New year, new review!

Got a new review on Book 2 from fellow writer Joanne Hall. You can see it here:

And I have promised her, and other readers, that book 3 will be finished by the end of July. Six months. I can do it, if I push myself. The problem so far was getting the beginning right, but I think I have that now (though I had thought that before!) And as soon as my short story collection is done, it will have my full attention.

Short story collection is also coming along. End of Jan is my deadline for that. I have two more stories to go, Echo and Cassandra. I had to leave out Philomela and Daphne, because I just couldn’t seem to come up with the right way of doing it, but I’ve not ruled them out entirely. When the ones I can do are done, I will brainstorm and see if I can come up with something for the last two. In any case, it will be done by end of Jan, and out soon after, so it will be certainly ready for this years Scardiff Convention.

Out and about

Well, some how it’s October and that means Bristol Con. This year it’s October 26, but at the same place, so if you’re there, come along and say hello. Everyone is very friendly. And this might actually be my last one, perhaps for just a while, perhaps for good, I’m not really sure. It depends on how well sales go, and there are lots of other conventions out there that I would like to attend, some which do clash, and with money woes, I can’t afford to do all of them each year, so have to pick and chose. Speaking of Bristol Con, tho. At my very first one I sold four copies of the Shadow Seer, one to a woman who promised to review it. Two years passed, no review, so I thought she must have hated it, as she said if she did she wouldn’t write a review at all. And then yesterday I found that she had written a review and she loved it. You can read the review here: I am chuffed, I have to say. She says nice things about me AND the book. But, of course, with that chuffed feeling is the self doubt. Is the rest of the series as good? Have i lost my skill? Is it a mistake to set Candale aside for a bit to work on something else? God alone knows! All i can do is feel pleased that I have at least one good book, that someone loves and carry on!

As for being ‘out and about.’ I’m doing another Pagan Market in Dec and next year I plan to do the Cardiff Comic Expo again, and perhaps a convention in Bath. We will have to see. For now, on with the Forest of Ghosts. Let’s see if I can finish it this year . . .


A matter of taste

Tomorrow I’m off to sell at a pagan market here in Swansea. I have my Shadow Seer books, part 1 and 2, and the new short story collection, Rules of War. I love selling, but I’m a bit nervous about my short story collection. I worry that there aren’t enough stories. I worry that the stories (except two) aren’t good enough. I worry that it will put people off reading the rest of my work, when the main idea was to interest people in it. I worry that people think the price is too high for such a small collection. I worry and worry.

And it’s daft. My cover artist just reviewed the collection for me. She liked, best of all, the story Homecoming, that I thought was the weakest of the lot! One I almost didn’t include. So there you are, you can’t tell what someone is going to like, or hate .If there aren’t enough stories, or the price is too high, I’m sure someone will tell me. It’s stupid to worry. The book is done. Some people will like it, some won’t, but that’s the same with anything.

And even if the entire world does hate every story in it, at least one person didn’t and that’s ok. :)

Bad Review

So today I got my second bad review, this one on Goodreads. Reviews are all personal, I know this. And not everyone will love everything you do, but still it can be disheartening. Perhaps because i fear that they are right? Perhaps because I feel like I have let them down? They loved the first book, but not the Seer’s Tower. The Seer’s Tower was harder to write, middle books often are, keeping the plot going, tying up some ends, but not everything, moving things forward, but not too far . . . I was stuck a lot. I fear that it shows. I fear that it’s a bad book, letting down the series, letting down my readers . . .

But then I’m not sure i agree with some of the reviewer’s comments. All right, perhaps there isn’t a lot of personal interaction . . . Not in the same chit chat way as the first book, at least. And I thought Dale was stronger, less stammering, although certainly he is a bit more upset in places, but i don’t blame him. Bad stuff happens. It’s interesting, how the comments target things I hadn’t worried about, and not those that I had. So, am I worrying about the wrong things?

I could go mad, thinking about it, and in the end, it doesn’t matter. It’s one person’s thoughts, and I’m sorry they didn’t enjoy the book, but I’m glad that I still care enough to feel that way, and to worry about it. I would never want to get to the point where any review means nothing to me. I would hate to be that complacent, because, though I write for myself firs, I want people to enjoy what i do and i want to make sure it’s the best that i can. If i stop caring about reviews then i think I might stop caring about the quality of my writing, and that would be a shame.