Falling In Love Again

Edith_layton2

Writing a novel is an act of love. Which is why authors tend to think of their books as their children. And also why they love their first one as much as their tenth, or twentieth, or ninetieth equally. Or so they say.

Truly, there are some books which were conceived in total bliss and love, and which turn out to be not what was imagined at conception. The bizarre thing is that the author’s opinion is seldom that of all readers. This is why authors are constantly shocked when a favorite gets bad reviews and a novel they worry about because of flaws they see when it’s too late to change a thing are praised to the skies. Most authors I know can’t judge their own work.

And so whenever a new book comes out, the author is anxious as a parent when a beloved child sets out for school for the first time. Will that treasure baby meet bullies or good friends? How will it do? What will the world think of it? In the case of books, we find out fairly quickly. We are told. Not just by reviewers, but by buyers, and the invisible gods who buy for book chains. Even those who review anonymously on Amazon.com – who might be grade school enemies who have been looking for a way to get back at the author because of a long forgotten fourth-grade insult.

This often leads me to wonder why there aren’t on-line review sites set up for anonymous criticism of say – dentists, or baby-sitters, or receptionists. Why are creative types like novelists, film makers, actors and dancers the only ones who not only get this sort of treatment, but tolerate it?

BrideThis is all in preparation for telling you that my new book BRIDE ENCHANTED, from AVON, will be out in a matter of weeks, and I’m anxious about it, as always and ever.

I think it’s neat! Reviewers have too! (A Top Pick and a KISS Award over at RT, for starters.) I SO enjoyed writing it. It’s a bit different. A little paranormal and a lot Historical Regency set romance, and the characters are compelling, and the love story sweet and hot, and I recommend it utterly, of course.

But again, as ever, I fret, wondering about how you will like it. Why do I do this? Why do I spend months writing a book, and then weeks waiting to be lauded, or crushed? I know I’m not too tightly wrapped, but am I a masochist?

Whatever I am, I can’t help it. I’m a sucker for a pretty plot and a compelling story. It’s what I do. I hope what you do is to buy the book and let me know what you think… gently, of course.

70 thoughts on “Falling In Love Again”

  1. Cool! I just read the plot description on Amazon. I used to love the mysterious husband plots in the old gothics, but was always disappointed in the sketchy relationship details. I’ll definitely be on the look-out for this book.

    Reply
  2. Cool! I just read the plot description on Amazon. I used to love the mysterious husband plots in the old gothics, but was always disappointed in the sketchy relationship details. I’ll definitely be on the look-out for this book.

    Reply
  3. Cool! I just read the plot description on Amazon. I used to love the mysterious husband plots in the old gothics, but was always disappointed in the sketchy relationship details. I’ll definitely be on the look-out for this book.

    Reply
  4. Cool! I just read the plot description on Amazon. I used to love the mysterious husband plots in the old gothics, but was always disappointed in the sketchy relationship details. I’ll definitely be on the look-out for this book.

    Reply
  5. Cool! I just read the plot description on Amazon. I used to love the mysterious husband plots in the old gothics, but was always disappointed in the sketchy relationship details. I’ll definitely be on the look-out for this book.

    Reply
  6. I’m with MaryK. BRIDE ENCHANTED sounds fascinating!
    And, I’m with you Lady Layton. Who, in their right minds, would allow their work to be judged by (often) nameless, faceless people? I just entered portions of my ms into two contests and am ruing the decision. Why in the world do I feel like I need to be published? Can’t I write just for me? Apparently not. 🙂
    Nina, back to the ms.

    Reply
  7. I’m with MaryK. BRIDE ENCHANTED sounds fascinating!
    And, I’m with you Lady Layton. Who, in their right minds, would allow their work to be judged by (often) nameless, faceless people? I just entered portions of my ms into two contests and am ruing the decision. Why in the world do I feel like I need to be published? Can’t I write just for me? Apparently not. 🙂
    Nina, back to the ms.

    Reply
  8. I’m with MaryK. BRIDE ENCHANTED sounds fascinating!
    And, I’m with you Lady Layton. Who, in their right minds, would allow their work to be judged by (often) nameless, faceless people? I just entered portions of my ms into two contests and am ruing the decision. Why in the world do I feel like I need to be published? Can’t I write just for me? Apparently not. 🙂
    Nina, back to the ms.

