on fb and probably in my promotion files at work I’m supposed to pass along reviews to broadcast my awesomeness and attentionworthyness, and I have big old integrity issues through out the process. As if it matters to anyone but me I have only posted reviews I think are apt. I have not posted various positive things that I think are dumb. I have not yet received an apt bad review, or at least not one I am capable of recognizing as apt. I did just learn about a really really nasty one, though, and it came out first, and I remember there being a lot of interest in reviewing the book and then a sudden series of passes from previously interested publications, and now that I see the timing I think AHA! they thought the book looked interesting, then they read the kirkus which comes out first and they think, Oh, we can let this one pass, concentrate on these other ones. I’m naming it so that I don’t pretend I can or should try to pretend that there is not stuff out there about how my stuff sucks. But I am naming it here in a blog post pretty much no one will notice. Which is how I used to get to feel/have to feel about anything I wrote or published and still sort of feel, and then don’t feel and then do etc.
Honesty. I am going for radical honesty as hard as I can. Honesty doesn’t blither any old thing, it’s measured, assessed, it has what you might call boundaries, it has layers.
I know that feeling of relief when you can lower your stack of reading, when you can dismiss something from the pile of the potentially noteworthy. I do not think the review is apt, though, in its criticisms. I can sort of see how a reader who might like the book could see through the review to how it might describe a book they might like. I don’t have a problem with masses of people being out there with no interest in a book like mine, in my book. But reading this felt like a person trying to kill my book over something that doesn’t really have to do with the book I wrote. My book sounded like a book I might want to kill. My book sounded like a snarky asshole book. But I really don’t think it’s a snarky asshole book. Though I am interested in the phenomenon of snark, definitely a thing I think about. How do I feel about writing a book that some presumably well-read person wanted to kill? Well read, read well, what does that mean anyway? It definitely spun me around, and clearly, today, a day later, I can still spin out. I still have that feeling like when my mother was angry at me when I was a kid and I thought I can never fix this I just have to wait and eventually it will be over. Well, let’s not get into my mother. But this morning I still worked on my novel. And this afternoon I get to go to a bbq with some friends.