My head’s growing bigger by the minute. Someone’s coined a new word, using my name. Oh, boy, oh, boy—I’m gonna use it every chance I get.
Yesterday the Infuze Magazine reviewer wrote me to report that her review of Violet Dawn had been posted. (She happens to be a regular BG.) Nice review. She had good things to say, and most importantly, didn’t give away too much of the plot (my biggest pet peeve regarding reviews, as you know). At the end of the review, she says this:
There were a few times when I was slightly distracted by what I affectionately call "Brandilisms," being Collins' penchant for using imaginative verbs and metaphors, but these have also become a familiar trademark many fans will enjoy.
My familiar trademark--a Brandilism. That’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I'm usin' it!
Here’s the interesting thing about Brandilisms. They are probably the most controversial element of my writing. Well, maybe they’re one of two most controversial. The other controversy is whether or not my books are scary. And you know how divided people are on that one. (Those BHCC—Big Honkin’ Chickens’ Club--folks are such weenies.)
But the Brandilisms—this is not the first review I’ve seen include this kind of remark. One of my own sisters has sniffed that I overdo it on the metaphors. (Well, funny, though, she did say that on Violet Dawn I didn’t, so go figure.) Yet in so many letters and in so many other reviews, the use of metaphorical language and description is one of the very things people praise in my writing.
Sigh. Ya just can’t please everybody.
So there you have it. From now on as you read my books, get out your pens and mark the Brandilisms. Is this one good? Is that one over the top? (I know the reviewer used the term in more of a negative sense, but I’m thinking to expand its meaning a little.) A dozen different people will have a dozen different opinions. And how ’bout those other authors out there? Are they using Brandilisms? If they are, they’d better do ’em up right.
Speaking of the other controversy—the scary one. I received this letter last week. As always, I’m using it with permission. The writer started out with this line: This is a love/hate letter. Oh, sheesh, I thought. Here it comes. Well, here’s the rest.
You bad girl! You kept an old lady up half the night with her white roots standing on end.
They told me your books were scary. Hey, I like a good scare. I mean I cut my teeth on "Weird" and "The Twilight Zone." So I bought every book on the table with your name on the cover. Read Eyes of Elisha and thought: good book, but I can handle this. Those weenies who gushed, "Don't read it alone!" were just amateurs. Not true fright-aficionados like this tough old bird.
Then I started Brink of Death and sniffed, There's nothing scary about this book. Incredibly well-written, yes. Intelligent and sophisticated crime drama, yes. But not scary. What were those ladies thinking?
Then I came to the end.
Brandilyn, I'm so impressed! I bow to your abilities!! You had my heart rammed so far up my throat I could taste it. I honestly got scared they'd find me this morning stone dead from fright. I thought to put it down because I don't think that much adrenaline is good for my aged heart, but I couldn't.
How on earth do you do that? Honey, you rank up there with the very best. Your stuff is brilliant. You're truly gifted. Add me to your fan base. I'm hooked.
Only trouble is, now I'm scared to read the rest ...
Man, if that’s a love/hate letter, I can handle more of that kinda hate.
Excuse me now, I must get back to my wip. I have some Brandilisms to write.