    Reply
  9. I’m with MaryK. BRIDE ENCHANTED sounds fascinating!
    And, I’m with you Lady Layton. Who, in their right minds, would allow their work to be judged by (often) nameless, faceless people? I just entered portions of my ms into two contests and am ruing the decision. Why in the world do I feel like I need to be published? Can’t I write just for me? Apparently not. 🙂
    Nina, back to the ms.

    Reply
  10. I’m with MaryK. BRIDE ENCHANTED sounds fascinating!
    And, I’m with you Lady Layton. Who, in their right minds, would allow their work to be judged by (often) nameless, faceless people? I just entered portions of my ms into two contests and am ruing the decision. Why in the world do I feel like I need to be published? Can’t I write just for me? Apparently not. 🙂
    Nina, back to the ms.

    Reply
  11. Edith, you’re on my auto-buy list, and I’m sure I’ll be enchanted.
    I know there are websites that crit teachers (they are blocked at my school to protect the egos of the staff), and any kid who got a deserved D can write how horrible a teacher you are. I think the wise thing is to be like the president…have someone else read the news/reviews and just tell you the good stuff!

    Reply
  12. Edith, you’re on my auto-buy list, and I’m sure I’ll be enchanted.
    I know there are websites that crit teachers (they are blocked at my school to protect the egos of the staff), and any kid who got a deserved D can write how horrible a teacher you are. I think the wise thing is to be like the president…have someone else read the news/reviews and just tell you the good stuff!

    Reply
  13. Edith, you’re on my auto-buy list, and I’m sure I’ll be enchanted.
    I know there are websites that crit teachers (they are blocked at my school to protect the egos of the staff), and any kid who got a deserved D can write how horrible a teacher you are. I think the wise thing is to be like the president…have someone else read the news/reviews and just tell you the good stuff!

    Reply
  14. Edith, you’re on my auto-buy list, and I’m sure I’ll be enchanted.
    I know there are websites that crit teachers (they are blocked at my school to protect the egos of the staff), and any kid who got a deserved D can write how horrible a teacher you are. I think the wise thing is to be like the president…have someone else read the news/reviews and just tell you the good stuff!

    Reply
  15. Edith, you’re on my auto-buy list, and I’m sure I’ll be enchanted.
    I know there are websites that crit teachers (they are blocked at my school to protect the egos of the staff), and any kid who got a deserved D can write how horrible a teacher you are. I think the wise thing is to be like the president…have someone else read the news/reviews and just tell you the good stuff!

    Reply
  16. It’s hard not to listen….
    But just remember whose opinions you might actually care about. Yours. Your peers, maybe.
    Ours? Maybe – but we love your stuff and expect to continue to do so.
    So just keep writing and ignore the rabble.
    I’m looking forward to be enchanted and to telling you so.

    Reply
  17. It’s hard not to listen….
    But just remember whose opinions you might actually care about. Yours. Your peers, maybe.
    Ours? Maybe – but we love your stuff and expect to continue to do so.
    So just keep writing and ignore the rabble.
    I’m looking forward to be enchanted and to telling you so.

    Reply
  18. It’s hard not to listen….
    But just remember whose opinions you might actually care about. Yours. Your peers, maybe.
    Ours? Maybe – but we love your stuff and expect to continue to do so.
    So just keep writing and ignore the rabble.
    I’m looking forward to be enchanted and to telling you so.

    Reply
  19. It’s hard not to listen….
    But just remember whose opinions you might actually care about. Yours. Your peers, maybe.
    Ours? Maybe – but we love your stuff and expect to continue to do so.
    So just keep writing and ignore the rabble.
    I’m looking forward to be enchanted and to telling you so.

    Reply
  20. It’s hard not to listen….
    But just remember whose opinions you might actually care about. Yours. Your peers, maybe.
    Ours? Maybe – but we love your stuff and expect to continue to do so.
    So just keep writing and ignore the rabble.
    I’m looking forward to be enchanted and to telling you so.

