The curse of reviews

December 20th, 2014Posted by Nancy

And now comes the time in a book’s life when the reviews start. I wish I was one of those writers who could grandly proclaim that I never read reviews but that would be a complete lie. I shamelessly admit to googling myself. A good review will make me happy and a bad review will make me huddle in the corner and beat myself over the head with my very old, very heavy copy of Roget’s Thesaurus.

I remind myself that I’ve survived bad reviews before. I will never forget opening a copy of Maclean’s magazine (Canada’s equivalent to Time, at the time) in the dentist’s office and discovering a FULL-PAGE REVIEW of Blood and Chrysanthemums. A full-page BAD review. The dentist probably could have given me a root canal and I wouldn’t have noticed because I was so devastated. When I was apologizing to the Penguin publicist about it (because that is the kind of sad person I am), she was baffled. “It was a FULL-PAGE ARTICLE in Maclean’s,” she kept saying. “No one will remember whether it was good or bad. All they’ll remember is that they read about you in Maclean’s.”  I’m not sure it’s true but it did make me feel better.

Once I achieve a bit of distance from the initial elation (I rock!) or despair (I am the worst writer in the world!), I try to take the less than glowing reviews for what they’re worth. There are some people that you could never have made happy, because they wanted a book you did not write (sorry, The Night Inside is NOT a vampire romance).  Sometimes you’re forced to admit, like the witch in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, that “it’s a fair cop.”

Given that it’s been a long time since the last round of reviews, my skin has thinned a bit. So you’ll forgive me if I haven’t quite reached the “it’s a fair cop” stage yet and may spend a few moments huddling in the corner with a very strong martini (because damn, that Roget’s hurt).


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4 responses

  • 1 Christoffer L · Dec 21, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Speaking of Blood and Chrysanthemums, any plans to return to that world? It feels like Ardeth’s story is told, but maybe there is some other story in that universe waiting to be told?

  • 2 Nancy · Dec 30, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    I don’t really have any plans to return to those characters, but who knows? I felt as if I’d said everything I had to say about vampires but some new facet that wants to be explored might present itself.

  • 3 Elizabeth Slaughter · Feb 14, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    After all this time and with the vampire genre now flooded, your vampire novels are still my favorites of the entire genre. I loved Cold Hillside, and just posted a glowing review. Hope that helps! I’m a huge fan of your writing style.

  • 4 Nancy · Feb 15, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Thanks so much for the kind words and for taking the time to post the review on Goodreads. I’m so glad that you liked the book.

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