Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pouring salt on the wound

I'm usually that person who walks into a room smiling. If I have a personal issue, I'm not one to cry about it to my co-workers or friends. Perhaps it's that quality that makes me a determined writer. Perhaps I'm out to prove to the world that I am a capable of transporting a reader to another time and place. It is my love for the genre that gets me up at 3:00 am to spend time with my characters.

Furthermore, when I get emails from readers telling me how much they loved my books, I get that little tingle of accomplishment. In fact, just yesterday I received this comment from a reader "I am a big fan of character development, and this book has some of the most well developed characters that I have even seen"

But there will always be "those" people who just didn't care for my characters and ideas.

OK...I admit it, I could get a 100 emails telling me how great my work is, but it's that one horrid reader who uses a handful of "ugly" words that kicks you so hard, she steals a little of that determination. She makes you think, hmmm...maybe I do suck.

Unfortunately, this reader didn't send me the email. She posted her opinion on Amazon. Dang!

I'll give you the play by play of what a review like this does to a writer, or at least what it did to me...

"This book was awful." ...Oh my. Gasp. Swallow. Blink

"The heroine was annoying, changing her mind at the drop of a hat - I thought I would scream if I read "Mercy Mary!" one more time." ...hmmm...i suppose I could have made the heroine say mother-fucker, but that really wouldn't fit into the time period. [snort] As for changing her mind, isn't that what we are supposed to do to build the conflict? She likes the hero, but knows she can't have him so she slips up from time to time. I guess I could have made the heroine a girl who goes after what she wants but then she would be shallow and viewed as a whore. hmmm...still thinking about this one

"The plot thin and unbelievable,"...Really? Thin? Shaking head. I could go into the many layers of twists and in this book, but it would make this post rather long. And, yes, I'm defending myself on this one. Maybe it's because I spent months of my life researching and writing this book, pouring my soul into developing it, only to have this dagger thrust into the very heart of me and then twisted. (OK... that last bit was overly dramatic, but I'm reading Shakespeare right now. LOL)

"I kept trying to finish it, but it was just too dumb." ...Wow! Dumb? Really? Dumb? Tell me what you really think. And there was the salt on the wound.

The last thing I recall thinking after I read this review was...well, I guess it wasn't too dumb since it was nominated for a RITA. At which point I clicked "NO" the review was not helpful (because really that's all I can do) then I stuck my tongue out at the computer screen and went in search of chocolate. :)


  1. Oh I know what you mean when you say that one negative review/opinion can erase a hundred good ones. I feel the same about my work to (and you can guess that not everyone likes what I design :)) But we shouldn't let this kind of stuff discourage us.
    This is one of the reasons I don't review the books I didn't like just the ones I did like. And books are like chocolate - everyone likes a different flavour.

  2. Did you check out the other posts this person made. They seem to be very negative toward authors and even when this person tries to write a postive post there is an underlying current of negativity! Don't let this horrible negative reviewer get to you Kim! You had me hooked on the first page and I couldn't put the book down until I finished it.

  3. Anonymous5:56 AM

    So sorry. I have not read your book, but it sounded more hateful than helpful of a review. It's always the one negative that stays with you over the 100 positive. :O)

  4. I do not read very many historical romance novels. Actually, you are the only writer in that genre I actively seek out as to when your next book will be out. I loved both books and cannot wait to see what is next. As to the negative comments... I think we should send Smitt after them!! HAHAA

  5. I'm like that too... the one negative review sours all the others. But I can say that I've read both "Highland Dragon" and "Her One Desire", and I enjoyed both of them. I'm a Scottish-Historicals lover, so anything that does justice to the genre I love, I'm a fan of.

    I figure, there are two kinds of negative reviews. One is the sort of "eh" that people will just quietly live with. The other is that anger, which says to me that your writing affected her profoundly. Obviously, you're a good writer, so better to incite that kind of passion in people than to have a bunch of 'eh' people out there not talking about your book. I know it's easy to say that, because it's not my book they're reviewing. But you *are* a good writer.

    I have never decided not to purchase something because of a negative review on Amazon. I don't know any of those people, and none of those angry reviews are professional enough to determine my opinion for me.

    I just have to say, I'm very impressed with the way you responded. At least you didn't pull a Candace Sams. As always, am eagerly awaiting the next release. :-)

  6. You are all so sweet. Thanks so much. It makes me wonder if I knew her in another life and I did something mean to her. I'm a believer in Karma and maybe I'm just getting my dues. LOL

    Your support and pep talks are just what I needed to attack this love scene I'm fighting today.

    I'm off...

