“Strength” wasn’t a bestseller, but I’m (finally) okay with that – it was a big hit with my fans, and the series is making me new ones, and I was overjoyed to hear that I’d done what most mainstream thriller writers can’t or won’t do: take a complicated technical subject, and make it interesting and understandable to a popular audience, without dumbing it down.
Sometimes authors are so in thrall to technobabble that only other technobabblers comprehend or are interested in the bulk of their narrative. Tom Clancy “gun porn” books come to mind, with their endless alphanumeric catalogs of weaponry, or Neal Stephenson’s latest book, which requires lots of skimming if you’re not interested in parabolic equations or whatforth.
Other times authors don’t do it because…they won’t. They’re just “makin’ shit up.” They’re either lazy (See my incoherent rage here over the latest Dragon Tattoo book, wherein the author could have taken his trillion dollar advance and at least paid someone else to do the research for him) or they think the audience “can’t handle the truth” and they skim around anything that requires even a modicum of thinkin’.
The overwhelming reaction to “Strength” was that people “got” Bitcoin and the basics of crypto from reading it – that they learned something, but didn’t feel hit over the head with it, and that what they learned drove the plot forward, and made it more interesting. What more can you ask for than a review that says, “The two books in this series deserve a wider reach than just the m/m romance category. They are top drawer thrillers and I long for more of the same from Mr. Vance.”
So…onward and upward. Someday my bestselling prince will come! Now it’s back to the salt mines of research for On My Honor…