When I started watching digital movies, I used an app called Vudu that enabled me to scan older, widely circulated DVDs I owned and upgrade to digital for a tiny fee. Beneath each movie is a link to a list of professional reviews from top movie critics and newspapers. And I’ve been amazed at how stupid some of those reviews really are. I guess reviewers are just trying to get attention by writing this stuff because I have to admit it is fun to read.
Often the reviewers use their review only to show off a contorted vocabulary. And they say the oddest things. Make the strangest comparisons: I.e. saying a flashy blockbuster epic reminds them of an old sweater. Now I am an expert on old sweaters. I have owned many of them. Almost every sweater I own is old. And they don’t remind me of any flashy blockbuster. They remind me of 80’s BBC period drama recorded on a fuzzy VHS.
But I’ve also noticed over time I find those critics delightful. So I examined critic reviews for Star Wars (including the movies I don’t own) just for the fun of it, as this is a franchise which every kind of angry, bizarre person has reviewed freely for years. And I found a treasure trove of people arguing hysterically over literally everything. If I hadn't already seen these movies I'd have no idea what they were like! But the reviewers were a little mini-movie in themselves.
My point is, like all writers I’ve worried about reviews. Negative ones especially. But maybe I should just go “who cares?” Nobody thinks negative reviewers are God. In fact, they are viewed as an entertainment in themselves. And while no writer loves being upstaged by reviewers getting attention for themselves by berating (or just being silly!) about their work, if I step back I see it does make the books more interesting. At least, if they're anything like movies. One day maybe people will read feedback on my books with that kind of sense of adventure--not to take the reviews seriously, but just to enjoy how much they add to the show.
Maybe, one day, I will too.
And there will be more updates.
Pleasant Fiction in an Age of Noise
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When I set about defining my books, I wanted them to be positive places where a gentleness emanated from the pages. A hopeful safety lies in gentleness and there's also an honesty to it. A whirlwind of pushy book blurbs and hot characters (or whatever type character the author wants you to admire) can conceal a reality underneath. A quiet--possibly even lurking--reality that's more visible if you dial down the volume. That lurking reality isn't necessarily bad, but like anything quiet, it gets drowned out by conflict and angst. Peaceful fiction can help explore the truth that noisy books ignore.
Bellevere House has been featured on Ezvid Wiki video "10 Wonderfully Inventive Retellings That Interpret Classic Stories in a New Way." Click to see the video.