***Note - My blog has just been added to my Author Central page at Amazon. To acquaint readers there with my work, I'm posting some prior entries. Also, it's the holidays, people. All that peace on earth stuff is stressful and don't get me started on the goodwill part. ****
(Originally posted May 31, 2009)
Drum roll, please! I got an actual customer review on Amazon.
A reader gave a brief review of A Faerie Fated Forever. She gave it 3 out of 5 stars, which ain’t bad. Yeah, 5 out of 5 would’ve been nice but heck, I’m pretty darned new at this whole publication business. Besides, what has me doing cartwheels isn’t the 3 stars. It’s what she said about the book.
The reader titled her review Good Read Overall. She said she started reading and didn’t put it down until the end, but thought there was a bit of over kill when he (Nial) finally decided he was in love. First and foremost, I write to entertain. When I pick up a book by one of my long time faves or by a new writer, I know it’s a success if I have trouble putting it down. If I pick up one and read it straight through – well, that’s a home run. Faerie entertained the reviewer. That puts a big ole smile on my face.
The reviewer also said she thought there was a bit of “over kill” when Nial acknowledged that he’d fallen in love. That comment only proves how smart this reviewer must be. In Faerie as in ALL of my books, I write the love story over the top. There’s a fair amount of tongue in cheek involved in this and it’s certainly not intended to reflect reality. Anyone who has read this blog knows that I want my readers to escape reality. And if you’re going to escape this reality, why not write one that women would like to inhabit?
My heroes are generally pretty spoiled guys. Whether it’s in the contemporaries or the historicals, my heroes are rakes and rogues. They’ve had too much their own way for too long and they’ve devoted a fair amount of energy to pleasure and self indulgence. When love strikes, it hits them hard but they won’t admit it. They’re too stubborn, too certain that this is just another woman in a long train of women. By the time they realize this one means much more, that this one matters, they’ve generally screwed up pretty badly. Then they have to get her back, HAVE TO HAVE HER BACK, can’t live without her. The race to redeem themselves and win her back is frantic and manic and yeah – totally over the top. Over kill is a lot of fun to write and, judging from this review, it can be a lot of fun to read.
There’s also some justice that I believe women would like to see more of in the whole process. Perhaps there’s even an element of Mother Nature’s karma - You’ve had it way too easy, buddy. You want this one? You require this one? You can’t exist without this one? Well good. That’s as it should be. But unlike the rest of your life up to this moment, it won’t be easy. You’ll have to work to get her and you’ll have to struggle to keep her. I can hear Mother Nature in my ear as I write, cheering on the heroine - You Go Girl.
I write over the top. I write “over kill.” I write stories where a great female karma shifts power to the ladies.
So if you want to read a “slice of life” story that reflects the world we live in and work in and struggle to pay the bills in, well, my stories may not be your cup of latte. But if you want to read about a place where men fall head over wonder worm in love, then pick up one of my books. Heck, pick up all of my books.
The Amazon reviewer said she started reading Faerie and did not put it down until the end. So the review essentially said that Faerie was an over the top love story that she couldn’t put down. I like that. I like it very, very much.
Reader reviews and reaction are important to me. Yeah, I’d like to be picked up by a big publishing house and have my books in stores around the globe. Yeah, I’d love to have Shonda Rhimes, Ron Howard, Penny Marshall, Oprah Winfrey or the like call and say - Darling, I must buy the movie rights to your book. One sale of movie rights would buy me a writer’s life. Writing full time is the brass ring so many of us dream of reaching.
Most of us will never get the brass ring and it’s not why we write. We write to intrigue, inform, enlighten or entertain. For all of us, I couldn’t put it down is the ultimate reader’s compliment. It’s why we turn on our computers and type Chapter One. Having this reader say she didn’t put it down until the end means she enjoyed the book. Having her call Nial’s reaction to falling in love “over kill” means she found it over the top.
To me, the review means I succeeded at least once, with one reader. Yeah, 5 out of 5 stars would have been nice. But if I have a choice, I’ll take “did not put it down until the end” over all the stars in the Amazon universe.