Saturday, April 11, 2015

Reviewing the Reviewer

You know how it is with reviews. If you write, or do anything in the public eye you'll get some sort of review, or write-up about how you did.

With four of my vampire series (and btw these books are NOT paranormal romance, they are urban fantasy, but publisher went with paranormal romance, and I really really wish he hadn't), out and under Creativia's helm, I've got two that have gone on sale for $0.99. Ascension and Trill.

Lately I've had two reviews by reviewer who goes by the name of E. Foly I got a 3-star review on Ascension, and got a 4-star one for Trill. From her profile I'm easily to determine this is a woman. And if you care to check out her profile which I've provided, she's never given anyone a 5-star review. Even those books she really likes. She's a stickler for punctuation, and spelling, and possibly other issues. After reading a number of her other reviews, I'm happy with a three. Believe me. I dread to see what she might say of number three, but here is her review of Trill. Since her highest rating is a 4, I think I did pretty good in her reading eyes.

In this one, Sabrina learns that she will indeed turn at the full moon. At least Dante is there to help her... and their relationship is interesting and complicated.

And then lets make it more complicated by adding all the men/vampires/demons/shifters/wolves who want to sleep with her:

-- Vasyl, the sexy French master vamp who's been protecting her his entire vampire life.
-- Hobart, the dreadlocked Wolf
-- Bill, her neighbor's grandson who is not what he seems
-- Tremayne, the master vamp who can't resist her and summons her to donate blood so he can build up a tolerance
-- Jacob, an incubus she meets on the way to the Dark Realm

Good lord.

But what made this better than book 1 was the connection she forged with Dante... and the ending which was bittersweet because they love each other and can't be with each other. So I rounded up from 3.5 stars. There are still significant issues with homonyms and typos which weaken the writing rather than strengthen it.

Monday, April 6, 2015

To Write, or Not To write...

Well, that's the question posed by a few writers. I've been down that road a few times. Early on, when I was in my twenties, and later in my forties, I got away from writing, for whatever the reason. Sometimes it was frustration. Back in the day your only hope was to get a publisher or agent to take you on. Now, we have people writing books so damned fast, they put out maybe as many as twenty or thirty in a year. I'm thinking they must have a set formula, or maybe a fancy writing disk, pop in names and boom, they have a book. I don't know. But Amazon is chock full of ebooks, and some are free. (I have a problem with giving away my writing, unless it's a short story, because my time and talent as a writer I consider worth something!)

I've been writing since the beginning of time (for me that was high school in 1971). Those times I told you I quit writing, well, guess what? I went back to it. Tried a different book, like a mystery or something. I would have to say, I was practicing writing. I was learning how to write, all those years. And you still learn even after you've published.

I don't write fast, unless a book hits me, and I can write it straight through. I did that on one book, and that was the fourth of the Sabrina Strong series, Caprice. I wrote that in just over three months. Yeah, that's probably the quickest book I've ever written, but also, that was a first draft. I go over my books to edit several times, I think it took me two years before I had it ready to be published. I don't hand them to an editor--I don't have that sort of money to invest. And until I got on with my new publisher, Creativia, I was having to depend upon people to read it through for me and find mistakes I would have missed. And after that I read it through two more times to make sure I haven't missed anything.

Up until last year, I wrote whenever I had free time. Then, I had some time off in the summer. I had a lot of energy, and wanted to do some major gardening things, and do some long walks to keep my energy up. I realized I wasn't enjoying life itself. I felt that turning 60, I needed to stop and smell the roses. I needed to just enjoy other things. One of my other passions became crocheting. I also enjoy reading a book. I like to hold a book in my hand--I'm finding a lot of people who would rather read a book, not an ebook, so I'm happy to have gone with a new publisher who can deliver a paperback version of my book to anyone in the world. I simply didn't have the savvy, patience, or the $$ to do it.

When it comes down to writing, I write because I CAN'T NOT WRITE. For those who simply write thinking they can make money, well phooey on them. I'm not saying I don't have dreams beyond all reason that I could make money, but after so many decades of not really doing that, I'm at the point where I'm just writing, and if I make a little money (even only $100/year), it's at least something I can take to the bank.

When I get an idea/ideas for a book, I keep notes on it, either in a document on the computer or on paper. I like a paper trail myself. At the moment, I'm trying to work on a mystery. It's a bit different writing. Everyone I've ever heard about how to write one says you come up with the murder, and write backwards. I don't know how to do that, but I understand the concept. You have to know who/how/what and come up with your suspects, but you alone know who murdered the victim, and with what, and then you plant all these clues, throw in a Red Herring, and you've got your story.

Well, I'm writing it the way I always write. I'll know who/what/how/when, when I get to it. Once I get to that point, I'll be able to throw in all those other things. I write assbackwards, anyway.

So, I guess for me, it's impossible to not write, but I'm doing less time in the old chair, and trying to do other things, too. Sort of like semi-retired, but never retired.

How about you? Do you ever need a break? Are life's crazy events keeping you from writing, and you're wondering if you'll ever be able to continue writing? Wonder if you should just take a long break from it, but worry if you do, you'll never be able to pick up the pen again?

Here is Shelly Arkon's take on this subject at her vlog. I love her vlogs, and Hair Ball, her dog is so sweet.

Hope you have a good week!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Why a Book Review May be deleted from Amazon

Well, the weather is trying to get warmer, but we keep going backward, here.
I'm working on different things at once. That's how I am. I'm supposed to be writing a story for a sesquicentennial book about my home town. I really need to do this this weekend. I don't know where my pictures are of the old uptown, but they're probably in a closet.

But for today, I give you Shelly Arkon's explanation on what may have happened to her excellent review on Amazon for my book Ascension [Vampire Ascending]. She goes into detail on Amazon's reasons for rubbing out your review, so you might want to pay particular attention to it. She has given permission for me to share this here with you. So, go ahead and take a look, if you have not already.

Thanks for dropping in!




Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Winner is...

Donna!

About two weeks ago I had a giveaway contest for a signed copy of my book, Ascension. Anyone who followed the instructions I put their name in the bowl.
Donna's name came out in my fingers.

Congratulations, Donna!

(I have emailed you)