In the comments of my last post J.A. Bennet shared this quote by John Green.
"Books are a weird collaboration between author and reader: You trust me to tell a good story and I trust you to bring it to good life in your mind. I can only hope I held up my end of the bargain."
Thanks for sharing that!
Several commenters also spoke of the balance we need. Authors can be pushed by publishers or editors to make the book more mainstream, to meet deadlines, etc. And it's true. Authors can be under a lot of pressure, even so, we do need to maintain that balance that allows us to stay true to the story. This also comes into play when you get conflicting feedback from beta or crit partners.
The readers that keep coming back are going to be the ones that trust us to do the best we can, even if it's not perfect. They trust us to care about the story as much as they want to care about it. Trust can be a hard commodity to come by in this day and age, but hopefully we'll all be able to find some.