family. Oh the stories I could tell about my cousins… They make me smile just thinking about them.
And that is one trait that I honestly share with Nadine Daniels. I don’t always like every member of my family, they can make me crazy in ways that no one else can. But at the end of the day, they are my family.