“Critics are sentinels in the grand army of letters, stationed at the corners of newspapers and reviews, to challenge every new author.” - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I’ve been meaning to post these reviews of Bedrock for a while now. In the interest of full disclosure, I have been a little hesitant because they’re reviews by my beta readers and to be openly honest and transparent… my beta reviewers are all people who are close to me in some way. That said, because of this I was afraid that they would all say that they loved it –even if they didn’t. Any writer knows this is not what you want when dealing with beta readers and critique. Thankfully, a few of them loved it as it was and made minor suggestions here and there. But even better a few of them challenged me beyond what I expected. I’m going to share a few of the reviews here including one from a blogger who is not particularly close to me. Even though she ultimately decided not to review my book via her blog or give it away to her audience, I loved her email SO much it nearly brought me to tears. Because here’s the thing: God bless bloggers. God bless those willing to take the time to read and/or review my book(s).
I understand that not everyone is going to love what I write. And (for the most part, I am human after all) I’m ok with this. In this business you have to be. I respect that everyone has a right to their opinion and I’m just grateful that they would take the time to read my novel. As an avid reader myself, there have been books that I’ve read that didn’t particularly resonate with me at the time I read them. However, if they’d come at a different time, say six months earlier or six months later, then perhaps it would’ve been a different story. Pun intended. That’s just the nature of being a reader and/or a writer. It’s all subjective.
The other day as I was trying to get some writing done I decided that my house was too lonely and quiet (it’s amazing how with five children you become accustomed and even dependent on the noise) so I flipped on the TV for background noise and an old SATC episode was on. It was Carrie’s book launch party (great timing!) and the premise of the episode was Carrie being reviewed in the NYT and thus was asking “When it comes to life and love, why do we believe our worst reviews?” It must have been fate that I caught this episode (I rarely watch TV these days) because I realized that I was doing exactly that. One nasty review (by a stranger) and I’m upset for an entire day. But give me half a dozen good ones by people I love and suddenly they don’t “weigh” as much?!? Why? Because the people writing them happen to love –or at the very least like me? I called bullshit on that and quick. Which led me to finally get off my rear and share them here.
Check out the awesome email I received by the blogger that made my day. I redacted her name to protect her privacy/because I wasn’t given permission.
I just finished your book – it was a quick read! I have to be honest and say that while it was fun, it was a little “50 Shades” for me. I’m not a fan of that style and have published several rants about 50 Shades so I don’t think I’d be the right person to review or giveaway your book.
I’m sure you’ll be hugely successful with it, and get tons of rave reviews!
SERIOUSLY, SHE COMPARED BEDROCK TO FIFTY SHADES OF GREY! THAT is a GINORMOUS compliment to me and HERE IS WHY!!
“Begged for more!! Eagerly awaited each chapter to arrive in my inbox. Such a great read… Can not wait for book #2!!” – Monica Roberts
“Very steamy! Can’t wait to get to work tomorrow so I can print chapters 10 & 11. I’m ready for the next chapter. What’s taking so long?!?” – Denise
“I was disappointed that there wasn’t a new chapter waiting for me this morning. When I’m done with this I’m probably going to have to pay you to write books just for me.” - Monica Roberts
“Ummm…I just finished reading Bedrock and I felt like the story was just starting. Are you writing book 2 yet?!?! Great book!”- Jordan Pierce
“Started reading Bedrock yesterday…I’m liking it. It’s dark…” - Polly Lockman
Anyhow, bad reviews or good, the book is coming out. It’s written. What’s done is done. It’s either hit or miss. So from here… I just have to keep my head down and do what writers do. Write and improve. Oh and by the way, I heart what Fiona says.
“But I honestly don’t read critics. My dad reads absolutely everything ever written about me. He calls me up to read ecstatic reviews, but I always insist that I can’t hear them. If you give value to the good reviews, you have to give value to the criticism.” - Fiona Apple