    Reply
  21. Hey Edith —
    At lunch today, I popped over to your site and discovered your interview(s). It was great to put your voice and wonderfully animated hands with your smiling face. And your message was very refreshing, especially today.
    If any wenchlings haven’t had the change to go see… do.
    🙂
    Nina

    Reply
  22. Hey Edith —
    At lunch today, I popped over to your site and discovered your interview(s). It was great to put your voice and wonderfully animated hands with your smiling face. And your message was very refreshing, especially today.
    If any wenchlings haven’t had the change to go see… do.
    🙂
    Nina

    Reply
  23. Hey Edith —
    At lunch today, I popped over to your site and discovered your interview(s). It was great to put your voice and wonderfully animated hands with your smiling face. And your message was very refreshing, especially today.
    If any wenchlings haven’t had the change to go see… do.
    🙂
    Nina

    Reply
  24. Hey Edith —
    At lunch today, I popped over to your site and discovered your interview(s). It was great to put your voice and wonderfully animated hands with your smiling face. And your message was very refreshing, especially today.
    If any wenchlings haven’t had the change to go see… do.
    🙂
    Nina

    Reply
  25. Hey Edith —
    At lunch today, I popped over to your site and discovered your interview(s). It was great to put your voice and wonderfully animated hands with your smiling face. And your message was very refreshing, especially today.
    If any wenchlings haven’t had the change to go see… do.
    🙂
    Nina

    Reply
  26. There are so many problems with reviews and reviewers even when everyone has the best intentions. I know that I have dropped a book I found not worth finishing and then, a few years later, picked it up again and absolutely loved it. I have read reviews of books I have read and wondered if the reviewer and I read the same book. People have loved books I thought were idiotic trash and have hated books I thought were wonderful. I’m sure it’s hard not to be bothered by bad reviews, but I hope you can console yourself with what I kept telling myself through 30 years of a journalism career: Some reporters (reviewers, editors, politicians, whatever) are just plain dumb.
    But when you were speaking of loving each new book as it sets out into the world, I wondered: Do you and your fellow authors have favorite characters? Or do they get overshadowed by the characters in the new book?

    Reply
  27. There are so many problems with reviews and reviewers even when everyone has the best intentions. I know that I have dropped a book I found not worth finishing and then, a few years later, picked it up again and absolutely loved it. I have read reviews of books I have read and wondered if the reviewer and I read the same book. People have loved books I thought were idiotic trash and have hated books I thought were wonderful. I’m sure it’s hard not to be bothered by bad reviews, but I hope you can console yourself with what I kept telling myself through 30 years of a journalism career: Some reporters (reviewers, editors, politicians, whatever) are just plain dumb.
    But when you were speaking of loving each new book as it sets out into the world, I wondered: Do you and your fellow authors have favorite characters? Or do they get overshadowed by the characters in the new book?

    Reply
  28. There are so many problems with reviews and reviewers even when everyone has the best intentions. I know that I have dropped a book I found not worth finishing and then, a few years later, picked it up again and absolutely loved it. I have read reviews of books I have read and wondered if the reviewer and I read the same book. People have loved books I thought were idiotic trash and have hated books I thought were wonderful. I’m sure it’s hard not to be bothered by bad reviews, but I hope you can console yourself with what I kept telling myself through 30 years of a journalism career: Some reporters (reviewers, editors, politicians, whatever) are just plain dumb.
    But when you were speaking of loving each new book as it sets out into the world, I wondered: Do you and your fellow authors have favorite characters? Or do they get overshadowed by the characters in the new book?

    Reply
  29. There are so many problems with reviews and reviewers even when everyone has the best intentions. I know that I have dropped a book I found not worth finishing and then, a few years later, picked it up again and absolutely loved it. I have read reviews of books I have read and wondered if the reviewer and I read the same book. People have loved books I thought were idiotic trash and have hated books I thought were wonderful. I’m sure it’s hard not to be bothered by bad reviews, but I hope you can console yourself with what I kept telling myself through 30 years of a journalism career: Some reporters (reviewers, editors, politicians, whatever) are just plain dumb.
    But when you were speaking of loving each new book as it sets out into the world, I wondered: Do you and your fellow authors have favorite characters? Or do they get overshadowed by the characters in the new book?

