A good review impacts on my writing. I can be in the doldrums for days stuck in the middle of a complicated plot doubting my ability to write anything other than a list for the supermarket. Then I find a positive review on the internet and suddenly I’m sitting up straight, I’m buzzing with energy, I’m solving problems and moving my story forward. Somebody thinks my work is good. I am vindicated.
A bad review has a similarly dramatic effect.
Especially when the review comes from my target audience, teenagers.
My new book, JUST JEALOUS is out. When a new book comes out it’s like a new beginning. This will be the one that takes you forward that builds your reputation that makes you a dead cert for the Richard and Judy treatment. You wait with bated breath to see what people think. You sigh with relief when the first review is read. It is liked! It is admired! And then you find your first teenage review.
“Not the best book I’ve ever read.”
It’s like a physical blow. I’ve had worse reviews but it’s the brevity and the throwaway nature of the comment. It’s like a sneer and I’m reminded of Lauren, the ‘not bothered’ teenager, created by Catherine Tate. Seven words that resign my efforts to the mediocre bin. This book so under whelmed the reader than she couldn’t be bothered to say another word about it.
I want to remonstrate with my critic; I want to explain, to point out all the clever narrative tricks I have employed, to illustrate my talent with a stunning line or two. I want to offer my back list in mitigation and promise future plot lines that will compel and dumbfound and excite.
But it’s too late because she’s walked away. I only had one chance to impress her and that’s gone. She’s left me behind a crumpled heap on the floor of my study.
Oh brutal youth.