Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Feelin' pretty darn groovy!

Well, I must confess I was getting a bit bummed today because the only (up until today)thorough review of Lamplighter was here (spoiler warning) - and not of the kind or, more especially, encouraging sort. I consoled myself not only with the enthuisiasm of those here who have read it but with the rationale that someone usually given (by the evidence of the 'Faves') to reading girly romance would quite fairly find MBT Book 2 rather a bit too much - which the reviewer did.

Fair cop.

Then I discover that over at Matilda (as in "waltzing matilda", a not insiginificant Oz literary review site and usually more friendly) they are quoting above review as the only extant commentary on the as yet to be released. Ouch! Feeling a bit had at this point.

Of course, as much as I want to be a genius it could be that I have simply written a dog of a book (so my thoughts went - apologies to those have already said they like it) - which, quite frankly is my fear.

Well, joy of joys, Megan J. Bulloch over at SFReader has posted a far more positive take (possible mild spoilage) on the grand struggle that was my second book. Thank you, ma'am and apologies for the grumpiness - Book 3 is shaping up nicely and I am enjoying the process and agony of writing far more. Here Matilda, quote this one instead.

Maybe I should do as my wife says, ignore reviews (though not yours Drew) and just get on with penning the best books I know how. Thing is a constructive and thoughtful review - even if it cans the work - can be very edifying, a teaching tool.

By the by, either end of the spectrum here: I will let you, oh reader, decide.

On another positive note, author Chris Roberson, of many many works, was encouraged by the previous post on the H-c map, which in turn encouraged me, so all backs get scratched in the end, which is nice. From one map enthusiast to another, howdy Chris, cartograph on!

... I think I should just get back to writing Book 3...

18 comments:

Kate said...

Don't let the bad reviews get you down. It's so easy to get caught up on the negative. A single reviewer is rarely a good indicator of a book's quality. I understand that it would be disheartening but the trouble with people is that we can't be relied on to agree on pretty much anything. For example, the unusual wording is actually one thing that first drew me into MBT. So don't give up just yet. Especially not before delivering Book 3. :)

Now fingers crossed that didn't cross the line between "encouraging" and "fawning fan".

Kate said...

Upon reflection I realised "reviews" should in fact have been singular. Oops.

madbomber said...

Gday mate,

I've read the good review and the bad. Now I don't want to read any more until I've read the full text myself. Reviews are pretty much not worth the paper they are written on.

I much prefer the words of people I know or trust. So I thank you for yours.

Cheers
Bomber

Drew said...

Hey DM! Didn't mean to leave you hanging-- been in the midst of health issues that knocked me out most of last week.
I'm working on a draft of the review for LAMPLIGHTER and, rest assured, it is highly positive. No kindness required when you enjoy the material!
In the meantime, don't be down; I can't think of a single highly regarded writer who hasn't gotten negative reviews. But I agree, you need positive ones to balance out the bad, else that'll become the narrative.
We'll see what we can do.
all best!
Drew

jamie said...

I agree that you shouldn't let bad reviews effect you. In terms of movies (and I believe this is relevant), my Dad will only go see movie if the Wall Street Journal gives it a good review. It's like he doesn't have an opinion of his own.

I, on the other hand, choose novels and movies based on whether not I want to read/see it. I agree with madbomber in that I trust myself or my friends' recommendations more than some review.

Alexandra P said...

I'll write a review for the ASiF! site as soon as I get my hands on a copy! And bad reviews... I don't have any advice about that, to be honest, since I'm not a writer =D

Anonymous said...

Link on Matilda? Done!

http://www.middlemiss.org/weblog/archives/matilda/2008/02/reviews_of_aust_77.html

And, yes, I should have picked up on the first reviewer's standard preferences and commented on them.

Perry Middlemiss

D.M. Cornish said...

Cheers Perry, no problem and thank you. Indeed, thank you all for the pick-me-up. Soul is very much revived.

I usually don't say too much on reviews, it being best to get on with just doing your thing as best you can and letting folks think what they will.

Now I feel like I've been a bit of a spoilt, whinging kid...

D.M. Cornish said...

And Drew I hope you are feeling better, mate.