    Reply
  30. There are so many problems with reviews and reviewers even when everyone has the best intentions. I know that I have dropped a book I found not worth finishing and then, a few years later, picked it up again and absolutely loved it. I have read reviews of books I have read and wondered if the reviewer and I read the same book. People have loved books I thought were idiotic trash and have hated books I thought were wonderful. I’m sure it’s hard not to be bothered by bad reviews, but I hope you can console yourself with what I kept telling myself through 30 years of a journalism career: Some reporters (reviewers, editors, politicians, whatever) are just plain dumb.
    But when you were speaking of loving each new book as it sets out into the world, I wondered: Do you and your fellow authors have favorite characters? Or do they get overshadowed by the characters in the new book?

    Reply
  31. I often disagree with what “everyone else” says on the Amazon comments. Good authors are able to interest readers in the tale, even if the protagonist is a beta male, even if the heroine is flawed and the romance doesn’t develop along typical lines.
    I loved “How to Seduce a Bride” and the rest! Edith, your ladies have such different backgrounds. The heroes vary in size, shape, and character, just as the real men in our lives vary. The love stories are sometimes heart-breaking, but always enchanting. In fact, the “wenches” are my best reading discovery this year! And I’m a picky reader.

    Reply
  32. I often disagree with what “everyone else” says on the Amazon comments. Good authors are able to interest readers in the tale, even if the protagonist is a beta male, even if the heroine is flawed and the romance doesn’t develop along typical lines.
    I loved “How to Seduce a Bride” and the rest! Edith, your ladies have such different backgrounds. The heroes vary in size, shape, and character, just as the real men in our lives vary. The love stories are sometimes heart-breaking, but always enchanting. In fact, the “wenches” are my best reading discovery this year! And I’m a picky reader.

    Reply
  33. I often disagree with what “everyone else” says on the Amazon comments. Good authors are able to interest readers in the tale, even if the protagonist is a beta male, even if the heroine is flawed and the romance doesn’t develop along typical lines.
    I loved “How to Seduce a Bride” and the rest! Edith, your ladies have such different backgrounds. The heroes vary in size, shape, and character, just as the real men in our lives vary. The love stories are sometimes heart-breaking, but always enchanting. In fact, the “wenches” are my best reading discovery this year! And I’m a picky reader.

    Reply
  34. I often disagree with what “everyone else” says on the Amazon comments. Good authors are able to interest readers in the tale, even if the protagonist is a beta male, even if the heroine is flawed and the romance doesn’t develop along typical lines.
    I loved “How to Seduce a Bride” and the rest! Edith, your ladies have such different backgrounds. The heroes vary in size, shape, and character, just as the real men in our lives vary. The love stories are sometimes heart-breaking, but always enchanting. In fact, the “wenches” are my best reading discovery this year! And I’m a picky reader.

    Reply
  35. I often disagree with what “everyone else” says on the Amazon comments. Good authors are able to interest readers in the tale, even if the protagonist is a beta male, even if the heroine is flawed and the romance doesn’t develop along typical lines.
    I loved “How to Seduce a Bride” and the rest! Edith, your ladies have such different backgrounds. The heroes vary in size, shape, and character, just as the real men in our lives vary. The love stories are sometimes heart-breaking, but always enchanting. In fact, the “wenches” are my best reading discovery this year! And I’m a picky reader.

    Reply
  36. Why are there no review sites for dentists? Maybe there should be. However, if a dentist does a bad job, I can sue him/get him to repair what he did wrong (at least in theory). If an author writes a bad book, sueing is out, and I have yet to find a publisher who is willing to take back a book because it did not meet my standards… 🙂 I know, I am splitting hairs here, but there is a difference!
    Unfortunately a lot of reviews these days are not “professional”. Not that you need to be a professional reviewer, but you need to keep up certain rules if you are reviewing. And one of them is to get past your personal dislikes and to look at books objectively. Writing “I hate this book. It is stupid” is not a review. It is an opinion. A good reviewer has to explain clearly and concisely why he thinks a book does not work/does work. And while I am sure criticism of one’s work is never fun, most authors I know are able to take constructive criticism.
    I can see both points of views really as I am a reviewer myself, as well as an academic writer. Every time I write something, I am scared to death – will people take my essay apart? Will they discover that I don’t know all that much? on the other hand, it is part of my job to review fiction… so to stop this rambling post, let me wish your “child” a great start out in the real worlf – may the gods of reading be smiling down on it….

