I’m going to make this short and to the point. Reader reviews are what they are. Writing is art and reading is subjective. That whole beauty in the eye of the beholder thing. That’s what is wonderful about it. There’s something for everyone.
Yes, there are certain rules writers should follow that make for “good” writing but even those rules can be broken and broken with success.
But as for the reviews themselves, I put reviews into four categories: Positive about the story; Positive about the craft; Negative about the craft; Negative about nonsense.
I’m not going to dwell on the positive reviews because everyone enjoys positive reviews. For some readers the story captures their imagination or heart and they just love it. For others, the skill of the author impresses them. Positive reviews are awesome. Simple.
Negative reviews are another kind of bird. There are the negative reviews that actually mean something. They touch on the craft of storytelling or the skill of word weaving. Pacing, character development, plotting, etc. This is called constructive criticism. I take these reviews to heart and seek to learn something from them.
Then there are the moronic reviews. Like this one for my family drama, A Thousand Sleepless Nights (written under a pen name, Michael King): The reviewer gave it 2 stars because “I ordered this book because my brother was recently diagnosed with Colon Cancer, I thought this would be a resource book.” Really? It clearly says “A Novel” right on the cover. My heart goes out to the brother and . . . he could still use it as a resource book.
And then there are comments like this attached to 1-star reviews: “Gives you the impression it’s going to be a horror novel, and ends up pounding religion into the reader.” And this: “This book is all about finding God, how your problems will all be solved and all will be right with the world. What a crock. If I want to find religion, I can do it without being tricked into reading a religious book. Shame.” Uh, did they read the book? Yes, it’s about finding God but all is definitely not right with the world. And these are the folks who accuse Christians of being closed-minded. Shame.
These moronic reviews really don’t bother me. They’re part of being a writer and you take ’em as part of the journey.
But sometimes negative reviews hurt. This one for Frantic still puts an ache in my heart. It’s honest and respectful and I appreciate that. I wrote a post on it before that discusses why it hurt so badly.
Other times I’m just baffled by positive vs. negative reviews. The two following reviews exemplify perfectly how subjective reading is. Both are for my short story The Last Hunt.
The positive one: From the first line of the story, Dellosso’s craftsmanship shows through. The story begins with boyhood memories of hunting trips with his dad, his uncle, and his grandfather. The tale includes anecdotes of how the narrator grew up on these hunting trips and approached manhood. Then the story delves into the fateful night and the hunting trip that was the final one. The story is narrated at just the right pace. It is a masterpiece.
And the negative one: I really enjoy Mr. Dellosso’s books, so I thought I would try this short story. It was very disappointing and definitely not worth the dollar I spent on it. The story was rushed and the conclusion just left me confused. Questions were not answered and storylines weren’t finished. I think this would make a good full-length book so that more things could be fleshed out. As a short story, however, it fell way short of the mark.
Did they read the same story? Obviously they did. But you see how the same story can affect people in two totally different ways. For a writer, this is frustrating.
Now, the negative one here would fall into the “Negative about the craft” category and is worth learning from. Except one thing that, I’m sorry, just irks me: “definitely not worth the dollar I spent on it.” I wish this reviewer would have used his real name because I’d gladly track him down and refund his dollar. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
Okay, that was a little more than short and sweet. Sorry.
Hey, if you haven’t read my newest thriller, Fearless, yet I’d suggest getting a copy and leaving a review when you’re done. And I’ll thank you ahead of time for any positive or thoughtful negative reviews. But please, if your review is going to be moronic, save your time and skip it. Or don’t use your real name.
Wow, I can’t believe the week is over already! What a whirlwind. I truly had a blast reading all the comments. Here’s a quick rundown on how things played out for the week.
Books given away: 29
Pretty awesome! THANK YOU!!
Okay, here are the winners of yesterday’s giveaway . . .
MIRROR IMAGE: Dennis Morris
THE LAST HUNT: Kevin Hill
THE HUNTED: Shana Montgomery
FEARLESS: Troy Tennard
Congrats to all the winners!
And again, a big THANK YOU to everyone who participated this week. Keep spreading the word about FEARLESS!
And HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!
Wow, I can’t believe this week has already come to an end. THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the giveaways, especially yesterday’s. It was so interesting to see who those favorite villains were. I think Darth Vader and Marsuvees Black were the most popular. Lots of Star Wars and Ted Dekker fans out there, huh?
Okay, here are the winners from yesterday’s giveaways:
MIRROR IMAGE: Judy More
THE LAST HUNT: Sarah Hallam
REARVIEW: JoAnn Armstrong
FEARLESS: Vicki H.
Congratulations to all the winners!
And now for today’s giveaway . . . Simply leave a comment to this post. That’s it, nice and simple. Anything you want to say. Books on the table are MIRROR IMAGE, THE LAST HUNT, REARVIEW, THE HUNTED, and 2 copies of FEARLESS.
And if you’re a mother may I just say HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Thank you for all you do!
I’m often asked about the villains I write. When writing villains I try to keep in mind that they are real people too. There is a reason they turned to evil; at some moment in their life there was a decision made, a turning point happened. That’s what I try to explore. I want to dive deeper into the psyche of the villain, show the reader that under the exterior there is a hurting person there. And if the reader feels some sympathy for the villain, then I’ve done my job.
