I do want to muse a bit on my first novel, Smooth Running. I submitted it to Baen back at the beginning of April. At the time, I hadn't gotten much feedback on it. Most people I shared it with, did not give me any useful feedback. (Thanks for nothing, critters.org) But now I'm in a couple writing groups and corresponding with some active writers, sharing critiques. Since Angel Odyssey is still in the first draft, I haven't been sharing it, I've been sharing chapters from Smooth Running instead. Most of the feedback has been positive. A majority of it, actually. But naturally, it's the one or two people who didn't like it that stick in my head.
Smooth Running is an action adventure scifi/fantasy. It has magic and technology, a male and female lead, and lots of sex and violence. Basically, I wrote what I like to read. However, it's not for everyone. I'm not sure what novel IS for everyone but the sex and violence turn some people off, particularly the sex, strangely. (I won't get into the double standard weirdness of why violence is acceptable but sex isn't but let me just say: I'm aware of it).
Honestly, I'm ok with not everyone loving Smooth Running. I love it and a number of other people love it. That's not to say it couldn't use yet another draft before publication but I think it's professional, marketable and a lot of fun to read. There's something to be said for writing for a wide audience. Angel Odyssey is my first attempt at writing Fantasy but I think it would be enjoyable to a wide variety of readers. Smooth Running is more for people who like sex and violence in a distinctive setting with magic and technology fused together. To abuse the one-sentence pitch: it's Hardwired meets Lord of the Rings. Not everyone is into that. I just need to accept that.