I’m a little overwhelmed


Every now and again, something, or someone, comes along and makes the sun shine a little brighter.

I don’t know Marcus Case, author of “The Bomb Makers” – at least, I didn’t until he commented on my recent Guest Author post on Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog that he was reading my novel, Singled Out. I always hold my breath when someone sticks their head over the parapet and admits to having picked up a copy of Singled Out on the strength of a blog post or a recommendation by someone else. Sales are still only in double figures (I’m close to that third figure, very close…) and every single reader – and their opinion and feedback – matters. I don’t know if that will ever change, but my guess is that sales would have to be deep into five or maybe even six figures before it does. Optimism, eh?

There’s always the possibility when someone fesses up to reading your novel, that they find as they dig into it that it’s not to their taste. What happens then? You might get negative feedback of course, but equally likely is that they’d just go quiet and you’d have to forget you ever heard from them in the first place. For as long as I hold my breath waiting on a reader’s opinion, there’s fear niggling away at the back of my mind. Will they like the story, or not? Will they get it? Will they want to tell me what they thought, either way, or will they evaporate into the ether leaving me with just one conclusion – that they hated it. Or perhaps worse, that they were indifferent to it.

This week I was lucky. My wait was short. Marcus Case ploughed through Singled Out in just a few days.

I only mention this as he has been generous enough to write the kind of 5-star review that stops an author in their tracks and then upload it to Amazon UK and USA and Goodreads. In his review, he makes some observations that no one else has yet made. They caused me to look at my story differently. I was struck by what he said, not just because he said a lot of very nice things; but because of what made me realise about my own writing.

This review made me walk a little taller. And it teased that still small dream, that one day those sales figures might, perhaps, possibly climb into that far distant five or six figure universe. Maybe.

So thank you, Marcus Case, for your review, and for making the sun shine a little brighter for me yesterday. Thank you indeed.

12 thoughts on “I’m a little overwhelmed

  1. You are right about the likelihood of silence, if someone didn’t like a work. It’s the approach I would take. It’s why I hesitate to try a book of someone I am tangentially connected with. I read a friend’s book once and I just couldn’t tell him what I really thought about it. He was so earnest about it and proud. This is where I become a big, fat chicken about book reviews. It’s all fine and well to skewer the work of someone you don’t know and will never meet. Much harder to evaluate a friend’s work without fearing you will hurt their feelings. Bwakawk.

    1. It’s my approach too. I happily give a 4 or 5 star review, but if I were of a mind to give 3 stars or less, I would more than likely stay silent. The problem comes when the writer knows you’re reading their book, and is waiting for your feedback. To combat that, I tend not to tell someone I’m reading until I’m already enjoying it. As to those who tell me they’re reading my novel… like I said, I just hold my breath. So far, so good, but time will come, no doubt.

      1. Perhaps you should just write your own scathing review…just to get it over with? Then you can enjoy all the people who shoot down your misguided views of a stellar, pivotal and earth-shatteringly good novel?

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