    Reply
  37. Why are there no review sites for dentists? Maybe there should be. However, if a dentist does a bad job, I can sue him/get him to repair what he did wrong (at least in theory). If an author writes a bad book, sueing is out, and I have yet to find a publisher who is willing to take back a book because it did not meet my standards… 🙂 I know, I am splitting hairs here, but there is a difference!
    Unfortunately a lot of reviews these days are not “professional”. Not that you need to be a professional reviewer, but you need to keep up certain rules if you are reviewing. And one of them is to get past your personal dislikes and to look at books objectively. Writing “I hate this book. It is stupid” is not a review. It is an opinion. A good reviewer has to explain clearly and concisely why he thinks a book does not work/does work. And while I am sure criticism of one’s work is never fun, most authors I know are able to take constructive criticism.
    I can see both points of views really as I am a reviewer myself, as well as an academic writer. Every time I write something, I am scared to death – will people take my essay apart? Will they discover that I don’t know all that much? on the other hand, it is part of my job to review fiction… so to stop this rambling post, let me wish your “child” a great start out in the real worlf – may the gods of reading be smiling down on it….

    Reply
  38. Why are there no review sites for dentists? Maybe there should be. However, if a dentist does a bad job, I can sue him/get him to repair what he did wrong (at least in theory). If an author writes a bad book, sueing is out, and I have yet to find a publisher who is willing to take back a book because it did not meet my standards… 🙂 I know, I am splitting hairs here, but there is a difference!
    Unfortunately a lot of reviews these days are not “professional”. Not that you need to be a professional reviewer, but you need to keep up certain rules if you are reviewing. And one of them is to get past your personal dislikes and to look at books objectively. Writing “I hate this book. It is stupid” is not a review. It is an opinion. A good reviewer has to explain clearly and concisely why he thinks a book does not work/does work. And while I am sure criticism of one’s work is never fun, most authors I know are able to take constructive criticism.
    I can see both points of views really as I am a reviewer myself, as well as an academic writer. Every time I write something, I am scared to death – will people take my essay apart? Will they discover that I don’t know all that much? on the other hand, it is part of my job to review fiction… so to stop this rambling post, let me wish your “child” a great start out in the real worlf – may the gods of reading be smiling down on it….

    Reply
  39. Why are there no review sites for dentists? Maybe there should be. However, if a dentist does a bad job, I can sue him/get him to repair what he did wrong (at least in theory). If an author writes a bad book, sueing is out, and I have yet to find a publisher who is willing to take back a book because it did not meet my standards… 🙂 I know, I am splitting hairs here, but there is a difference!
    Unfortunately a lot of reviews these days are not “professional”. Not that you need to be a professional reviewer, but you need to keep up certain rules if you are reviewing. And one of them is to get past your personal dislikes and to look at books objectively. Writing “I hate this book. It is stupid” is not a review. It is an opinion. A good reviewer has to explain clearly and concisely why he thinks a book does not work/does work. And while I am sure criticism of one’s work is never fun, most authors I know are able to take constructive criticism.
    I can see both points of views really as I am a reviewer myself, as well as an academic writer. Every time I write something, I am scared to death – will people take my essay apart? Will they discover that I don’t know all that much? on the other hand, it is part of my job to review fiction… so to stop this rambling post, let me wish your “child” a great start out in the real worlf – may the gods of reading be smiling down on it….

    Reply
  40. Why are there no review sites for dentists? Maybe there should be. However, if a dentist does a bad job, I can sue him/get him to repair what he did wrong (at least in theory). If an author writes a bad book, sueing is out, and I have yet to find a publisher who is willing to take back a book because it did not meet my standards… 🙂 I know, I am splitting hairs here, but there is a difference!
    Unfortunately a lot of reviews these days are not “professional”. Not that you need to be a professional reviewer, but you need to keep up certain rules if you are reviewing. And one of them is to get past your personal dislikes and to look at books objectively. Writing “I hate this book. It is stupid” is not a review. It is an opinion. A good reviewer has to explain clearly and concisely why he thinks a book does not work/does work. And while I am sure criticism of one’s work is never fun, most authors I know are able to take constructive criticism.
    I can see both points of views really as I am a reviewer myself, as well as an academic writer. Every time I write something, I am scared to death – will people take my essay apart? Will they discover that I don’t know all that much? on the other hand, it is part of my job to review fiction… so to stop this rambling post, let me wish your “child” a great start out in the real worlf – may the gods of reading be smiling down on it….

