Next week is release week for an Anthology I’m in, which means, it’s time for reviews to start flowing in. Sometimes people ask how me I handle reviews; good, bad or indifferent. I’ll show you, starting with the standard phrase: This business is subjective.
How many times have we all heard that term in publishing, or as a reader? Today I’m going to show it to you clear as day. There are people who will think I’m crazy for posting a review that is not flattering toward me. But frankly, this is the business. And these examples illustrate subjective better than I could ever describe it.
The reviews are on the Anthology THE BEAST WITHIN that includes my novella, and novellas by Erin McCarthy and Bianca D’Arc. Pay attention to the bold parts.
REVIEW #1 From Romantic Times
The Beast Within
Erin McCarthy, Bianca D’Arc
& Jennifer Lyon
4 stars HOT
This well-written, entertaining anthology has werewolves, zombies and wizards — something for everyone! Things start out strong with stories by McCarthy and D’Arc. Lyon’s entry isn’t as memorable, but is a fine read. All feature happy endings for the evil-fighting couples.
Summary: In McCarthy’s “The Howling,” Liv’s boyfriend disappeared without a trace — and with all her money. Liv is reconciled to marrying his brother. But when she starts having disturbing dreams about a bride being attacked by wolves, it may be time to call things off.
Donna and John go undercover at a fishing camp to track an evil scientist and zombie activity in D’Arc’s “Smoke on the Water.” When reinforcements don’t materialize and the zombies are on the move, they load up on zombie-killing darts and head out to kick some serious undead butt. Lyon’s “Redeeming the Wizard” matches magic-blind Mira with wizard Gage to kill a demon and rescue Mira’s grandmother. However, with Gage’s wizarding skills fried from a power overload, things get complicated pretty quickly. (Brava, Sep., 336 pp., $14.00)
REVIEW #2 From Publishers Weekly
From Publishers Weekly
Only “Redeeming the Wizard” by Lyon (aka Jennifer Apodaca) stands out in this paranormal romance anthology. Anchor author McCarthy (Hard and Fast) opens with “The Howling,” featuring a young woman who dreams about a bride devoured by werewolves. Deceit, betrayal, and hot sex aren’t enough to overcome the lack of world-building and humor. In “Smoke on the Water,” D’Arc (Inferno) partners a government agent with a woman immune to a zombifying disease and sends them to track down and stop its crazed creator. Whatever heat they generate is mitigated by the decided unsexiness of the shambling undead. Lyon (Soul Magic) rescues the anthology with complex characterization and vivid descriptive imagery. The compelling romance between a woman trying to save her kidnapped grandmother and the reclusive wizard she blames for her parents’ death is worth the price of admission all by itself.
The reviews are exact opposites! Romantic Times thinks my novella is the weakest and Publisher’s Weekly thinks it’s the strongest. So what does it mean? Hell if I know. And I stopped trying to figure it out. I have enough insanity in my head without trying to decipher the impossible.
Readers form their own opinions. And they are entitled to their opinions. I saw the RT review first, and I thought, “Damn it, I did my best, but I was on deadline and…” Then I shut the file and ignored it. One person’s opinion.
This week I saw the Publisher’s Weekly review and I think, “What a freaking genius!” I sent it to my husband and a couple friends, then I shut it down and got to work.
So who is right RT or PW? PW obviously, LOL! No seriously, they are both right. Some people like my work, some don’t. It’s called subjective. As an author, my job is to write the books, but I don’t get to tell others what to think about my books. Readers should be free to talk about my books as much as they like and I should keep my nose out of it. As long as they don’t insult my kids or call me fat, I can usually let it go.
And that’s pretty much how I deal with it.
For a chance to win a copy of THE BEAST WITHIN, tell me if you think this cover is HOT or NOT. I’ll draw two winners to be announced over the weekend.