Friday, November 16, 2012

Honest critisism

Birthday Sully. This is his 'crazed on catnip' face.
I'm late...but until now, I didn't have anything to write about this week. And besides, it was Sully's 2nd birthday yesterday.

I had nothing to say until I realized...I never told you the details of how the book club appearance went! In all the excitement I'd almost forgotten about it--it had gone so smoothly.

I'll admit to being really nervous...they would have questions about my first stab at novel writing. Urf. These people didn't know me...not as a writer or a human being. I imagined them sitting hunched and wary--my jury waiting to decide if I were truly worthy of the title of 'author'. Or maybe they would label me a hack. It didn't help that I was an hour late, but at least they understood why.

After Lynda introduced me, there was a hush. Were they as nervous to talk to me as I was to them? Nah...NOBODY was as nervous as I.

The first question came from Rachel. She asked where I came up with the idea for Thoeba. I told her it came from a dream. That relaxed her somewhat, I think. We got into a small discussion about the religious tones, and I assured her and the room that my ideas were pretty much fiction...ideas bounced around for entertainment. It's something people have noticed before and maybe I should clarify. I AM NOT L. RON HUBBARD. I'm didn't write Thoeba to convert anyone to my way of thinking. That would be weird and narcissistic.

I said it with humor, and the comments flowed a little more freely after that. They asked about formatting and character development. Grammar mistakes were discovered. They pointed out where I could use more show and less tell. They talked about detail and which characters they liked. I was surprised to know that Dr. Stuart Thompson was popular, despite his short character arc.

Some of the details have already faded from my memory, but all in all I found it to be a good experience. They later told me of their trepidation in talking to me, worried about a writer's delicate ego.

Rachel has a book blog where she does reviews. She told me a story of how she gave one author an average and honest review, only to get blasted for it. The author wrote her a scathing letter, demanding she remove her critique.

That surprised me...Wouldn't you want the truth? If someone takes the time to read your book and tell you where you can improve, wouldn't you take it? How else will you grow? Yes, Thoeba is my 'baby' too, but I'm willing to put my pride away for the opportunity to hear ideas on how to write better. I don't want to suck. I don't want to look back on my career and think, "Those were terrible. No wonder my work doesn't sell."

So it's overdue, but I'd like to say Thank You to the Fox Creek Book Club. I enjoyed our discussion and I appreciate the feedback. Happy reading!! <3


  1. Thanks again for coming! I was cool to talk to an author in person who has been through the whole process of getting a book "out there", and gives me hope that I can do it, too (someday). On the flip side, I'm backing off of blogging for a bit - I need a break - but I'll get a review up for Thoeba soon.

  2. Thank YOU, Rachel! You and the group were fantastic, and I`m glad I went. I can tell by your intelligent questions and commentary that your work will be great, and I can`t wait to read it.

    And when you get back to blogging, please feel free to post the link here. Thoeba or no Thoeba, I`d love to read it, as I`m sure many others here would as well. :)Thanks again!