    Reply
  41. In my line of work the reviews are immediate and fleeting, mostly. A quick handshake at the door and a “that was great” or, if someone gets really hot under the collar, you get pulled aside and someone starts quoting their favorite Bible passage to you to show how you were wrong. Then everyone forgets–it’s the nature of preaching as an oral medium, and there’s always a new one next week to hate or adore or forget.
    Sometimes I think “professional” book reviewers forget that the great thing about books and reading is the fabulous diversity of authorial voice. I’ve read lots of books that were technically perfectly constructed (goals, motivations, characterizations, prose) and yet–so deadly dull and ordinary. All the personality of the author’s voice and style had been edited out by someone who made it more “professional.”
    This is actually one of the things I like so much about the Harry Potter books. If I were a writing teacher and someone turned in “Goblet of Fire” (for example), I would have no trouble getting out my red pen and making lots of edits and revisions–Rowling can be clunky and overly adverbial and wandering. But if I did that, the result would be a poorer book, without its liveliness, narrative power, distinctive voice, and stunningly creative worldbuilding.
    Edith, your books are always great and I am looking forward to Bride Enchanted!

    Reply
  42. In my line of work the reviews are immediate and fleeting, mostly. A quick handshake at the door and a “that was great” or, if someone gets really hot under the collar, you get pulled aside and someone starts quoting their favorite Bible passage to you to show how you were wrong. Then everyone forgets–it’s the nature of preaching as an oral medium, and there’s always a new one next week to hate or adore or forget.
    Sometimes I think “professional” book reviewers forget that the great thing about books and reading is the fabulous diversity of authorial voice. I’ve read lots of books that were technically perfectly constructed (goals, motivations, characterizations, prose) and yet–so deadly dull and ordinary. All the personality of the author’s voice and style had been edited out by someone who made it more “professional.”
    This is actually one of the things I like so much about the Harry Potter books. If I were a writing teacher and someone turned in “Goblet of Fire” (for example), I would have no trouble getting out my red pen and making lots of edits and revisions–Rowling can be clunky and overly adverbial and wandering. But if I did that, the result would be a poorer book, without its liveliness, narrative power, distinctive voice, and stunningly creative worldbuilding.
    Edith, your books are always great and I am looking forward to Bride Enchanted!

    Reply
  43. In my line of work the reviews are immediate and fleeting, mostly. A quick handshake at the door and a “that was great” or, if someone gets really hot under the collar, you get pulled aside and someone starts quoting their favorite Bible passage to you to show how you were wrong. Then everyone forgets–it’s the nature of preaching as an oral medium, and there’s always a new one next week to hate or adore or forget.
    Sometimes I think “professional” book reviewers forget that the great thing about books and reading is the fabulous diversity of authorial voice. I’ve read lots of books that were technically perfectly constructed (goals, motivations, characterizations, prose) and yet–so deadly dull and ordinary. All the personality of the author’s voice and style had been edited out by someone who made it more “professional.”
    This is actually one of the things I like so much about the Harry Potter books. If I were a writing teacher and someone turned in “Goblet of Fire” (for example), I would have no trouble getting out my red pen and making lots of edits and revisions–Rowling can be clunky and overly adverbial and wandering. But if I did that, the result would be a poorer book, without its liveliness, narrative power, distinctive voice, and stunningly creative worldbuilding.
    Edith, your books are always great and I am looking forward to Bride Enchanted!

    Reply
  44. In my line of work the reviews are immediate and fleeting, mostly. A quick handshake at the door and a “that was great” or, if someone gets really hot under the collar, you get pulled aside and someone starts quoting their favorite Bible passage to you to show how you were wrong. Then everyone forgets–it’s the nature of preaching as an oral medium, and there’s always a new one next week to hate or adore or forget.
    Sometimes I think “professional” book reviewers forget that the great thing about books and reading is the fabulous diversity of authorial voice. I’ve read lots of books that were technically perfectly constructed (goals, motivations, characterizations, prose) and yet–so deadly dull and ordinary. All the personality of the author’s voice and style had been edited out by someone who made it more “professional.”
    This is actually one of the things I like so much about the Harry Potter books. If I were a writing teacher and someone turned in “Goblet of Fire” (for example), I would have no trouble getting out my red pen and making lots of edits and revisions–Rowling can be clunky and overly adverbial and wandering. But if I did that, the result would be a poorer book, without its liveliness, narrative power, distinctive voice, and stunningly creative worldbuilding.
    Edith, your books are always great and I am looking forward to Bride Enchanted!

