Just in the Nick of Time

The life of a writer can be summed up in a simple sentence; if the reader likes your work, you’ll be fine.  What are some of the issues confronting an author besides slow sales?  The first one on my list is discovering whether or not I’m wasting time and money writing. Validation comes in many forms. The  friends and family who have take the time to read my books generally like them.  Some love them.  A few are upset at the themes; not everyone likes to see women being portrayed as weak doormats, but they do exist.  Also, some of the ideas are difficult to comprehend. Child sexual abuse is devastating and often becomes the identity of the abused. But it too, exists.

My last book to be published, Dream Lover, was called by a reviewer on Kirkus a “gritty, realistic portrait of the aftermath of deceit.”  When I read the review I thought, finally, someone who is not my friend who understands what these books are about. Jack is a character in a Greek fable with an unhappy ending. There isn’t much that is warm and fuzzy about my writing.

For all the lovely reviews the books have gotten, Amazon has picked a negative one to highlight. Why is that? Am I on Amazon’s !@#$%^&* list? There is a discussion taking place on several different groups, including the Indie Author Group on LinkedIn and also Createspace author’s forum regarding the value of reviews.  One person accused another of writing a bogus but horrible review of the author’s work because they were disagreeing with each other in the forum.  I quickly deleted my membership from that group! It brings me back to the negative review; the reviewer started out by saying I could write.  She hated the characters and situations, however…she just didn’t like my book.  I get it! It’s okay. I don’t think she is going to prevent me from getting any sales.  However, her review is right there, first place, for all the world to see.

I went to buy a new book today, Snow Escape by Roberta Goodman, a new friend on Book Blogs. I can’t wait to read it!  But while I was there, I just had to mosey over to my books to see if there were any new reviews.  Yes, there was one. My heart started pounding, I was really frightened that yet another reader was going to be offended by Jack and his antics.  Instead, this is what Deb said about Pam of Babylon.

I won the second book in the series from a giveaway, so the Author generously gave me the kindle edition of this book to read so I would be up to date. Thank you Suzanne Jenkins!! She is now one of my favorite authors, this book was so wonderful! It had me angry, sad, and then happy. Just what a good book does for you, it was a wonderful escape to another world. The lives of these women, so effected by this one man. The characters were so clear and detailed, the world around them was described so beautifully that I wanted to live at the beach with Pam myself. I am so excited to start the second book today! There are also parts of this book that were so surprising and gritty and touched me personally. This book had twists and turns that kept coming at you, keeping your attention and making it so hard to pit it down. It was unexpected, and great. I may have to re-read it to make sure I got it all! It’s that good to me.

Well, suffice it to say I called my husband in to read it with me and I had a good cry with him.  I keep thinking about how this young woman’s words affected me, and it brought be back around to Karma.  How much power we have over each other!  People tell us not to take negativity personally, but how can you not?

Deb’s kindness regarding the review of my book lit a fire under me to once again to try harder to be kinder, act nicer, treat people more gently, and think of the good more often.  Thank you Deb!

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