Friday, April 20, 2012

Can Giving A Bad Review Kill Your Writing Career?

I finished a book last night that started out so strong, yet left me...well, wanting. There were a lot of errors - their instead of there, your instead of you're. But, I can always overlook that when the story is strong enough.

Now, I have no intention of naming the book (which I'll explain why later), but the whole thing got me thinking about several issues with writing and publishing.

First of all, what's with the convenient endings? I've read sooooo many books that just...end. What?! Where's the huge climax, the fireworks, the big bang? This particular book started out with so much violence and action I couldn't wait to read the rest. Then, about halfway through, it just slowed down and never picked back up. I was so disappointed by the the last page I could've screamed!

I've been told before that at times my story slows down. Honestly, I do that intentionally to give the reader a breather. But, sometimes I fear I've slowed it down too much. As long as I don't have one of those silly convenient endings I'm satisfied.

Now, on to why I won't name the book...because I have my own books out there. Yep, I've heard horror stories of disgruntled writers giving their reviewer's books bad reviews as revenge. I'd prefer to get a bad review in earnest, not as payback.

I will soon be reading and reviewing books, yet they will not be under my own name. And, no, I will not review your book if you approach me through this site. Okay, maybe I will for some of my beloved followers, but please don't send others here. However, if you want a book review, feel free to head over to All Things Books.

How do you feel about convenient endings? And more importantly, would you leave your name on a review?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You can walk away from an abusive relationship!

I had started writing a clever blog about writing, and after staring at it for two days, I chose to start over. I heard an interview on the radio today with the author of Heroes for My Son, and now Heroes for My Daughter. The host of the radio show said something about Tina Turner, saying "Don't wait 16 years." He then went on to say how some women may have 35cents and a Mobil card in their pocket and may not be able to leave.

This interview got me thinking about my own experience. It's no secret I stayed in an abusive marriage for seven years. And, those who knew me before (and especially years after) I was in that relationship were shocked to discover I stayed with someone who would treat me like that. My first answer is always because I loved him. I was young, and believed love can cure all. I thought he loved me enough.

But, that's obviously not a good enough reason to stay with someone who would hurt you. I'll tell you a little more - When I finally left my ex-husband and filed for a restraining order, I had only been working at my new job for a few months, I had never paid a single bill, and I had no idea how to cook anything other than macaroni and cheese.

I was terrified of being on my own. Not only would I be in charge of every aspect of the home and family, but I would have to learn how to do things most people at my age took for granted. I can remember the gratification I felt the first time I mailed a check to the mortgage company. Granted, it was late because I was broke, but I did it. That was the first milestone for me. From mailing that single piece of paper out I realized I could do it. I could live on my own, support my children, and make sure we had somewhere to live and food in our bellies.

Was it easy? Hell no! I struggled constantly, dropping major weight because there was only enough food for my three kids. We used space heaters during the winter when I couldn't afford to fill the propane tank, and we didn't go out to eat. But, I learned to cook...quite well, actually. My kids grew stronger knowing they were safe. I grew stronger.

Today, I'm married to a wonderful man, someone who supports everything I do, including my dream of becoming a published author.

What does this have to do with writing, you ask? Not a damn thing. But, now you know a little more about me, and why I don't give up...ever!