Thursday, September 17, 2015

Good Reviews, Bad Reviews & No Reviews

Hello everyone.

I hope you have had a blast of this beautiful weather like we have had--Cooler temperatures with a light breeze in the air. It's made yard work so much easier and definitely more enjoyable.

I'm a few days late posting my September blog. Sorry about that.

I got word from a friend of mine today that she went to the library in North Carolina where her son lives (while she was visiting he and his family). She called to say my books are there! Yea!!! Two of the three that have been turned into hard backs. Crime in The Big Easy & Be Not Afraid are in a library in NC, as well as the collection of my books -- Bayou Secrets. That tells me I wasn't dreaming. My books are spreading across America...into bookstores and libraries all across the U.S. God is faithful!

While I'm waiting to hear back on two manuscripts from my publisher, I've been working on the devotional I've told you about before. Another month is being edited and will soon be added to my website. I'm working on the forth month now. I'd love to say I'll be finished with the whole book in a month or two, but I'm writing it a little different than I write my fiction novels. So it will be added month by month until completed. When all 12 months are available, I'll see about it being turned into a book. In the meantime, for free you can download any and all months for your reading pleasure. God is the inspiration of this devotional. It's from the heart and from His Word. So those of you who are interested, go to WEBSITE and click on Devotional page.

I've started gathering material for a young adult fiction novel I've wanted to write. Maybe by the end of this year or the first of 2016, I'll have the new novel ready for my publisher to review. It's to be the first of a YA series. My main character, Lincoln Parks, is a reporter for the High School paper. He has a nose for news while living the life of a teenage boy with all the drama that comes his way. Lately my middle grandson Koby, 13 years old, and I have been hanging out a good bit. He is such a character. The boy in my book is 14, almost 15. When the idea for this novel first came to me my oldest grandson, Scotty, was my inspiration. All grown up now, my attention has turned toward Koby in guidance of my main character's personality and the goings on at schools. Turns out he's applied to be on the school paper this year. How perfect is that? I told him if he makes it onto the school newspaper's team, maybe I'll get to come by sometime and sit in the back of his class. Observe and get the real feel for how things go down making a school newspaper. I reminded him it had been a very long time since Granny had been in school. He made a very 'high tech remark' letting me know exactly how long it had been. That's my boy! So smart! And cute too!

Normally I take time at the end of my blog to share writing tips for my readers who are working to become writers or those who are already writers but still growing their craft. As I've said many times before, I hope I never stop learning. This time, however, I'm going to discuss a topic that all writers may have to face one day. I know I did. I'd like to share that with all of you who are reading my blog.

The subject I plan to address in this blog for my writer readers is also something I hope you book readers will enjoy staying tuned-in for.

TOPIC -- Bad Reviews.

As a reader you should take time to review some of the books you've read if you've enjoyed them. A bad review, well that's up to you, but I do encourage the good reviews to be added. Your favorite author would appreciate it.

I normally get good feed back on my books from a lot of people. In my heart, I always hope they go put those words on a review at some site where my books can be found...all reviews would be awesome, but one is great. Every bookstore's website and on-line bookstores have places to add reviews on books you've purchased from them. Sometimes they help readers looking for a new author to read...pointing the finger in the direction of one of your favorite authors...if you take time to review them.

I received a bad review a few months ago. As far as I know it's the first one and I let it get me down for a little while. I may have more, but I don't go looking. When I read the review, I heard what she was saying. Her review was for After You're Gone. This is a romance about a young woman who had worked hard to make a name for her self in the world of art. And just when her big moment to shine was about to happen, an old friend called needing her help immediately. My heroine, Malila, was torn between staying home in San Francisco and taking care of business, or flying off to New York City to help a friend in a dire situation. It turned out her friend was dying. She has a baby and didn't trust her only living relatives to raise her child. Reasoning for the young mother's decision was explained in the book. Anyway, she felt it necessary to call on an old friend to come to her rescue before her death, trying to make everything right in her mind and heart. The bad review came due to this woman's decision. The one who was reading the book stopped reading it. She couldn't believe anyone would give away her child for any reason.

