If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our October Author Interviews--10/4 Wendy Tyson, 10/11 Marilyn Levinson, 10/18 Earl Javorski, 10/25 Linda Lovely. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


October Saturday Guest Bloggers: 10/7 Mark Bacon, 10/14 Elaine Orr, 10/21 WWK's Margaret S. Hamilton, 10/28 Kait Carson, and E. B. Davis 10/31 to fill out our fifth Tuesday.


WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla! Look for Carla's blog this month to find out the winner.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.
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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

That ONE DANG Review, by Carla Damron

Why, oh why, do I read Amazon reviews? Because like many writers, I’m neurotic. I’m desperate for people—especially readers—to like me. And more importantly, I want them to like my children. As I have no human offspring, my children are the books I’ve written. Granted, I don’t have to feed them, or pay for their college, or bail them out of jail if they get too wild at the beach, but I do LABOR over each work. Picture this: the gestation period for THE STONE NECKLACE was six years.

I’ve written before about how blessed I’ve been to have Story River Books as my publisher, and to have THE STONE NECKLACE chosen to be the One Book One Community read for Columbia, SC, where I live. What I hope happens now is for the book to spread its wings beyond our state. I want readers all across the country.

This means I compulsively check my Amazon statistics and reviews.  And, for the most part, readers have been kind to me and my child. That they liked it, and actually took the time to post a positive review, means the world to me. I savor these narratives like my favorite green peanut M&Ms.

But then along comes Lyn R., who posted her comments on May 28th, a day that will live in infamy.  “This book was just OK. Not a great work of literature … The writing attempts depth, but falls short. The dialogue lacks complexity.” 



Reading this was like biting into a really bad M&M. One missing a peanut, but was instead filled with lost dreams and maybe salmonella. I texted my writer friends about it and got this immediate response: “DON’T READ THAT SH%T CARLA. Damnit.” And they were right, of course. I should know better.

I brooded for much of the morning. What happened in Lyn R’s life to make her want to post what she said? Maybe she was ill with a migraine. Maybe she’d gotten a letter from the IRS. Or maybe she’d read Faulkner or James Joyce before my book, in which case I definitely lacked complexity. Or maybe she’d eaten a salmonella tainted M&M.

I sure know how that feels. 


There’s nothing to be done, of course. I can’t expect everyone to love my children. I can, however, take solace in knowing my reviews are honest. I’ve not asked friends to post positive reviews as a favor. Some bad will come with the good, because that’s just how life works.

What about tomorrow? Will I compulsively check Amazon and other review sites, now that I’ve felt this sting?

You betcha.  My maybe-not-perfect-but-still-pretty-damn-good child has been birthed, and I’m ready for her to see the world.



11 comments:

Jim Jackson said...

Yep, despite the advice to not read reviews for my books, I still do. I feel good with the positive ones and not so good with the blah reviews. I’ll stop reading, I promise, if I begin to get (oh say) 250 reviews per book. [That should be a high enough number I don’t have to worry about fulfilling my promise.]

KM Rockwood said...

I always read the reviews.

I have one one-star review that just says "It's boring."

Another two star review that says it's too much like the others in the series.

Everything isn't to everybody's taste. Most people are honest. Some are a bit mean.

Carla Damron said...

I read one where the reader complained about a metaphor. "her mouth was no bigger than a green bean." She said the average green bean was 4 to 4.5 inches long, so the metaphor was absurd. Guess I should have specified "kitchen sliced, canned green bean."

Warren Bull said...

One reviewer said MURDER MANHATTAN STYLE had a misleading title because the Manhattan she expected was not the Manhattan in the collection. I guess I failed to read her mind.

Grace Topping said...

It is so painful when we learn that someone doesn't like us--and equally painful when they don't like our work. I guess the thing to do is focus on all the people who do and ignore the ones who don't. But, you were smart putting the review to work for you by writing an interesting blog. Well done.

Gloria Alden said...

Carla, I can't imagine anyone writing a bad review of The Stone Necklace, or your Caleb Knowles series which I hope you soon get back to. I miss them.

Actually, I only read the reviews on my first book in the first week or two it went up on Amazon before anyone had time to download and read the book except for several sisters who were already familiar with the book and gave me positive reviews. I have yet to read any review of any of my books on Amazon. I've had several people email me positive reviews they read about my books, and I love hearing in person when people say how much they enjoy my books. Maybe I should read my reviews, but I'm not sure I ever will.

Margaret Turkevich said...

I have a thick hide, but negative criticism still stings. In some cases, it's not about what I've written at all, but the fact that I've struck a raw nerve, or unleashed a powerful memory.

Carla Damron said...

Yes it is painful, but my hide is much thicker than it once was. Having people critique a work in progress, even if it's very negative, can be key to helping the writer improve it. And somebody just brought me M&Ms after he read my blog, so there's that!!!

Kim Striker said...

Ah, the pain of the bad review. There is no getting around it! Hang in there and hopefully this will be your last one.

Kait said...

Ah yes, I hate it when my other persona posts. Bad reviews are weird. Like you, I figure it's due to bad green m&ms. I'm always torn between, well at least they read the book, and wondering why they finished if it was so not to their taste (or if they disliked it so much).

Shari Randall said...

I haven't published a novel yet, but already the thought of negative reviews terrifies me!
My friend Sherry Harris has the best advice: You can have the sweetest peach, but if someone doesn't like peaches, they won't like yours no matter what. Can't worry about them!