Author Guest Post
How To Handle Negative Criticism
Write a gruesome death scene where the killer tortures someone for hours, wringing every last drop of pleasure that he can out of the victim’s pain before sticking the final blade (or bullet, or noose, or injectable poison) into him. Do it immediately after receiving the review. You don’t want to let that emotion grow cold. If you start to calm down mid-scene read it again. Give yourself the gift of a scene crafted with pure emotive power.
Then name that character after the person who gave you the negative review. You can always change it later because it’s bound to be a stupid name that no character you’re giving birth to will ever be called.
Stick the review in a drawer, or in One-note or similar if you’re living in the digital age, and then ignore it for at least a week.
Getting a negative review is very much like taking your baby for a stroll around the park and having some random stranger stab it because it’s ugly. You need some time for that hurt and anger to heal before you look to see if they’re correct and your baby needs some drastic plastic surgery before you take it out in public again.
But you do have to take the baby out again and see if they’re correct. Even if your friends and family have managed to slip a review past the Amazon sky-net (don’t get me started I’ve already blogged it out of my system) and you think it’s all five-star glory, you can’t make the mistake of thinking that you have nothing to learn.
Some negative reviews are, thank goodness, instantly dismissible. You think my book should be a different price because someone once told you that eBooks are the wave of the future and should only ever cost 0.99c? Why is that my problem?
The answer to that question is, it’s not. No one is going to take a look at that review and think that it’s a good reason not to read your book. If they were upset at the price being more than a dollar, they wouldn’t have clicked through to read your copy and the reviews it had in the first place. You can probably even expel a little bit of effort and have the host site take it down if it’s completely irrelevant. There are online forums for rants that this would sit much more comfortably in.
The ones that tell you about a plot-hole in chapter three, so many grammatical errors that they couldn’t even work out what you were writing about, formatting so dreadful they couldn’t read past page five (or, from my own experience, fonts so large that you can’t concentrate because you’re having to expend too much time and energy moving your eyes about – this is why eBooks are a godsend,) or nobody getting past chapter twelve because it lags too much in the middle and they got sick of waiting for something to happen; they’re the ones you need to pay attention to.
Don’t worry about taking anyone’s advice on how they think you should fix it – if they knew what was meant to happen in your story it would be their story – but you do need to work it out for yourself. There’ll be one-off randoms where one person thinks there’s a problem where no one else does, but if there’s a theme cropping up you need to work it out and quickly.
Even if it’s too late for your current baby, you can always keep it in the back of your mind as you go on to conceive your next love-child. One ugly baby is unfortunate; a crèche full is just bad family planning, and that’s on you.
About The Author
For some reason she's developed a rich fantasy life.
Ever since I was three year’s old I’ve been reading everything I can lay my hands on. It’s been my passion, my solace, my comfort. I used to look forward to Wednesday nights which were the time that my mother would take me, and any of my siblings who wanted to go – so usually just me, to the library.
It would be wonderful, thrilling, and risky. I was only able to take three books out each week, and only one of those could get a free pass on fees. If I picked the wrong one I would be stuck with it for a whole week. Not only stuck with it, but I’d have to read a bad book cover to cover because otherwise I’d have to do something else, and that was not really what I was after. I did go outside, and played outside, and watched TV like any normal kid, but that was just stuff you filled in time with until you could read again.
Throughout my childhood there was never anything I wanted to do but become a writer – it seemed the only natural progression to my life. Then I crawled inside a bottle for fourteen years, and when I popped back out I was working in an office job in a travel agency, my mother was dead, and I was clueless as to how I was meant to get my life back on track.
About the time I started to seriously study the craft of writing, something that used to come naturally to me but had grown incredibly hard through lack of use, I also had a change in career path into insurance (not as big a change as it might seem as it was really from one office job to another with a brighter future and better career path.) I started to challenge myself in my professional life, and my personal life, so instead of focussing in on writing I instead tried out a range of different hobbies, followed up on fleeting interests, tried to learn to play the saxophone which my partner was glad was a short-lived affair, and generally did all of the things I should’ve spent my teens and twenties doing but hadn’t.
But of course I always circled back to writing. Reading and writing. My passion remains the same but instead of skimming widely across any and all genres I’ve narrowed down and done a deep-dive into crime fiction which has been my favourite for over a decade now.
I love the fact that I’ve been reading the same genre of fiction for more than ten years now, and still find new and interesting things with every book that I pick up. Now I’m trying to bring something new and unique to me to the genre. And soon I might finally get back on track to being the person that I always wanted to be.
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE
Found, Near Water by Katherine Hayton
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: July 2, 2014
Format: Paperback - 214 pages
Kindle - 2520 KB
Nook - 507 KB
Genre: Crime Fiction / Mystery / Suspense / Thriller
BUY THE BOOK: Found, Near Water
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.
As the victim support officer assigned to her case, Christine Emmett puts aside her own problems as she tries to guide Rena through the maelstrom of her daughter’s disappearance.
A task made harder by an ex-husband desperate for control; a paedophile on early-release in the community; and a psychic who knows more than seems possible.
And intertwined throughout, the stories of six women; six daughters lost.
My Book Review:
In her debut novel, Found, Near Water, author Katherine Hayton weaves a riveting and powerful crime thriller set in Christchurch, New Zealand, that follows the emotional stories of six women in a victim support group, who are connected through the shared bond of having gone through the tragedy of the disappearance or death of their daughters.
Christine Emmett is a former psychiatrist turned victim support counselor, who began a victim support group after the drowning death of her daughter. The support group consists of a group of four women: Terry, Ilene, Kendra, and Joanne, who have all endured the tragedy of the disappearance or death of their daughters. Christine is requested by the Christchurch Police Department to talk to Rena Sutherland, who is in the hospital after a car accident and claims that her daughter Chloe is missing. Christine is assigned as Rena's victim support officer and brings her into the support group as a new member while the mystery of her missing daughter is investigated.
The reader is drawn into this dark and disturbing tale as each of the women's tragic stories unfold with riveting twists and turns that keeps them turning the pages. The author weaves a chilling and complex tale of the tragic circumstances surrounding the disappearances and deaths of the support group members daughters, you can't help but feel the palpable emotion and raw intensity that each of the women endured through the very traumatic and personal loss of their children. While the women of this support group have bonded over their shared loss and grief, their individual issues makes it really hard for them to be of real support to each other, especially for Christine, their support group leader. While the main focus of the story surrounds around the investigation into the disappearance of Rena's daughter, the author does a wonderful job of interweaving all of the women's stories into a sobering tale that is every parent's worst fear and nightmare.
Found, Near Water is a haunting and tragic story that will stay with the reader for a very long time.
RATING: 4 STARS
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