    Reply
  45. In my line of work the reviews are immediate and fleeting, mostly. A quick handshake at the door and a “that was great” or, if someone gets really hot under the collar, you get pulled aside and someone starts quoting their favorite Bible passage to you to show how you were wrong. Then everyone forgets–it’s the nature of preaching as an oral medium, and there’s always a new one next week to hate or adore or forget.
    Sometimes I think “professional” book reviewers forget that the great thing about books and reading is the fabulous diversity of authorial voice. I’ve read lots of books that were technically perfectly constructed (goals, motivations, characterizations, prose) and yet–so deadly dull and ordinary. All the personality of the author’s voice and style had been edited out by someone who made it more “professional.”
    This is actually one of the things I like so much about the Harry Potter books. If I were a writing teacher and someone turned in “Goblet of Fire” (for example), I would have no trouble getting out my red pen and making lots of edits and revisions–Rowling can be clunky and overly adverbial and wandering. But if I did that, the result would be a poorer book, without its liveliness, narrative power, distinctive voice, and stunningly creative worldbuilding.
    Edith, your books are always great and I am looking forward to Bride Enchanted!

    Reply
  46. Lisa has set out the situation very clearly and precisely. Reviewing is a skill that has rules and standards, and must be learned and carried out properly; there is now a lot of incompetent amateur reviewing about, and it may safely be *totally* ignored, by authors and would-be readers alike.
    The reviewing of academic publications is enormously important. Scholars cannot hope to read everything that is published in their fields, and they rely on proper, professional reviews in learned journals to give them an idea of the scope of a book, its strong points, any errors, and so forth.
    Fiction reviewing is always going to be far more subjective, but even so, a competent reviewer must be able to separate objective criticism (both praise and blame) from personal opinion, and record those different aspects clearly. It is perfectly reasonable to say, ‘This is a good book, although I did not enjoy it much myself’, or ‘I loved this book, even though it is full of faults’.
    Everyone who writes and publishes has to be prepared to take criticism and to learn from it, and we would not be human if we were not nervous when our work goes out into the big wide world. But we don’t have to pay any attention to the ‘reviewers’ on some internet sites who can hardly string three words together coherently themselves.
    😀

    Reply
  47. Lisa has set out the situation very clearly and precisely. Reviewing is a skill that has rules and standards, and must be learned and carried out properly; there is now a lot of incompetent amateur reviewing about, and it may safely be *totally* ignored, by authors and would-be readers alike.
    The reviewing of academic publications is enormously important. Scholars cannot hope to read everything that is published in their fields, and they rely on proper, professional reviews in learned journals to give them an idea of the scope of a book, its strong points, any errors, and so forth.
    Fiction reviewing is always going to be far more subjective, but even so, a competent reviewer must be able to separate objective criticism (both praise and blame) from personal opinion, and record those different aspects clearly. It is perfectly reasonable to say, ‘This is a good book, although I did not enjoy it much myself’, or ‘I loved this book, even though it is full of faults’.
    Everyone who writes and publishes has to be prepared to take criticism and to learn from it, and we would not be human if we were not nervous when our work goes out into the big wide world. But we don’t have to pay any attention to the ‘reviewers’ on some internet sites who can hardly string three words together coherently themselves.
    😀

    Reply
  48. Lisa has set out the situation very clearly and precisely. Reviewing is a skill that has rules and standards, and must be learned and carried out properly; there is now a lot of incompetent amateur reviewing about, and it may safely be *totally* ignored, by authors and would-be readers alike.
    The reviewing of academic publications is enormously important. Scholars cannot hope to read everything that is published in their fields, and they rely on proper, professional reviews in learned journals to give them an idea of the scope of a book, its strong points, any errors, and so forth.
    Fiction reviewing is always going to be far more subjective, but even so, a competent reviewer must be able to separate objective criticism (both praise and blame) from personal opinion, and record those different aspects clearly. It is perfectly reasonable to say, ‘This is a good book, although I did not enjoy it much myself’, or ‘I loved this book, even though it is full of faults’.
    Everyone who writes and publishes has to be prepared to take criticism and to learn from it, and we would not be human if we were not nervous when our work goes out into the big wide world. But we don’t have to pay any attention to the ‘reviewers’ on some internet sites who can hardly string three words together coherently themselves.
    😀

