As I was just telling Naoto, it’s fairly easy to shrug off critiques of Tiger Lily that say stuff like “she’s got medieval Japan wrong– Shinto and Buddhism coexisted peacefully” (that’s why I put the “I changed major parts of history” disclaimer in the book) and also the critiques that just say vague stuff like “I didn’t get it”.
But today I read a critique from someone obviously engaged in the book at a deep level– and who had legitimate complaints about the way that I ended Tiger Lily without really dealing with the implications of Ashikaga’s big old secret.
I wish I could write to that reviewer, because I completely appreciate her comments and definitely will take them into consideration as I write Tiger Lily 2: The Straw Doll Cries at Midnight. It’s frustrating to see exactly where her complaints arise from in the weaknesses of my writing.
But I also find myself being way too defensive. “But I wanted to write about how Japanese society allowed for gender-construction completely based on outward presentation and roles a la Onnagata from Noh theater” and “But there wasn’t room in the first book to get into the implications of Lily and Ashikaga getting together.”
So I’ll just say it here on my own journal to get it out of my system instead of acting all unprofessional and posting comments on that review.
But once Tiger Lily 2 is out, I’ll probably track that reviewer down and offer her a free copy of Straw Doll….