For those of you who think being an author is all fame and fortune (HA!), here's a sampling of some of the reviews, emails, and conversations that have kept me humble.
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"An intriguing beginning, but the plot soon sinks into predictability and the characters become more shallow and underdeveloped as the story progresses."
Her: "How much did you have to pay the publishing house?"
Me: "Actually, they paid me."
Her: "Well, I know you might get royalties and stuff, but how much did you have to pay to get your book printed? Like, a couple thousand dollars?"
Me: "No, they paid me."
Her: "I don't think you understand my question."
"Boring and depressing."
"Your main character (Julia) has no integrity. I felt nothing for her."
"I bought your book because one reviewer compared you to Lisa Samson. You are nothing like Lisa Samson." (Well, I know that! Who could compare?)
"I will never read another one of your books."
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Ouch! And yet, I can't help laughing. Don't get me wrong, I didn't always laugh... In fact, some of the above comments brought me to tears and made me think I should quit this writing gig altogether. But hey, maybe three years in the business (my first book came out in the fall of 2007!) has toughened me up a bit. Or helped me to realize that not everyone is going to love what I do. But I love doing it, and as long as they'll keep publishing me I'll keep writing!
And for those of you who are aspiring writers, start toughening up that elephant skin! We can compare bad reviews someday. :)