Over the last two years I've received a number of reviews for my works on several sites. From Good Reads to Smashwords to Amazon, I've received a fair amount of secondhand feedback. I refer to it as secondhand because the reviews are not meant, specifically, for me. They're meant for other readers to help them make choises in what they want to read. I want to make this distinction because I want all my readers (both literary and of this blog -- so hello, new reader, if you haven't read anything else of mine) to know that I understand the difference.
This brings me to the main thrust of this post; reviews and my response to them. Positive reviews I treasure because, like any human being, I am in part ego-driven. Tell me I did a good job and I'll want to do more for you. Tell me I did a bad job and I'd like to know how so I can fix it and do better the next time. Interestingly enough, as I was writing this post I got a new review for Subject 12. That's exactly the kind of review I like to get. It's not 5-stars and I'm still glad to get it. It doesn't need to be a "perfect" review because the book isn't perfect as-is. First off, there are some glaring editing mistakes in Chapter 7. When I went back to read them the first time after publication I physically cringed at how bad some of them were. I'm going to fix them and I plan on doing it in the upcoming month, hopefully in the next two weeks, but I'm not holding my breath. Back on topic, that review clearly outlined his considered pros and cons, and pointed out how disconcerting it was for the love scene to end so PG (I'm going to kick it up a notch, bam) only to have the next scene open so much more graphically. It also touched on the editing issues. I hope I can win that star back with the corrections I'm going to make, but if I don't I'm not going to complain. In fact, I'm not going to complain about any fully-negative reviews I get, including this one for The Grand Granger.
While I find that aforementioned review confusing in the sense that the blurb and sample should have been enough to tell him that he wasn't going to like the rest of the story, I'm not going to respond to it directly or indirectly any more than I have. There is nothing I can say or do that would reflect positively on me or my writing, and I honestly don't expect everything I write to be appealing to all readers. Furthermore, I refuse to be another Anne Rice and attack people who don't like my books. Aside from my lack of obsession with homosexuality, rape, and sadomasochistic sex in my writing (the lack of vampires, though that may change in the future, should further differentiate me from her), I'm just not a Mac user, that worried about people thinking my work sucks if it's substandard, or a giant in the literary field. I freely admit to being a former fan of hers. Unfortunately, I just could not get through Armand the Vampire -- and I suffered through more than one of her series in my attempts to support and enjoy her writing. Interview With the Vampire will forever be one of my favorite books, so in that sense I'm still a fan.
Whew, sorry, I got up on my soapbox there just a bit. I'll try not to let that happen again.
So, where does that leave me standing? Someone didn't like one of my stories. That's fine. I don't think the reader handled things appropriately by either Amazon (A week is too damn long to allow returns of e-books, guys, seriously.) or the reader (bought, read, refunded, and complained) in question, but it's far from the end of th world or more than a minor annoyance. I'm curious what you the reader feel about both The Grand Granger and the review in question, of course, but other than that I'm pretty much through with the matter.
Keep reading, keep telling friends and family, and keep reviewing! The more word gets out about my writing the more readers I get and that encourages more writing!
Oh, and for all of you that read this far, I want to give you a peek into the story I'm working on right now. I don't have a title for it yet, but I'm having some good ideas. I'm also having some problems because the original story was supposed to be twice as long as Banshee and it's grown into something at least as long as The Grand Granger in what I have planned. Probably longer, if I want to be honest. Anyway, without further ado:
Alaska. A lonely Guildhall, more than an hour away from any civilization besides the small, surrounding village, whiles away the 22-hour summer days. Things are quiet, like they always are. Sedate. Actually, downright boring. Out of the blue, word comes that a new recruit is on the way; a Reagent Protocol recruit. The last one didn't work out so well, considering he died from self-immolation shortly before he went through with his plan to murder a local family. This new one, despite also being a former Confederation member, seems different. Erudite. Educated. A fifth-level Shadow Mage and far too powerful to be stuck so far from anywhere his abilities might be useful, actually. So why was he there and not somewhere his abilities could be of more use? Could be be trusted? What were his plans?Thanks again for reading! Don't hesitate to drop me a line! The spam protection on here requires me to authorize all posts, so I do read them, even if I don't respond. Sometimes I'm just too busy and forget.