"Prolonged, indiscriminate reviewing of books is a quite exceptionally thankless, irritating and exhausting job. It not only involves praising trash but constantly inventing reactions towards books about which one has no spontaneous feeling whatever.”
-author, George Orwell
Hi, *sips coffee* I’m Lee Brazil, and I write m/m romance for Breathless Press and Story Orgy. And...even though I know I probably shouldn't, I'm going to take this blog post and I’m going to respond to a reviewer. *gasp* Looks furtively around...shhhh...please don't panic. I'm not insane, or high on caffeine. I want to go on record now as saying I do not think responding to a reviewer is a bad thing. Nor is it a good thing. The quality of the response makes a difference.
I write some books. I like them. My publisher likes them. My mom doesn't like them. *shrugs* Neither did she like my excursion to a Billy Idol concert with five other teens when I was sixteen. Our relationship survived her disappointment at my sneaking out of the house, and it will survive my disappointment in her lack of appreciation for my writing. She says they're too graphic...I think she's referring to the erotic content. That's fine with me, she's certainly entitled to her opinion.
Anyway, I’m fortunate enough that some people have read my books. Guess what? Some of these people don't like my books.*sips coffee* Now, this is not where I fly off the handle and address the readers who don't like my books. Believe it or not, I'm okay with readers not liking my books. Why? Because they actually took the time to read my book.
And that right there is pretty cool, you know?
So the reader writes up a review and posts it on Good reads, or Amazon, or wherever. And in the review they proceed to tell people what they didn't like about my book. Sometimes, they also tell things they did like about the book. I had a reviewer last month who hated my characters- both of them- so much she'd have given the book a one star – except...she liked the writing style. Awww...that bad review made me so damn happy, I'm getting all warm and fuzzy thinking about it a month later. The reader didn't like my book, but she liked my writing enough to point it out. How awesome is that?
So, yes, I read all my reviews. I don't respond to all of them. That's just me. Well, not really, because sometimes Good Reads hides them from me, so in some respects, it isn't just me, it's Good Reads, too. I do respond to some, especially the ones that touch me in some way.
Some people say that writing is a solitary pursuit, or that reviews are for readers. For me, writing is an interactive process. Readers approach me all the time. I encourage it. I want to know what they thought, good or bad.
I could blame it on my years of teaching. I've given plenty of negative feedback to inexperienced writers. I didn't expect students in my writing classes to burst into tears, rant and call me an asshole when I critiqued their papers. That doesn't mean that some of them didn't do that. Most, however, even as teens, knew enough not to behave badly in the classroom. They probably did plenty of name calling and ranting behind my back, out of the limelight. Their friends probably nodded and patted their backs and agreed enthusiastically that I was clueless. Didn't bother me then, doesn't bother me now.
However, neither did I expect that I would just write some stuff on their papers and they would take it back to their desks and that would be the end of it. For some of them, it was. For others, we had conversations. Back and forths about what they liked that I didn't, what might work, how the paper was generated, where it was going.
In my opinion, your published review of my work is just like that critique- we could dialogue about it, or we could brush it off. Your choice. But I do have something to say about it.
Thank you for taking the time to review my work. I really appreciate the time and effort that goes into reading and writing a review. God knows I don't review every book I read, and half the time the review comes out in some garbled Lee shorthand- "It was good" , or worse, "J".
from Breathless Press
Eden St. Cyr wants to let the boy who's crushing on him down easy. Drew Harris wants to protect his son from what he considers a disastrous relationship. Neither of them counted on being attracted to the other.
Eden St. Cyr has wandering feet. He shuffles around the country from place to place and college to college, changing majors and lovers at whim. When Bailey Harris starts following him home, mooning around and showing signs of affection,
hatches a plan to let the kid down lightly before he leaves for the next semester, the next college, and the next lover. Eden
Drew Harris is stunned at the changes in his son. His responsible dependable, cheerful boy has become a moody despondent, irresponsible teenager. Drew knows exactly who to blame, too. When Eden doesn’t' return his phone calls, he's forced to be a little more devious in his plans to get the bad influence out of his son's life.
An unexpected attraction derails both men from their plans, but when Bailey walks in at the least appropriate time, can things be put right?
200 Word Excerpt:
"We'll talk later, yes?" The man asserted.
was trapped in the depths of those deep blue eyes and unable to utter a response. A big, calloused hand came up to cup Eden 's jaw, thumb rubbing gently over the two-day growth of beard he hadn't bothered to shave. Shaking his head, Drew began to speak again but then his head tilted slightly to the side and his lips came down. Eden caught his breath in surprise. Surely Bailey's dad wasn't going to kiss him? Eden
But he was. Warm dry lips pressed to his own briefly, sliding a little to the side, nipping lightly at his own lower lip. The gentle kiss swept right across his mouth in a brief warm touch that left him craving more. It had barely begun before Drew pulled away.
Author Contact: http://leebrazilauthor.blogspot.com/