  7. Since I started writing myself, I can't help think that some of these people have no idea what goes into authoring a book. They don't understand. And as for bad critiques, I remind myself not everyone that meets me, likes me. The same goes for what I write, not everyone will get my characters or the depth of what drives them. That's ok. My hope is enough will. I'm almost positive this woman is one of a very small number. May all the beautiful echoes you're so deserving of, find their way to you. Keep writing and letting your words speak for themselves.

  8. I wholeheartedly agree with RebeccaLynn above. I, too, am a huge fan of Scottish historicals and have read them all. Just one reading of your "Highland Dragon," was enough for me to make your name on a cover become an automatic buy for me.

    And, remember, there are far more of us that thoroughly enjoy your work than that one angry voice.

    I personally can't wait to read your next book. And, from the sound of it, I'm not alone!

  9. Indigo,
    Thank you for your kind words. I hope you see your name on the cover of your own book someday. It is an amazing feeling.

  10. Carolyn, are so sweet. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the book. Thanks for adding me to your automatic buy list.

    I actually wrote this post in a fit of frustration this morning, very early, before coffee. It probably isn't professional to talk opening about a negative review, but I really feel this conversation has been positive. At least it has been for me. :)


  11. Hi there!! I haven't read your book, so I can't comment on it. From everything I've read about it, is an awesome book and I'm sure I will read it. I think if people don't like a particular book, for whatever reason, they should just keep their mouth shut and thier opinions to themselves!! There is no need to be hurtful. Just my opinion.

  12. Kimberly, you're a talented, successful writer but there are always those people who seem to love to pick others apart - doubtless to enhance their poor self esteem. Don't buy into the vitriol - laugh instead =D

    Heck, I'm so onery that if I were you I'd be tempted to post a 'DUMB' satire of a story and dedicate it to that gal who slammed you LOL

    Hugs & Smiles Always!

  13. Kim, you're an awesome writer! I totally go to your books for inspiration when I'm writing. And like you said, obviously someone likes your books since they've been nominated for many awards!

    There's always going to be at least one negative person. I've gotten two 1's on goodreads and I was like, really? really! it was that bad? I can't imagine giving any book a one, to be honest. But there are some people who just don't give a shit.

    I've been having a hard time this week too, so I understand. As writers, we get paid crap and in no profession are we treated as poorly (well, maybe acting;). But we keep doing it because it's in our blood. And it helps when we get those wonderful emails. Just today I got a card from someone thanking me. Last week a fan actually made me a necklace and sent it! I couldn't believe it. So we'll just try to focus on the positive! Remind me of that next time I get something negative, will you?

  14. Your writing is wonderful, pulls me in immediately! Keep your chin up, lass :)

  15. I just finished reading Highland Dragon on my new "Nook" that my hubby gave me for Christmas. I could NOT put it down. Since my favorite romance author passed away a few years ago, I have been searching for an author who would sweep me away. You did that. :)Thank you :)

    Are there any plans to have Her One Desire available for Nook anytime soon??

  16. Josie,
    I'm glad you enjoyed the book and what a great hubby you have. I haven't even seen the Nook yet. Is it kewl??? :) I doubt Her One Desire will ever come out on the Nook. It didn't come out in ebook form except for the Kindle. Le sigh.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  17. Kimberly,

    I guess I'll just have to buy the "real thing"...and yes, the Nook is very cool. Highland Dragon was my first purchase!

    I'll look forward to reading more from YOU!


  18. So sorry to hear about this bad review, I don't always go by what people say and reviews. I am one of these people who think if you can't say something good about a book or anything just keep you mouth shut and don't say anything. I would never give a bad review on a book.

  19. Josie said: the Nook is very cool. Highland Dragon was my first purchase!

    Oh kewl! I feel so privileged to have deflowered your nook. hehehehe

    On another note...The heroine in the book I'm writing right now is named Josie. Kewl huh?

  20. Virginia said: if you can't say something good about a book or anything just keep you mouth shut and don't say anything.

    I totally agree. I teach college and work with people between the ages of 18-24. I see so few of these qualities and manners in youth today. It's sad really. People just think they can do anything they want and say anything they want without effect. They internet has given a freedom to people that makes them far too bold and quite frankly insensitive.

  21. Kimberly - I don't even know the name of your next book, but I love it already. Josie huh? Talk about KEWL :)

    I can't wait!

    Josie :)

  22. Thanks for your great insight Kim. You are one of the great writer. Keep up the good work and don't forget to ask guidance to our Lord.

  23. to be honest sorry i missed this post but you were a new to me author and now i absolutly adore your work im sorry someone said some things like that to you ur work truely is a joy to read and reread which i do do often so keep up the good work i look forward to more books to come