The Book Muncher said...

just thought i'd drop in, cuz you posted a link to my blog. sorry the review was so disappointing to you, but it was just one opinion. and there was some positive in my review. i just wanted to let other readers know what i thought of the book.

i do think that you should know that not all my "faves" are "girly romances." the named series by marianne curley and the maximum ride series by james patterson don't fall under that category. and also, foundling by you is also on that list, if you click next a couple times

The Book Muncher said...

and the sadder thing is that you posted this on my birthday

boothyisawesome said...

Bad reviews happen. And, as an author, you have to deal with them. Whining about bad reviews is just stupid. Yeah, they suck, but they will happen. Everyone has different tastes, and therefore may not like your books. That doesn't mean you should call them out on it, or make fun of them, which pretty much just lowers your status as a human being that you have to resort to childish antics like that to make your point.

And it wasn't even that bad of a review. It had both good and bad points about your novel, and honestly, that's pretty much the best kind of review an author can get, I think. Because it provides what worked well and what didn't work well for that particular reviewer, and maybe you could take some of those criticisms to heart when continuing the series.

And just because ONE reviewer didn't necessarily think your book was the best damn thing on the planet doesn't mean you wrote a bad book at all. It just means that they didn't like it all that much. However, there will also be people who like it. There will be more than just one reviewer who didn't like it. There will be people who just thought it was an okay read, but nothing special.

It's just a different opinion, and if you can't handle that, then you probably should not be a writer.

D.M. Cornish said...

All quite true from both of you - except perhaps that last statement boothyisawesome, a bit of unnecessary vitriol there, perhaps, compared to the mildness of my original complaint.

What we see here is an interesting and seemingly common irony: that author's should be willing to cop criticism but that somehow a reviewer should be free of it.

But you are absolutely right, I put my work out there - whether an original work or a review of the same - some will like it, some won't, them's the breaks. You take it in your stride.

So, if offence was incured it was most certainly not intended, just me expressing a bad day - the kind of thing one does on a blog, I am thinking.

D.M. Cornish said...

You are also right that the Book Muncher's review was more balanced than my bad hair day had me believing. In fact, I have copped far far worse reviews than yours, oh Book Muncher, much worse.

Ah well, live and learn.

femina said...

It's helpful to remember that this is a blog; the place to "meet the man behind the book", so to speak, and so far we've all been enjoying it because it's been open and honest. Part and parcel of "open and honest" means that DM will be sharing days when he is discouraged - and reviews that are not what the writer hoped ARE discouraging, even if the writer knows that they are to be expected and knows that not everyone will share the same love of (in this case) the Half-Continent.

From the original post and the comments that followed, I don't think DM is expecting that all reviews will be negative, nor did he seem to be criticising those who don't feel the same way he does about the books. I think in the original post he was simply being honest about where he was at right at that point in time. He was talking about his fears that he'd written a bad book... fears do have a way of lurking, and I can understand how a slightly negative review could make those fears surface. (I say "slightly negative" because I haven't read the review in question - didn't want to be spoiled!)

Anyway, just my $0.02.

John H. said...

When I read the Bookmuncher review, I immediately knew that the writer just has no appreciation for fantastic fiction. The line "I also felt that this story was a bit too much like Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and Eragon" reveals a lack of appreciation for fantasy in general. The fact that she would mention Eragon in the same breath as the Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia other as a point of comparison rather than a point of contrast is rather telling. The critic seems to view all fantasy as something to be lumped together (and then ignored).

I would not let this one get under your skin at all.

Sophrosyne said...

Hi all --

So mine was the "good" review and I want to respond to a couple comments above just for fun.

First off, RIGHT! READ BOOKS NOT REVIEWS! I only review a book if I think that it's SO great that I have to tell more peokl (that's Cat-walking-on-keyboard for people) than I know.

Second -- anyone who does mention Eragon in the same breath as LOTR and Narn is crazy -- thanks John!

And finally -- thank you DM for having a forum where folks can see what an author's life is really like in such a personal way.

NOW... can you go back to book three? :o)

Happy Monday
Meg

D.M. Cornish said...

Yes ma'am!