In real life we know for a fact this happens. My husband and his twin sister were given away by their birth mother. And it happens more today than it did back then. My husband's story is not the same story as mine in After You're Gone, but in real life it does happen. Mother's give up their children for adoption for many reasons.

So immediately, when I read this bad review I thought my book wasn't sending the right message. Because when God placed this idea in my heart, the message was about choices we make as believers. My heroine had to decide between herself and someone else. She chose helping her friend over her own desires. In the end, I'm not going to tell you in case you haven't read it yet, so many things happened to Malila that changed her life, that wouldn't have happened had she not done what God led her to do. He has plans for each of us, but it's the choices we make that keep us on His path or lead us down a road of our own choosing.

I'm sorry for the woman who didn't finish reading my story, but I feel it was her loss. And although she has a right to her opinion and I respect it, I still feel After You're Gone is a wonderful romance with a good message, You just have to give it a chance. Chapter one was supposed to pull the reader in, not push them away. I hope more of you have read it and found it to be a good read or even a great read. Your reviews would be most welcome, should you decide you want others to know what you think of my book.

In the end, I didn't let the one bad review dissuade me and stop me writing more. Like I said before, I have two completed manuscripts for my publisher to consider. So I'm still writing and have plans for more.

Bad reviews come to most authors from what I've been reading. In fact, here is one particular fact I learned about a book's bad review. Check it out:

"It was one of the most boring and shallow books that I have ever read."

That is a bad review. But guess what?! It didn't hurt the book one iota. Just because that person wrote the above review, it didn't stop the book from selling a lot of copies, and it didn't stop the book from being made into a movie. AND oh yeah, it was such a great book and movie that they remade the movie again. Both times I believe the movies were a great success with the audience. I know I loved the book and the movie. The Great Gatsby was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Robert Redford, playing Jay Gatsby in the first film and Leonardo DiCaprio, lead in the second one, had viewers enthralled. The costumes and the characters in the book were as vivid as they were in the movies. F. Scott went on to write more novels. I did a quick count off one site I pulled up. They had 42 novels listed by him. I didn't do a large search to get an exact number. I just wanted you to know that the bad review didn't stop Fitzgerald.

So don't let bad reviews stop you from writing the book that is inside you. Who knows? Maybe you too will have a movie made from your book as well. And you readers who stayed reading my blog to the end, think of some of your favorite books you've read lately and take a few minutes this week and go write a review for that author. He/she will appreciate you.

Have a great fall!

Again, check out my website.

On the Event page I have a few places I will be attending with my books available in case you are interested. Down south it's better to wait for the fall weather. Summers are just too hot!! I hope to see you soon! God bless you all!


  1. My daughter read my blog and posted (via her iPhone, but it didn't take. She did however tell me what she posted. Turns out she looked up the bad review I was talking about--and it wasn't a bad review. We writers are so sensitive. The reader had rated After You're Gone with 3 stars. Not a bad review. It just wasn't a 4 or 5. And the words were not how I originally heard them. Miss sensitivity (me), sorry. Again I appreciated the woman taking time to review my book. Glad she started reading it. Sorry she didn't finish it, but I did understand. She thought the mother was choosing to let an almost stranger raise her child. These two women had not seen each other for ten years, however they had connected via birthday cards and Christmas cards, with occasional phone calls and texts. Not as much as Malila would have liked. But the main thing, the mother knew Malila's environment was more to her liking to have her daughter raised, versus the environment of the mother's brother or father. So all-in-all I understand now more than before. And even though I'd seen it as a bad review for my book, all reviews are important. It helps those of us who are writing know when we don't make things as clear as we should have. Thank you, Molly dear, for opening my eyes. While she was doing this she read another review that made me cry, because my books touch her heart like I believe God has called me to do in my writing and I was so pleased to find that out as well. Take care everyone and God bless you all!!