Thank you so much for taking the time to review my books.
Now for the back story of how these reviews affect me and other writers like me.
Being a writer means you often put your very soul on sheets of paper and allow the world to do what they like with it. Sometimes the world is very generous. They read your words and flood you with compliments and praise. They ask — no, beg, for you to write something else, and you practically dance back to your computer to happily comply. Those are the great days. They feel like cupcakes for breakfast on a Saturday, when you don’t have to get out of bed until noon.
The others are…well, let’s just say they are brutally honest. They dissect your soul, I mean your writing, as though it’s a lab project and they mean to remove every last organ, one by one, without benefit of pain medications. Those are the tough ones to take.
The best ones are like the one Renee Harrison left me:
“I read straight through Joni’s book in one sitting. She kept me using my imagination to live what she was living through. I also get ringing in my ears and have never thought of why it might be happening, after this book I gained some insight! For those new “ghosthunters” who think it is all fun and games, this book will bring you to a deep realization that bad things can happen when you are unprotected!!!”
Bless her heart. I smiled all day after reading it. Not only had she enjoyed my book, she also learned something valuable that will help her in her day-to-day life.
But then, you get reviews like this one from a woman named Maureen Bogdon:
“though i appreicate what joni went through i did not find the story overly compelling. It seemed as though her thoughts were not very well put together. The biggest emotion i was able to feel through the story was sympathy for her divorce as her feeling during that part of her life were told with some vigor, but after a while it felt overdone and annoying. Futhermore her shameless plugs for “Lighting Strikes” became tiresome…Lastly, and part of me feels bad for saying this..But I’ve heard the key aspects of the story in other fictional supernatural books..Overall this wasn’t a terrible book but wasn’t a good one either”
The first thing I should have noticed was the misspellings, lack of capitalization, and punctuation errors. While I personally struggle with my own comma-usage issues, I would be hard pressed to discredit anyone else for the same thing, but I think I would have been just a little bit nicer when tearing apart her story. I might have suggested that the book needed to be fleshed out a little more, something I can fully appreciate. Or, maybe she could have said it just wasn’t her cup of tea. I could have lived with that as well. Instead, she took out her ultra-sharp scissors and snipped away a little bit of my soul.
I must have read it twenty times, my eyes wide with disbelief. Did she really just say those awful things to me? She even suggested that I made it all up for the sake of a story, something I assure you I’d never do. She even got it wrong. It wasn’t a divorce! It was a break-up. Seriously!!
I stopped myself short of filling an entire page with my annoyance over her review, while I only wrote two sentences about the great review, the one that filled my entire being with rainbows and butterflies. Why is this?
I think it’s just human nature. It’s the five year old child with a drawing for the refrigerator, hoping Mommy will love it, like it deserves to be loved. It’s finally finding a finger-hold on a crumbling ledge, and then having someone step very carefully and very painfully on your fingers. But it’s also life.
As Eleanor Roosevelt so eloquently put it, “Every woman in public life needs to develop skin as tough as rhinoceros hide.”
So, I will continue on, trying to allow the scar tissue of past wounds build up that rhino skin. But I will also attempt to cling to the good reviews as much as I give safe harbor to the bad ones. If they’re constructive, they’re healthy, and I will grow from them, getting tougher and stronger in the process. I will also write reviews for all of the books I read and love. I’ve written two today alone: one for a very popular writer, and another for a newbie, like myself, who probably needed to hear something nice about her very good book.
If you’ve read my work and loved it, please share this with me as a review on the site you purchased the book from. If you have a constructive criticism, by all means, share this too, but if you’re just a nasty, angry person who wishes to tear down someone else’s dream, please do me a favor and just keep it to yourself.
Very sincerely yours,
Joni Mayhan is a paranormal investigator, as well as a free-lance writer. Please check out her paranormal thrillers on Amazon.com and BarnesandNobles.com. For more information about the author, please see her website: Jonimayhan.com
The Soul Collector – The true story of one paranormal investigator’s worst nightmare
Angels of Ember trilogy – After a devastating virus nearly wipes the world clean of people, 16 year-old Ember Pain grows tired of running and hiding from the bad men who hunt her and her younger sister, Elizabeth. Fighting back becomes a necessity, even if it threatens her very life.