From a dry and sunny moment in Bristol. I hope the sun shines where you are. I think we’ve had enough rain now!
So, why am I here? Because today a review really irritated me. So much so I stopped what I was doing to have a moan. You lovely lot got the short end of the stick, cos hubby is watching the football.
Authors of fiction need three things to make them happy. The first, and most important, are ideas. Without an idea to develop and play with, there is no story. Then, once their story has been told, they want someone to read what they’ve written, however nail bitingly nervous that might make them. But once read, they want feedback. I could list all the questions authors would like answered, but that’s not why I’m here. A simple ‘I loved it’ will lift the spirits, while if I’m honest, ‘I hated it’, would do, but cause a sigh and raise all the questions I haven’t listed in triplicate.
This morning an author friend came up in my social feed, and I realised and not seen any mention of the sequel to one of his crime thrillers I want to read. I went to Amazon to check if it had been published, and was disappointed to find it hadn’t. This particular author is a genre jumper, he writes thrillers, (good ones), humour, and post-apocalyptic horror. (I’m sure they’re good too, but I haven’t read them). Although I like to genre jump when reading, I avoid the latter genre. But I thought I’d take a peep, and I read the sample. It grabbed my interest, but was that enough to make me add to my overwhelming TBR pile? I wasn’t sure, so I scrolled to the reviews. Perhaps they would help. The book had a good average of 4.5 stars. Sometimes, Amazon shows the most popular positive and negative review at the top. They did on this occasion, and here I am.
I don’t write a review if I don’t enjoy a book, but accept that if everyone did that they would be worthless. So it’s fair play to give an honest opinion if you didn’t like it. If an author has used the wrong terminology or language for the story, fair point. Should they end on a cliffhanger and you don’t like it, have a moan. If loose ends aren’t tied up, say so. But if you’ve read a post-apocalyptic zombie horror story, is this one star review fair?
“Seemed like this might be a good read from reading the premise, but the book was too implausible.”
The main reason I don’t like horror is because I don’t have the imagination for it. Every time a zombie, vampire, or werewolf appears, my brain says don’t be frightened, disgusted, or shocked, they don’t exist. But this review really wound me up. The reviewer had read the bumph and knew what was coming. I wish I knew them, as even without reading the book I’d have to ask which bit was implausible. Was it that a plague released upon the opening of a crypt? Perhaps that the undead stalked the earth looking for human food? Or maybe that humans survived, mainly underground, some of who worshiped the zombies, and ensured they were fed. Because that’s what the book is about. There’s a hero, of course, one who wants to live above ground, etc., etc., etc. All of this was in the bumph. So, knowing that what would have made it plausible? Who knows? They didn’t say.
So I suppose, what I’m trying to say is, there is a fourth thing the author might need, and that’s an explanation. Because, that review is like saying ‘I didn’t like the fact children were involved’, when the book was called The Kindergarten Kidnaps. Or ‘Too old-fashioned’ about a historical drama.
Moan over. That’s what made me cross this week, so I should also tell you what made me happy. One thing was the receipt of a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine, from a lovely young lady whose name I don’t know. The other week, hubby and I were watching the TV, and it was almost our bedtime when dogs were upset by banging outside. Long story short, this lovely young girl had locked herself out of her car with her keys in the ignition and she was trying to break-in. In his favourite, plush Tottenham dressing gown, he went out with a hammer and she gained access. But during the getting in process, she cut her hand. I wasn’t brave enough to venture into the street in my nightie, and came across her coming down the drive, hand held high, telling me, “I don’t do blood, I feel sick.”
I brought her inside, bandaged up her cut finger, badly, and then had to assure her mum, who was waiting for news, she was fine, and she didn’t need to come out. During my inexpert administrations, she told me she was a solicitor, and I told her I thought it was only police officers who looked young. We laughed because she was fine once I had cleaned up the blood. She was due in court first thing in the morning, and doubted she’d get much sleep because she knew her mum would turn up. This week she knocked on the door much earlier in the evening and we were dressed. She’d brought a gift to say thank you. She had a scar on her finger, as the wound had needed stitches, but tells me she could wag her finger in court the following morning. It was totally unnecessary, of course, but most welcome. What a lovely young lady. Restores one’s faith in human nature.
I also joined our local book club, it was fun and interesting in equal measure, more books have been added to my TBR, but as it’s homework they’ve jumped to the top of the list, and as a bonus I met some lovely ladies.
I’ll let you get back to your weekend,
PS Yes, I have been writing, and I will now return to writing and not moaning!
Credits: Confused woman by Wayhomestudio on Freepik Rating Image by DilokaStudio on Freepik