I missed Writerly Wednesday this week because I was writing, LOL. GO figure. Today’s advice is to write your book when you face less writing time instead of doing a blog post – LOL!
I can announce that I sold my urban fantasy romance set in Las Vegas – Goddess With a Blade to Carina Press! I’m quite excited about this and right now it looks like the book will release in the fall. More about the book in weeks to come!
Writing wise – here’s a quickie – Like most people with a twitter account, I heard of the debacle at Amazon regarding an author arguing over reviews. And later the inevitable fallout to this author’s career and reputation.
1. As an author, a different set of rules apply to me than to readers. If authors can’t understand this, they’re not helping themselves. It’s the way things are. Deal with it.
2. Not all people who negatively review a book are mean and small – the overwhelming majority are not. They just didn’t enjoy the book. This is what happens sometimes and it’s also something you need to deal with and prepare yourself for.
3. Bad reviews happen. Rinse, repeat. Bad reviews happen and while I am NOT of the “thank you for being a twat” camp when I get a nasty, bitchy review – there’s no damned harm at all in thanking someone who writes a review of your book (reviews take a lot of time when done well – positive and negative).
4. That also does not mean I’m going to reply when I get nastygrams, bitchy comments or passive aggressive claptrap pretending to be career advice from people who are aspiring writers.
5. Do I think sometimes there are people, including some of the people in that thread, who write lazy, mean spirited reviews because they are small, dark hearted people? Yes. Yes I do.
6. The next comment I have is – so what? Really, I’m here at my computer writing books. This is a cool job and plenty of people do like my books and even those who don’t are quite able to express themselves without being small, dark hearted assholes who have nothing better to do than whine about whatever they whine about. Shrug. I don’t care. I hope it makes them feel a little less bitter, but rarely does being bitter make you feel less so.
7. You will be tempted to argue a point with someone, probably several times a month. They’ll read and see the plot as something totally counter to what you wrote. They’ll characterize something in a scene in the most offensive terms possible and this is your book so of course you’ll want to say, “hey, that’s not true, the first time Susie went on a date with Elmer was six months after she’d broken off with Wally.” Or whatever.
10. Perception is king. So whether you meant for it to come off that Susie was a terrible slut for going out with Elmer so soon or not, someone perceived it that way. Even if 96% of the readers didn’t see it that way, someone did. That usually just means the person didn’t click with you or what you wrote and you move on. Heaven knows I’ve read books other people have loved and I was like, “oh my god are you kidding? He was such an ass!”
11. Please don’t respond with any of the following: 1. XYZ Reviews gave it five sparkly care bears! 2. Plenty of people think this book is awesome so neener neener! 3. I’m laughing all the way to the bank. 4. You’re just not ready for how edgy I am. Or any combination of the above. If you MUST interject in a discussion, keep it civil and to the point. “A quick note, Katrina hit New Orleans two years after I wrote the book so that’s why I didn’t mention it. Later books do have the city in the aftermath. Thanks for reading!” or whatever.
12. Sometimes you need to open up wordpad and write out your response. Get it all out there. And get up from your computer for a little while. When you return, delete the document and get back to work.
Unlike some people, I do feel bad to see any author poop all over their career and set it on fire for some reason I can’t see. Maybe she has a reason and I can’t understand it. I don’t know and I’m sure she doesn’t care. It’s none of my business in a personal sense, but it is a powerful object lesson to have a publisher speak in response referring to you in the past tense.
Even just typing that last bit makes my stomach hurt. There are reasons to speak out and each one of us has to figure out where those lines are. But there is a powerful cost to some behavior and before you hit enter, I’d encourage you to think and delete rather than hit return.