Today I got some disappointing news from an indie accreditation site. I was blindsided because my book got a fairly good review from Kirkus, Midwest Book Review, and my local paper. Alas, in publishing you can’t please every one. I loved the Goldfinch but a friend hated it and couldn’t finish it. I thought A Gentleman in Moscow was brilliant and it received it’s share of scathing reviews (thousands of good ones though). What confuses me is When a Stranger Comes… is more of a fantasy, magical realism tale in the tradition of Stephen King. For example, in one of his books his main character travels back to 1963 through a portal in a diner. For my book, the unflattering comments were that the plot wasn’t plausible. Can you believe it? My MC is transported to an alternate universe, the characters from her novels appear in the flesh and she makes a pact with the Devil. Yeah, it’s not plausible. That’s the point. It’s a trip to a make-believe world, a flight of fancy, a mind game to make some points about our real world where we are obsessed with the material. That we as humans are greedy and ignorant of how our greed is destroying our planet and ourselves.
I know, I should focus on the accolades and there have been those. I know I should focus on readers who totally got the point of this book. But I keep wanting all readers to love my work, to be incentivized to write good reviews, to tell their friends they found a good book. So I get a disappointed by a negative response and it hurts. I’ve got to get a thicker skin. I’ve got to not care. I really have a great life whether or not my writing gets noticed by the masses.
Live is good. Life is a miracle. I’m an excellent writer.