Having my first novel reviewed brought with it an incredible surge of excitement and concern, sweeping emotions which I would imagine all writers experience – with not only a debut novel, but with every book they release. Each time I clicked on Love Dreams “Goodreads.com” link I held my breath, anxious to see if any of the First Read Giveaway winners had reviewed the book. If they hadn’t, my mood quickly deflated. If someone had, my heart actually tripped while I checked the book’s ranking to see if it had risen or plummeted. Then my brain bit into the review, devouring it more than once, digesting the words that could possibly make or break my book, as well as my spirit.
Love Dreams received some good reviews: 4 and 5 stars, some 3’s and of course, the dreaded 1’s which I expected. At first, the less complimentary reviews made my stomach drop, but I was thankful that no one criticized my ability to write. Still, to have your book referred to as boring – or worse – can feel like a knife in the heart. But as it’s been said time and time again, if you can’t take the heat.. .
I’m thankful for each and every review I receive. Of course I love the 5’s, 4’s and 3’s, but I also appreciate the 1’s, because the constructive criticism helps keep me on my toes. It’s one of the reasons Love Dreams has a new cover, and has been revised more than I’d like to admit. My reviews, the good and the not so good, are helping me become a better writer. And I’m learning what not to do in my second novel, Sweet Dreams.
I’ve also learned it’s probably wise to stick to the genre you like best, are most familiar with, most comfortable with. If someone were to ask, “Why was your first novel a romance?” I’d have to reply, “I’m not exactly sure.” Perhaps I felt romance was what the market called for at that particular time? But I was way off base. Love Dreams is like a middle child fighting for its own identity. It’s not fast paced erotica. It’s not a sexy paranormal read, and it’s definitely not for YA readers. Kailyn, Examiner.com reviewer, summed it up perfectly: “This book is more about the journey than the destination.” It’s the story of two people who are struggling to overcome painful pasts and move on with their lives. There is a lot of back story inside. The characters could easily be your next door neighbors. So if you’re looking for drama that builds, at times resembling a soap opera, you might want to try Love Dreams.
I’m pleased and appreciative to readers who have spent their time wading through more than 350 pages of Love Dreams, and when they finally arrive at the sensual “reality” conclusion, I hope they will find it to be fulfilling and, worth the read.
Authors and Readers share so much in common. For the few pleasures life may hold for some, thank you for giving to me, what I hope I have given to you.