My stories, My Writing Journal, Uncategorized

Shown Love Again at the Dentist’s Office!

Most people dread their dentist appointments but I usually don’t.

However if you read my post about six months ago, two hygienists told my regular hygienist that she had to read Masquerading Our Love.

So today, I went to the office with my nerves tangled in tiny knots.

Not terrible, but noticeable.

My face definitely lit up when my hygienist said she liked it. And it wasn’t the pity, “I liked it” and changes the subject but she asked when the next book was coming out so she can read it. She loved that it was set in South Florida.

Yeah! I wanted to do a Happy Dance, right there and then, but I didn’t.

Instead, I’ve decided to have a $0.99 sale.

You can follow me to stay tune for details.

And as always, try to show love to one another. One small act of kindness can do wonders for a person’s day!

 

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My Writing Journal

Shown Love at the Dentist Office

I’m putting our conversation in quotes but it’s not exactly word for word. Though it’s close.

Today, when I rose from the dentist chair and turned around there were two other hygienists waiting for me. One of them held my book, which I had left for another hygienist months ago.

One of them held Masquerading Our Love in her hands and asked, “Do you recognize this book?”

I nodded. “Yes, I wrote it.”

My mind raced. Writers have so much self-doubt haunting us, that we could be billionaires if we received one cent for every time we believed that our work is terrible. I looked at the two hygienists preparing myself for criticism.

“We read it and we need to know when is the next one coming out?”

“Yeah, what happens to the pregnant girl, Trina?” asked the other one not holding my book.

“Uhm, well I’m writing Carol and Frank’s story and I’m editing Trina and Stuart’s story.” Yikes, I’m still writing Trina’s story and don’t know exactly where it’s going.

“Well, you need to write it because we need to know!”

Are you for real? You really liked my book and are waiting to read it?

We continued talking and a short time later, the second one said, “I read the book in one day. And I love the main character’s boyfriend because he’s so romantic bringing her roses.”

She loves Christopher, Thalía’s boyfriend. I do too because he is pretty romantic and reminds me of my husband, who used to bring me a single rose every time we went on a date.

I asked them to review it and to please be honest. The first one said, that it was slow in the beginning and slightly confusing with all the characters in the first two chapters but once she hit chapter three she needed to find out what happened.

HOOKED! She said she was needed to find out what happened and in my book it means she was hooked!

Since the other two heard I was there they came to talk to me. ME!

The one holding my book gave it to my hygienist and told her to read it because it’s that good. They left and the hygienist who worked on my teeth said that she’s been hearing about this book during their lunch hour and how they’re saying that she needs to read it. She knew it was written by a patient but she didn’t realize it was me. She’s planning to read it tomorrow.

Wow!

I wish you could see the joy on my face right now. It still floors me that they both said that they needed to find out what happened next. The moment my foot hit the pavement outside the office I dialed my husband’s number to let him know.

Those two women showed me so much love that my heart can still bust open from their words and I have a huge grin on my face, hours after being home. I still can’t believe that these women loved my book.

This is so exciting because every author wants readers to like our books and when two people, who are standing in front of you are saying that they loved it, well, yes I call it showing me a whole lot of love.

A special thanks to all the hygienists at Dr. A’s dental practice. I have to return in three weeks for a filling, not so much fun, but hopefully I’ll take a photo with these women and my book.

Now I must be off to work on my books so they can know what happens to my characters!

I’m hoping someone shows you as much love as I’ve been shown today and if you can please do the same.

We all need love!

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My Writing Journal

Harmful Book Reviews and Personal Attacks

On July 28th, 2014, I wrote about negative book reviews. My simple advice to my newly published author friends: use any constructive criticism and ignore the insults from their bad reviews, the hurtful words, which inflicted such emotional pain. One of them abandoned her penname and switched genres.

But almost two years later I’m back on the same topic.

Why?

Why rehash something already covered?

Because it’s important. Because it’s not only about bad book reviews, although this post will focus on them.

No, the issue is not negative reviews; it is how some reviewers write them without caring how it’ll affect the author. It’s about how people treat other people. How we interact with each other. And how reviewers hide behind their screens and feel justified to attack a person or their work.

Authors need reviews; they’re crucial for their publishing careers.

However some reviewers sling insult upon insult as though authors are not human beings, as if they don’t have any feelings. And it is immensely, utterly wrong.

Yes, WRONG! (My editor would kill me for the shouty caps, but I want to shout.) It isn’t showing respect for one another. Don’t you agree?

Many authors read every single review.

They really love the positive ones: where the reader identifies with a character, where the reader cries over a scene, where the book touches them. When readers say that the book changed them, then it’s a home run.

They dislike the negative reviews, however they understand that not everyone will like their books, but the harmful ones, well, they rip a new author apart. It can even dissuade an author from continuing to write. They may never write another word again, even if they may have better books already forming in their heads. Writers will only become great authors by writing. Just pick up the first book of an author you like and see how much they’ve grown, how you love their newest work more than their first.

The lack of sensitivity can wound the soul of any person, but more so for the vulnerable writers who share pieces of themselves in every book they write.

It’s not that a reviewer doesn’t have every right to state that they didn’t like the book and why, but they do not have the right to throw insulting words like they’re confetti at a ticker tape parade.

Because words, my friends, are powerful. They can lift a person up or push them down to the bottom of a dark, slushy pit, which is impossible to climb out of without the help of friends.

Words can build or destroy a person’s self-esteem; they can inspire or dishearten a person.

And authors spend enough time self-doubting themselves, wondering if others will enjoy that one book after slaving thousands of hours, they don’t need any help. Yes, authors spend so many hours plotting, writing, thinking, editing, re-editing, one book. And they probably spend an equal number of hours worrying about whether anyone will like it, they don’t need to read horrible words in a review. They’ve already beaten themselves up enough.

These books become their babies and when someone bashes one or them, well it creates deep rips in the authors’ hearts. When a reviewer lashes out against a book, the author’s pain is like the one a parent feels when their child is bullied.

It’d be fantastic if book reviewers remembered to focus on the book, because behind books are authors, who just exposed a part of themselves to the world. Everyone is vulnerable to negative words, especially new authors without a fan base encouraging them to continue.

A negative review won’t harm the author, if the reviewer states that the book wasn’t for them or they couldn’t connect with the main character or even that they didn’t like any of the characters. It might saddened authors that someone didn’t like their baby, but it’s much better than calling a book dumb, stating that it’s the worst book ever written, that the characters are idiots, stupid, or that the author should never write another book.

Do reviewers realize how their words affect authors?

Most likely not.

But since honest reviews are necessary for a book’s success, reviewers can use kinder, gentler words when expressing why they disliked the book. And perhaps reviewers should mention one redeeming feature, even if it’s that they loved the cover the author chose; it may just help an author not to fall apart or worse quit.

And if you’re sending a text or an email, please stop and think if your words will be hurtful or uplifting. Show your love to others by using intentional words to inspire greatness, to motivate them, even when pointing out negative issues.

Let’s love one another… always!


 

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