If you read through the comments on the blog contest I ran last weekend, you might have noticed that readers' tastes in ice cream vary widely. Some people love Rocky Road- even consider it amongst their favorites- while others count it in the 'bleuch' category. And it's not just Rocky Road that has people on opposite sides of the fence. There are very few flavors repeated, either as a like or dislike, which got me to thinking:
Ice cream flavors are like books.
Say what? Hear me out. Readers listed their favorite flavors of ice cream and their least favorites, and no two posts were the same. I imagine that if I ran a similar contest and asked people to list the best and worst books they'd read, we'd have comparable results.
Different strokes for different folks, right?
What's great about this is that we have an abundance of ice cream flavors and a whole bookstore full of tomes that range from the highly literary to the downright fun. What's bad about this is that publishers (and, I imagine, ice cream manufacturers) are looking for products that will appeal to the crowd because the more they sell, the more money that they make.
So while they are looking for the next cookies and cream blockbuster, maybe I am busy at work perfecting my pumpkin ice cream novel. I am going to do my level best to make sure it's the richest, smoothest, creamiest dang pumpkin ice cream that ever graced a cone, but no matter what I do, it's still pumpkin ice cream. If you like pumpkin ice cream, you will love the book I'm dishing out. If you don't, then maybe you won't. That doesn't mean that there isn't room for my unique flavor, or that there won't be people who list it among their favorites. It just means that everyone is different.
Maybe the pumpkin craze will be sweeping the nation and my book will come out at just the right time. Or maybe red velvet cake will be 'in' and pumpkin will be so 'out' that no one reads it at all.
That's not up to me. My only concern is putting everything I have into making the best pumpkin ice cream I can so that when it touches your tongue, it has the greatest chance of finding a lifelong fan.
To that end, I've been burning countless brain cells editing my manuscript. Someday you may be curled up on the couch with your toes painted, holding a bowl of your favorite ice cream and my novel in your hands. If I've done my job right and the fates align, when you reach the end, you'll tell a friend, "You have got to try this. It is fantastic!" And that is the sweetest ending ever.