Thursday, September 22, 2011

Critical Mass

When Nat & I first started on this journey with Sirenz, we were told to do Facebook (we do- even have a page for Sirenz), and Twitter (we do- @natalie_zaman and @charbennardo) and blogs (we do- and well, you're here). I've already touched on just doing writerly posts, which would bore the non-writers vs writing about any random thought, which Writer's Digest warned against doing because it doesn't give off a serious writing dedication vibe. Our editor said we should talk about our book (gotta sell it!) which we do occasionally, interviews with other writers (hmm, haven't done that yet) and reviews.

Reviews. Of other people's books. That presents a problem.

It's not like I have a problem giving my opinion. (Stop snickering those who know me!) That's never been a problem.

It's not like I don't read (Overflowing bookshelves, serious book expenses.) I'd rather read than watch American Idol, Glee, or the host of other really dumb TV shows.

The problems is: what if I don't like the book? Not everyone loves Sirenz (dramatic pause while I wait for mass denial, 'That's not true! We ALL love Sirenz!' Ok, not happening.). BIG SECRET HERE: I do not love every book I read.

When you're done gasping, there's more: there are some bestsellers that I've scratched my head and said "What's the fuss?" I won't mention them by name and this is where it gets sticky. I'm open to honest reviews- Sirenz has some 4 & 5 star reviews, and yet VOYA hated us with a passion that clearly was frightening. One blogger dropped the F-bomb so many times I check my mail for powdery substances. But I don't rave and rant or cry (not that you see anyway). This is the land of the free- and if you want to say something, say it. Doesn't say anywhere that I have to agree. But free speech comes with a caveat; you become known by your words. I do NOT want to be the 'author who hates [Book Title]!' Some people love Twilight and can't understand those who do not. Others loathe the book and make fun of those who live their lives by Team Jacob or Team Edward. (My friend Yvonne is snickering right now because almost every conversation has a Twilight mention.)  Criticizing or praising a book puts you into a nay or yay camp.

I never went to camp, so it's too late now to join one. I read books, and if we're talking face to face, I tell you what I liked about them. If other people in the conversation bash the book, then I feel free to say what disappointed me. I will not do a written review because words can bite you in the butt (yes, I've learned that the hard way). Plus, a lot of books I'm reading now are by people who've become my friends. Writing is a hard enough job; rejections by editors, critiques for you to change your work, efforts to market your book, and a host of so many other burdens that only authors know exist. I do not want to add to the already arduous task.

So, no reviews. I can definitively say however, that there is something I like in every book; maybe it's one character, a scene, or just the cover. You'll just have to sample the book and make up your own mind without my guidance. Enough said.

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