May 13, 2013

Critical Reaction

Now that a handful of reviews have rolled in on Amazon for "The Psi Squad," I'm finding it interesting to see what the readers have to say. In most cases, and since the reviews have so far been of a positive and praising nature (despite the fact my Mother did not write them (all)), I'm in agreement with many of the comments made.

After all, if there's anyone who should be able to recognize the good points about my writing while simultaneously turning a blind eye to anything that might draw criticism, it's me. Aren't authors supposed to be wildly optimistic and pathologically in need of complimentary fawning? And who doesn't enjoy getting their ego stroked?

Even so, I fully expected at least one negative review by this point, and I'm sure it's coming eventually. Some reader somewhere won't like the main characters, or the story, or the brevity of the book, or the simplicity of the cover, or the price, or the spelling of my last name. You can't make everyone happy, which is why I stopped trying to a long time ago. Honesty, though, I am disappointed I haven't yet received a negative review. Praise might be the thing we desire, but criticism is what we really need. How better to grow as a writer than to have someone publicly point out an error, be it in style, or continuity of character, or simple grammar? A little humiliation never killed anyone, particularly when the critic is correct.

Perhaps the best review I've received hasn't come in the form of words, written or spoken.

When I received my first small batch of "Psi Squad" paperbacks, I donated one copy to the library at the Pinehurst Elementary School where my boys are finishing their final year before heading to middle school. One day last week the media specialist who runs the library stopped me and asked for ten more copies. It seems so many kids have checked out that first copy in the past few months that the book is showing signs of wear and tear.

And aren't those kids the readers I was writing for in the first place?