In FEARLESS, Mitch Albright is one such villain. Wounded, he has chosen the path of destruction and is desperate to get what he craves the most.
Enough of that, now on to the winners from yesterday’s drawing:
MIRROR IMAGE: Jason Sessions
THE LAST HUNT: Nancy (@ciclodiva)
DARKNESS FOLLOWS: Annie VZ
FEARLESS: esdluquillo (Betsy)
FEARLESS: Brian Stansell
FEARLESS: Cathy Groover
Now, for today’s giveaway. All you have to do is leave a comment stating your favorite villain of all time. I don’t care who it is or where he’s from. Favorite villain of all time. Let’s have it. Mine? Max Cady, Robert De Niro’s character in Cape Fear. That guy seriously creeped me out.
One of the characters in FEARLESS, Louisa, is a child with a very special gift. If you’ve been reading my books you may have noticed I’m on a kick with including children in my stories. This is for a couple reasons. One, I enjoy writing children. They provide a unique canvas for creating very colorful, interesting characters. And two, the innocence of a child offers the perfect contrast for evil. Louisa’s character is rich with both of these aspects.
Now, down to business. The winners of yesterday’s giveaway are . . .
MIRROR IMAGE: Ann Carawan
THE LAST HUNT: Whitney Woodmansee
REARVIEW: Gary Hough
A THOUSAND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS: Reggie Greanleaf
FEARLESS: Tom Farr
FEARLESS: Anna Urquhart
FEARLESS: Patrick Cox
Whew! Congratulations to all the winners.
Okay, more giveaways on the way. Today, I’d like you to go to my Facebook fan page and “LIKE” it. Then leave a comment below this post stating you did so. If you’ve already liked it, that counts. Just leave a comment saying you’ve liked it already. That simple.
Please share this giveaway with your friends and followers via all your favorite social media sites. If we get to 1,000 likes on the Facebook page I’ll throw in another copy of FEARLESS and increase your chances to win!
Today is the official release day for FEARLESS and we have a lot to cover so let’s get started . . .
Yesterday’s winners. Below are the winners from yesterday’s giveaways. Congrats to all!
THE LAST HUNT: Greg Sutis
MIRROR IMAGE: Pal Davenport
FRANTIC: Lois Hudson
FEARLESS: Cindy Snider
Want to help promote FEARLESS? Wow, thank you! Below are some links you may find interesting. Just copy and past them in your Facebook status or Twitter feed.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Fearless-A-novel-Mike-Dellosso/dp/1621362418/
Fan video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ha04CiaDJxA
Fan Pinterest page: http://pinterest.com/jojosutis/fearless-by-mike-dellosso/
Okay, here’s how to win more books! See the “Share this:” section directly below this post? Just share this post on one of those sites and then leave a comment saying you did so and you’ll be entered to win one of 3 copies of FEARLESS, a copy of MIRROR IMAGE, THE LAST HUNT, REARVIEW, or A THOUSAND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS.
You have until midnight. Winners will be announced tomorrow.
Please share this!
FEARLESS, my newest thriller officially releases tomorrow and in my book (pun inteneded) that calls for a celebration. And to celebrate I want to give away some books.
Today, leave a comment to this blog post and get in on the drawing to win a copy of THE LAST HUNT (an e-short story), MIRROR IMAGE (an e-short story), or FRANTIC (my 5th thriller). Contest ends at midnight.
Come back tomorrow. I’ll be giving away copies of the short stories and FEARLESS as well as another book!
My newest thriller, FEARLESS, releases next Tuesday, May 7. Folks, I know I’m probably a bit biased but you won’t want to miss this one. It’s a thrill ride from page one.
Join me next week right here, on Facebook, and Twitter, for giveaways galore. I’ll be giving away copies of FEARLESS, but I’ll also be giving away some of my other books, including A THOUSAND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS, which I wrote under the pseudonym, Michael King, and copies of my e-stories, THE LAST HUNT, MIRROR IMAGE, and REARVIEW.
It’s going to be a giveaway bonanza!
Check back here Monday for the first round of giveaways.
I want to thank everyone who helped promote Mirror Image and The Last Hunt. I want to thank those who downloaded them, who read them, who reviewed them, who talked about them. I hope you enjoyed both stories. They’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback and have really seemed to strike a good note with readers.
If you missed the giveaways, not to worry, both stories are available for only $0.99.
Fearless releases on May 7, a week from Tuesday. You can preorder it just about anywhere. So far, it’s getting very good reviews, some saying it’s my best book yet. I find this interesting because after all is said and done with the writing and editing of all my books I always think, This is the book that’s going to flop, that’s going to expose me as a fraud. But from what I hear from my author friends that’s a perfect normal feeling and shared by most.
Fearless is a wonderful story and while writing it I quickly fell in love with the characters. It has lots of suspense, mystery, intrigue, and of course a slight twist of the supernatural. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
The Last Hunt was a short story I wrote a few years ago. I recently revised it and it is now available for Kindle and for FREE for a limited time.
This story will make you think twice about ever going into the woods again.
Today through Thursday you can download THE LAST HUNT for FREE! (After that it’ll be only $0.99.)
Download it now and please help spread the word about this special offer. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, and whatever other social media venues you frequent. Thank you!