Blog Archives

Picasso Sucks

“I would never buy his work, and you couldn’t pay me to hang it up on my wall.”

This is what my husband told me after I became seriously heartbroken after another two-star review for my eco-fantasy novel, Water. His point was, my book will not be for everyone, just as Picasso’s work isn’t for everyone. I understand that. Hell – I embrace some of the more critical reviews and have made my novel better because of them.

To give you some perspective, as of today on Goodreads ‘Water’ has an average 3.86 stars out of 77 ratings. Here is the breakdown:

 

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful to have 77 ratings at all. But why am I so obsessed with the fact that I have a below four star average?

Probably because I, myself, hesitate to read anything that has below a four star average.

Why do I spend countless hours gritting my teeth and analyzing the one and two stars and significantly less time celebrating the four and five stars?

Because I am human.

As authors, and especially as indie authors, we can say we have a thick skin all we want. But years and years of work go into one novel, and very often, we have given up so much to make it a reality. So when someone tears our baby apart, basically encouraging others not to give it a chance, it hurts.

But this is the reality of putting your creative work out there. Musicians, actors, and artists all go through the same thing. Under constant criticism, good and bad, how do we find the motivation to continue? Here is what I will try to keep in mind:

  • I can’t stop writing, any more than I could stop breathing. Even if the outlet of self-publishing wasn’t available to me, I would see my series through to the end – and then start on another series.
  • Despite his haters *glares at husband*, Picasso remains the top ranked artist (based on sales of his works at auctions as of 2004 according to the Art Market Trends report).
  • There are plenty of very popular and successful books with sub four star ratings on Goodreads to include Fifty Shades of Grey ,every single book in the Twilight Series, and plenty of Amanda Hocking’s books.

To be clear, I am not comparing my novels with these books – I aim to be better. I will also keep in mind that I don’t play it safe with my novels. I tackle tough issues; rape, violence, relationships that escalate too quickly, suicide, mental disorders, as well as gay characters. If that wasn’t enough, my third book of the series, Fire, which releases this October, opens with a birth scene. Squeamish? You won’t last the first chapter.

So I will take a deep breath, vow to stop starting my day by checking Goodreads, and….well…I will:

Something for Everyone

Although it isn’t my intent to regularly post reviews here, I’ve come across several ‘must shares’ in the past few months.  My list of top three reads so far in 2012 includes something for everyone:

YA Fantasy

Angelfall by Susan Ee

As a self-published author, her book has had amazing success.  With a 4.39 star average on almost 4,000 ratings on Goodreads, this is a must read for anyone who loves YA fantasy, and even for most of those who don’t!  Not usually a fan of YA books, there is a certain element of horror that really spikes up the interest level for me.  Word of caution, this is not for anyone squeamish to blood and gore.  This book has a great concept, great dialogue and character development and is very well written – a page turner for sure. I cannot wait for the sequel!

Click here to see my review on Goodreads.

Favorite Quote from Book: “We now play a permanent game of I-am-crazier-and-scarier-than-you. And in that game, my mother is our secret weapon.”

 

Fantasy with Elemental Magic

The Five Elements by Scott Marlowe 

I originally added this book because of the similarities to my own with elemental magic. I was curious to see another author’s spin on it. And boy, did my head spin. I could barely put the book down. I was immediately sucked into this new world, research on elemental magic completely forgotten.  The writing is sophisticated (not the ‘I did that’ and ‘he did this’ style that seems to be all the rage these days), the twists were amazing, and the pacing, character development, and dialogue were perfect! Scott is another self-published author with great potential.

Click here to see my review on Goodreads.

Excerpt from book (this sets the scene for the final climax): The folk of Norwynne fled from a land gone mad. Leaving behind what possessions remained to them, they abandoned the remnants of hearths and homes to flee into the night with only the clothes on their backs and their children held or dragged behind. They ran screaming and crying and praying beneath a sky turned crimson with blood-red clouds that spewed liquid drops of fire. The earth cracked, and convulsed, jarring some from their feet even as streaks of lightning, a score at a time, turned night into day. Tornadoes swirling with flame touched down everywhere, one coming too close to a fleeing group so that men, women, and children were sucked into the vortex and not see again.

 

Romance/Erotica

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

LOTS of buzz about this traditionally-published series, and the reviews are mixed.  The writing style is simple, shorter sentences but the content is definitely for mature audiences only.  Reading from the viewpoint of the MC, a recent college grad who experiences her first romance and sexual experiences, we witness all the nitty-gritty nuances of sex. And the author did not sugarcoat anything here, making for a very believable experience.  I loved the MC’s internal thoughts, and the e-mail exchanges between her and the protagonist were a riot. I’ve only read the first of a series of three, and will eventually get to the other two, but for now, my libido needs a rest.  (Pretend I’ve inserted a smiley face here – how the heck do you do that on WordPress???)

Click here to see my review on Goodreads.

Favorite Quote from book:

“Why don’t you like to be touched?” Ana whispered, staring up into soft grey eyes.
“Because I’m fifty shades of fucked-up, Anastasia.”

%d bloggers like this: