I keep promising myself (a losing battle) I will stop reading my reviews. Most are good (if not excellent) for Stuck in Between, but if I take to heart what reviewers say, I would live in a constant state of ambiguity.
I am stunned when a reviewer chooses my book, with a cover of a naked woman sandwich between two mostly naked men, and then is aghast that within the storyline there is ménage à trois. Someone even said it made her blush. Why, oh why are you reading erotica in the first place? Carefully put the book down and move over to the romance section.
If I sound like I’m ranting, I am, and mostly at myself for reading the reviews in the first place.
If you know me, then you know my favorite part of being an author is connecting with my readers so this isn’t a slam against them. I love you! It is me trying to sort through all the differing opinions. “Is it that way for everyone?” I ask myself, but then I know it’s not so for my husband’s novel, Geared to the Present. I haven’t read one disunited view.
I’m never going to write cookie cutter erotica or romance. It’s not my style. I want people to say, “I’ve never read another story like it.” And luckily, most people do say that. Also, I refused to make every character perfect and likeable. Not only is that not real life but it’s not interesting either—at least not to me. I like my characters to be intriguing and flaw with a past that still needs to be sorted through.
If you think I’m going on about nothing, I’d like to present a few examples and I will paraphrase:
- You use too many terms to say cock. Stick to one. VS Your word choices for cock are redundant. Find more words.
- Your sex scenes were smoking hot and each one was completely different (most reviewers, thankfully, agree with this one) VS Sex scenes were redundant and I expected them to be hotter.
- Someone actually had the gall to say Red shouldn’t have suggested the arrangement he did. THAT’S the story. Feel free to write your own.
- Many, if not most, couldn’t put the book down, even those that thought the story was “just okay”.
I promise to get off my high horse in a minute but I have to say this and get it all out of my system: If you can’t put a book down, read it in one day (350 pages), and plan to read more in the series, it is not a 3, 2 or 1 star book. It’s not. I’m sorry and you can’t convince me otherwise.
Okay, girl, take a breath and be done with this. Stepping down. I think you can all see why it would be much healthier for me to stop reading my reviews, and how it’s really like a bad addiction. As my friend Tami said, “It’s like that crash where you know you should look away but watch anyway.
I just need to get next to the fact that my stories provoke strong emotions from my readers.
I’ve come to realize that sometimes, not often but sometimes, I don’t feel appreciated for the hard work I do. I’m working on writing my stories and letting the chips fall where they may.
Just like my characters, I’m a work in process. I’ll get there eventually.