I had to step away from writing for a couple of weeks because of the day job and am just now shaking off some stress and a few very late nights. The air is pretty sweet now that my head is above water, and I’m looking forward to getting my groove back on. Feeling things out, I hopped onto the Amazon pages for my fantasy novels Angst and Buried in Angst. I was excited to see several new reviews, all 4 and 5 stars. It’s enough to keep a writer writing.
The story was different on Goodreads, however. I received a 1 star review from a nice woman who just couldn’t get into my book. I also found Angst is on a book list of Terrible Books!!! (I’ll get to that in a minute.) I have to admit, after these last few weeks the 1 star was a kick when I didn’t need it.
I know, I know… “just let it roll off”, “ignore the reviews”, “look at the people who do like your books”. In response, I first wrote a blog post that was a rant that my 2 years of hard work was worth more than 1 star. My 2nd unpublished post was all the snarky comments I’ve ever wanted to leave to negative reviewers (some are actually kinda funny). My 3rd post was about how reviews should require you finish the book. Then I calmed myself.
The thing is, the lady who posted that review actually messaged me on Twitter, and she was really nice! This wasn’t the bitter comic book store guy from up the street who put me on the Terrible Book list…she genuinely tried to read my book and just couldn’t get into it. So after fighting back my ego with some vodka and turning down my rant-dial to 2 (there is no 1 or 0), I tried to figure out what I could learn from this.
A click later and I find my 1 star reviewer is a huge fan of vampire romance novels. Twilight urban fantasy type books filled with guys better looking than Angst and characters with lots of, well, angst. I’ve never read one of these; I’m sure they are very entertaining for their audience, and that’s exactly what this is all about.
I admire Stephenie Meyer a lot. She has entertained millions with her books and more with the movies based on her novels. I actually saw Twilight in the theater opening weekend (it was a sneak attack by my wife, I didn’t have a clue) and being one of four men in the theater (all with bags over our heads) and twice the age of the average audience member – I knew this wasn’t going to be for me. Between my groans of pain and the noisy squeals of delight for Robert Pattinson, I honestly thought that Stephenie was a genius. Not only has Miss Meyer found her audience, she has given them exactly what they want. What more could a writer ask for?
So, I have to thank the nice Twitter lady who gave Angst a try even though it wasn’t really her thing. I also need to redouble my efforts on seeking out my audience and not someone else’s so I can continue giving them what they want.
Oh, and as for that Terrible Books list on Goodreads. My lovely wife pointed out that I’m in very good company. ;)