Monday, 5 November 2012

Rhino Hide or Run and Hide?

This week I'm delighted to welcome Stacy S Eaton to my blog where she will be talking about how to handle reviews. Not only is this subject very close to my heart, Stacy talks some very good sense which I for one agree with.

Reviews can be one of the most important things to a writer, although it should not be the most important thing. I know that there is no better feeling than for someone to tell you that they loved your book. But what about the people who don’t?

I recently did an interview where I talked about this briefly. As writers we have to remember that readers all have different tastes. I am not a fan of Pepsi – but I love Coke. Some people are just the opposite. That’s why when you walk into the grocery store, there is a whole isle dedicated to different flavors of soda. Everyone likes different things.

So do readers.

What do I do if I get a review that isn’t that gushing “OMG I loved your story!”? Well, I read it and see if they make any points. Was there something they really didn’t like? Have other people said they didn’t like that particular thing also? Was it something about the writing or was it just the story they weren’t thrilled with?

I look at these and if I am seeing the same kinds of comments, then I think on them, I take them seriously. Maybe they are right, or maybe they are just Pepsi fans. Whatever the reason, I do think about them and I take them into consideration while I work on my next project.  You have to; it is the readers you are trying to please. Granted you cannot please everyone, but you can always try.

I know that a lot of authors take any review under a four star as a negative and a personal attack. You can’t do that. A three star review is still a good review – it just means they liked it, but it wasn’t their favorite. It’s not an attack on you the writer, it’s an opinion and everyone has one.

In July, I released my newest novel, “Whether I’ll Live or Die”. This story is a very intense story about domestic abuse. I knew where I wrote it that some people would love it and others would hate it. It’s their choice. I have been humbled by the four and five star reviews that I have obtained. But there are people that have given it a 1 star too. Unfortunately, that person did not leave a review – just a rating so I don’t know why they didn’t like it. Maybe it was too intense; maybe they didn’t like the ending. Who knows, but it just proves my point that while I have a lot of people who have loved the book, I do have others that don’t.

You look at them and then move on. Don’t let it eat away at you. Take the comments with a grain of salt and move forward.  If you can take the good with the bad, then you will just become a stronger writer.

“Whether I’ll Live or Die”

 “It sounded so simple in theory; ready... aim... fire... but what actually transpired was so much more.”

Officer Nicole Nolan holds the gun steady in her hands, knowing that life will be forever altered once she pulls the trigger. Her position as a small town police officer is to protect those who cannot protect themselves. It is her job, her career and her life.

Amanda stands where protection does not exist. With several failed relationships behind her, Amanda turns a blind eye to the possessiveness Josh displays in order to sooth her desperate need to be loved. As the mental abuse turns violent, Amanda must deal with the denial and embarrassment of being a victim once again. With her emotional and physical health siting on the edge, she must fight to regain control of her life.

A gripping story with one final destination, but will it be life or death?

Author Bio:

Stacy is a full-time police officer who enjoys crime scene investigation above all else. She is a mother of two and her husband is also in law enforcement. She is very much into photography and carries her Nikon Digital SLR with her almost everywhere, just in case. She also has two Shiloh Shepherd dogs and loves to play catch with them.

Her first book, My Blood Runs Blue was the start of her writing career.  It brings the world of law enforcement into the paranormal world of vampires. It is a suspenseful adult series that will keep you guessing from chapter to chapter. Book one, My Blood Runs Blue, was published April 2011 and is currently available in paperback, hardcover and e-book editions. Book two of the series, entitled Blue Blood for Life was released September 2011 and like book 1 made International Best Selling lists on Amazon very quickly.  The third book of this series is in the plot and characters development stage. She is hoping to have it completed and published in the spring of 2013.

Stacy continues to write and is currently working on finishing up her latest novel, “Garda ~ Welcome to The Realm” a book about guardian angels. Book three of the series is in the works along with a contemporary romance. She also has plotlines for four more books sitting on the back burner.

Twitter: @StacySEaton

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Horror Vs Crime

Halloween got me thinking about horror writing and crime fiction. Without meaning to offend any of my friends who read or write horror fiction I have to say that the whole horror scene does nothing for me. Ghouls, goblins, monsters and supernatural goings on have me reaching for the remote, leaving the cinema or worst of all – laying down the book. 

Yet when I thought about it there is a definite correlation between horror and my beloved crime fiction. Horror terrifies the reader or viewer with scary beings that may or may not be exist, (I’m a bet hedger by the way) while crime fiction deals with events which are real and can be found in almost any daily newspaper.  

Okay I’ll admit that some books in the crime fiction genre are a bit fanciful, but they all play on the fears of the reader. Take the Bond books by Ian Fleming as an example, they all seem to have a megalomaniac who wants to rule the world or are a battle against Russians. While this may be a bit clich├ęd in today’s world, we must remember that they were mostly released during the late fifties and sixties when the cold war was at its most Arctic and the thoughts and fears of the populace were very different than they are today. 

On the other hand there are some fantastic novels which could claim to be in either camp. Take The Shining by Stephen King, King is known for his out and out horror novels which have petrified millions of people over the decades, yet I feel The Shining is more of a psychological thriller than a straight horror tale. When you examine the story and observe Jack’s descent into madness you genuinely feel afraid for him and his family. There are no supernatural creatures whatsoever in the book or the film but who can forget Jack Nicholson’s face poking through the shattered door panel?

Another film and book which shocked was Thomas Harris’ Silence of the Lambs. Boiled down to its essential story Silence of the Lambs is a police procedural with an informer called Hannibal Lector. However anyone who has ever read the book or seen the film will know it is so much more than that. Lector is a truly terrifying character who, when teamed up with the young and vulnerable Clarice Starling takes on an even more sinister role. 

These crossovers work for me as they do for millions of others but I have tried reading and watching horror only to find myself underwhelmed. I have read a John Connolly book which was technically very good but too supernatural for me and I fell asleep in the cinema during Hellraiser 3

So which camp are you in, Crime or Horror? Answers on the back of a £20 note or in the comments section if you prefer.