Critics can be tough. Particularly when it comes to friends and family. That’s why I don’t ask people if they’ve read my books. If they like it, they will tell me. If they didn’t, I know they will avoid the topic. So, why make us both feel uncomfortable, right? I’ve learned this lesson the hard way.
My mom didn’t like one of my books. She thought there was too much cursing (as in there was any cursing). She didn’t give me any feedback on the plot, characters, etc. Just the language. For a moment, I thought she was going to ground me or wash my mouth out with soap. I didn’t send her the sequel.
In case you’re wondering I’ve never gone overboard with the cursing. In fact, my first novel (Trolley Dodgers) had none. That’s because when I was writing it my friend said their twelve-year-old couldn’t wait to read it. And, someone (as a dare) said I couldn’t write something funny with no cursing. I think I won the dare (it was funny to me), but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
I also had someone tell me that my main character slept around too much in the first Quick novel (The Fungo Society). That same person told me that they thought the same thing after reading the second Quick novel (Tangled in the Web). I told them to read it again, Quick didn’t sleep with anybody in that book. Sometimes an impression sticks.
Some authors get really offended by a bad review. You have to have a thick skin when you create music, art, literature, or whatever it is that I do when I crash nouns into verbs. From your spouse to people you went to high school with, not everything you do will be a hit.
That being said, reviews are a big help. If you’ve read any of my books and can leave a review on Amazon, I would really appreciate it. It doesn’t have event have to be a long written review. You can simply give it the number of stars you think it deserves. Or, write something funny like, “All the t’s were crossed” or “He uses too many vowels.” And if you think I need my mouth washed out with soap, I’ll give you my mom’s phone number.
Carry on, Citizens!