    Reply
  49. Lisa has set out the situation very clearly and precisely. Reviewing is a skill that has rules and standards, and must be learned and carried out properly; there is now a lot of incompetent amateur reviewing about, and it may safely be *totally* ignored, by authors and would-be readers alike.
    The reviewing of academic publications is enormously important. Scholars cannot hope to read everything that is published in their fields, and they rely on proper, professional reviews in learned journals to give them an idea of the scope of a book, its strong points, any errors, and so forth.
    Fiction reviewing is always going to be far more subjective, but even so, a competent reviewer must be able to separate objective criticism (both praise and blame) from personal opinion, and record those different aspects clearly. It is perfectly reasonable to say, ‘This is a good book, although I did not enjoy it much myself’, or ‘I loved this book, even though it is full of faults’.
    Everyone who writes and publishes has to be prepared to take criticism and to learn from it, and we would not be human if we were not nervous when our work goes out into the big wide world. But we don’t have to pay any attention to the ‘reviewers’ on some internet sites who can hardly string three words together coherently themselves.
    😀

    Reply
  50. Lisa has set out the situation very clearly and precisely. Reviewing is a skill that has rules and standards, and must be learned and carried out properly; there is now a lot of incompetent amateur reviewing about, and it may safely be *totally* ignored, by authors and would-be readers alike.
    The reviewing of academic publications is enormously important. Scholars cannot hope to read everything that is published in their fields, and they rely on proper, professional reviews in learned journals to give them an idea of the scope of a book, its strong points, any errors, and so forth.
    Fiction reviewing is always going to be far more subjective, but even so, a competent reviewer must be able to separate objective criticism (both praise and blame) from personal opinion, and record those different aspects clearly. It is perfectly reasonable to say, ‘This is a good book, although I did not enjoy it much myself’, or ‘I loved this book, even though it is full of faults’.
    Everyone who writes and publishes has to be prepared to take criticism and to learn from it, and we would not be human if we were not nervous when our work goes out into the big wide world. But we don’t have to pay any attention to the ‘reviewers’ on some internet sites who can hardly string three words together coherently themselves.
    😀

    Reply
  51. Sometimes I buy a book because of a bad review. If the reviewer writes well and says what they object to and why, then it can still be a “good” review, in that it sums up the book well. And knowing something is good writing is not the same as enjoying reading it. I like some trash in my diet!
    As for dentists – we’re not all looking for the same thing from books but we usually are from dentists. Its much more easily quantifiable.

    Reply
  52. Sometimes I buy a book because of a bad review. If the reviewer writes well and says what they object to and why, then it can still be a “good” review, in that it sums up the book well. And knowing something is good writing is not the same as enjoying reading it. I like some trash in my diet!
    As for dentists – we’re not all looking for the same thing from books but we usually are from dentists. Its much more easily quantifiable.

    Reply
  53. Sometimes I buy a book because of a bad review. If the reviewer writes well and says what they object to and why, then it can still be a “good” review, in that it sums up the book well. And knowing something is good writing is not the same as enjoying reading it. I like some trash in my diet!
    As for dentists – we’re not all looking for the same thing from books but we usually are from dentists. Its much more easily quantifiable.

    Reply
  54. Sometimes I buy a book because of a bad review. If the reviewer writes well and says what they object to and why, then it can still be a “good” review, in that it sums up the book well. And knowing something is good writing is not the same as enjoying reading it. I like some trash in my diet!
    As for dentists – we’re not all looking for the same thing from books but we usually are from dentists. Its much more easily quantifiable.

    Reply
  55. Sometimes I buy a book because of a bad review. If the reviewer writes well and says what they object to and why, then it can still be a “good” review, in that it sums up the book well. And knowing something is good writing is not the same as enjoying reading it. I like some trash in my diet!
    As for dentists – we’re not all looking for the same thing from books but we usually are from dentists. Its much more easily quantifiable.

    Reply

Leave a Comment