Writers Reviewing Writers with Kristen Strassel

kristenpic 3Once I started working with editors, I noticed that I read more critically. This isn’t a big surprise, I’ve been trained to notice details in every line I’ve work I’ve ever done. This means I’m particular about makeup, clothing, ear piercings, even underwear. Watching TV with me can be a trying experience, and I’ve had to learn to keep my critiques to myself.

Now when I read for pleasure, I have remind myself to shut that internal editor off. The book has been completed and published, and no one is looking for my opinion on sentence structure or tense or any of that sort of stuff. It is meant for me to enjoy just how it is.

Have you ever had a bad review? If not, brace yourself, because it’s coming. It’s impossible to please everyone. Think of all the bands that are popular right now, how many of them do you really enjoy? Or look at reviews for some recent best sellers. Not everyone liked them. In fact, it almost becomes a sport to not like what’s popular.

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” –Dita von Teese

There’s no way around it. Bad reviews crush the soul. It’s having people laugh while your imagination gets trampled. Some negative reviews contain important advice, but when people hide behind their computer, some of them can’t resist the urge to just be plain mean.

Bad reviews do have their place. If I’m booking a hotel or looking for a restaurant, I seek out the bad reviews. I find that they are honest, but they’re only capturing a moment in time. An opinion. That could have been the only time that establishment was off point. It needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Book reviews should be done by readers, not writers. It’s their experience that we are most interested in.

I’ve decided not to review books at all anymore unless a friend asks me to review their work. Why? I’m too close to writing to give a completely objective review. I feel like it’s a conflict of interest. This means good reviews and bad reviews. Now, as an author, I never know when I will cross paths with a fellow author. I don’t want to create bad blood.

The last time I ever gave a negative review, someone asked me to do an interview, along with the author of the book I didn’t enjoy. There are the time of things that happen to me. How could anyone come out of that looking good? That solidified my decision to never post another negative review.

If a book particularly moves me, I may break this policy. But you’ll never see another negative review from me. I feel as if it would instantly look like mean spirited nit picking. I would never intentionally write a mean review, but I know I’m a tough critic, and my words might be taken in a way I didn’t intend them to be interpreted. There’s enough of that in the world. If enough people felt like that book was good enough to be published, my opinion is nothing more than that, an opinion. The next person who picks that same book may love it.

I would never want to stop someone from finding something they love.

btnfinalfinalTo read more from Kristen Strassel –

Because the Night: Sex, Blood, and Rock n’ Roll.
Immortal Dilemma is the hottest band in the Las Vegas vampire rock scene. They draw insatiable fans from around the globe, thanks to a supernatural attraction called Bloodlust. Tristan craved such an opportunity to fill his empty mortal life, and now he has eternity to earn his place along the legends of rock n roll debauchery.Callie always feared that Tristan’s excesses would get him into trouble, but she never thought they’d lead him to immortality. To reconnect with him, she must weave her way through a world not only she had no idea existed, but does not welcome her.

Blade turned down a spot in Immortal Dilemma after learning what he must sacrifice for that lifestyle. He finds Callie a refreshing change from the girls in the vampire rock scene. When Callie drags Blade back into the world of Immortal Dilemma, his resistance drives her into the waiting arms of Tristan, who shows her the true meaning of Bloodlust.

But the very things that Callie fights so hard to save are the very things that fight to destroy her.

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble 
About the author:

Kristen shares a birthday with Steven Tyler and Diana Ross.  She spends each day striving to be half as fabulous as they are.  She’s worn many hats, none as flattering as her cowboy hat: banker, retail manager, fledgling web designer, world’s worst cocktail waitress, panty slinger, now makeup artist and aspiring author.  She loves sunshine, live music, the middle of nowhere, and finding new things to put in her house. Kristen is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Foreword Literary.

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