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Is Danielle too nice?

After reading The Ghost Who Lied, one reader suggested that Danielle might be “too good to be true.” She based this on Danielle’s seemingly blasé attitude regarding a potential lawsuit. However, I would have to respectfully disagree. I believe Danielle’s attitude was not borne from martyrdom selflessness—but practical reality.

My husband and I have owned businesses—and we have managed businesses. One thing we have learned over the years, a business is always open to a potential lawsuit. Like Danielle, we didn’t fret over the possibility, instead, we tried to take preventive measures, and we had insurance.

Danielle informing the insurance company of a potential lawsuit is something I have done myself—and in one notable case, we were as inculpable as Danielle.  An airplane had crashed when attempting to land on the dirt airstrip at Havasu Palms. Fortunately, no one was killed. One of the first things I did—after dealing with the crash—was to contact the insurance company. I didn’t believe we were liable, but I was not going to agonize over it—that is why we had insurance. The same was true for Danielle.

As it turned out, Havasu Palms was sued, yet the case was eventually dropped when it was determined that the crash didn’t actually take place on our lease land. However, the insurance company bore the cost of the lawsuit.

Over the years, we have seen other lawsuits where the insurance company opted to simply settle a nuisance case, believing it would save them money in the long run. It always bothered me that they are willing to pay scammers to get rid of them—but it’s not that unusual.

Therefore, I don’t believe Danielle’s behavior was indicative of some goodie-good Pollyanna, but instead of a practical realist.

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Even Sadie questions this review…

Every once in a while, a review left on one of my books catches my attention for its absurdity. The following review was left on one of the books from my Haunting Danielle series.

“I haven’t been able to finish this book yet as once again, someone is being blamed for murder. Same old same old…”

You might assume I find the review absurd because the Haunting Danielle series is in the cozy mystery genre. And in a cozy mystery, people generally get murdered—and people get blamed for murder. Therefore, slamming a cozy for having a murder, is a bit like slamming a cookbook for having recipes.

But that is not the reason—it was because, in this particular book, no one was murdered, therefore, no one was blamed for a murder.

Oops…did perhaps the reviewer review the wrong book?

Why We Write (Don’t expect an answer.)

shutterstock_93888976When my author friends share a positive message from a reader—where the reader enjoyed the story enough to contact the author—a common response is something along the line of, “That’s what makes this all worth it!” Now if the reader tells the author the story changed his or her life for the better, magnify the sentiment a hundredfold.

While readers’ positive feedback definitely make it all worth it—it’s not necessarily why most of us write. If that were the case, it would mean writers are nothing more than attention seekers, whose primary goal is to get positive feedback.

The fact is, most writers would probably keep writing if no one ever read our words. Many of the writers I know tend to be introverts and probably have a stack of unread manuscripts, poems, essays, or short stories stashed away.

So, what does it really mean to a writer when a reader sends encouraging words? When a reader tells you your words mattered, or pleads with you for more? I can’t speak for all writers, but for me, it’s the added whipped cream.

shutterstock_366416324And that added whipped cream encourages me not necessarily to write (something I am compelled to do anyway) but it encourages me to publish. It also fuels my creative energy to continue writing along a specific storyline, such as with the Haunting Danielle Series.

To my readers who have taken the time to send me kind words of encouragement, who have left positive reviews or comments on Facebook or my blog—thank you for being my muse, and for the helping of whipped cream atop the slice of chocolate cake that is my writing career.

What does your critique of a bestseller say about you?

School bullying concept 1When book reviewers sit around and slam bestselling books that they find unworthy of their sales rank (think Twilight and 50 Shades), I figure they are simply expressing reader opinions. Authors of those books understand not everyone will love their stories—obviously many have or they would not be bestsellers—and the negative reviews are often expressing the views of non-fans.

These negative reviews, in combination with the positive ones can give an author insight to his or her target market. It doesn’t mean the author needs to change to appeal to the one stars, but it can help the author come to an understanding of what fans want, enabling the author to continue giving it to them.

But when authors sit around and bash bestsellers, that is a different story. Before you argue Authors are readers too!—understand I am referring to when authors—as a group—a group striving to improve their sales—do this. It not only reeks of sour grapes, it is also foolish in the extreme, because instead of focusing on what will actually help the authors’ sales ranking, they are engaging in a negative bashing fest that helps no one.

Instead of a circle jerk where all the authors are slapping each other on the back and agreeing the successful author’s work really sucks, wouldn’t the time be better served to take a closer look at what made the book or author a success?

This doesn’t mean you try cloning the successful author’s work, but you might find valuable information you can incorporate into your own work or routine that will improve your ranking. And really, isn’t that our purpose when we hang out at places like the KDP Forum? It should be. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case over there. I suppose that’s why I no longer hang out at the KDP Forum.