Friday, March 30, 2012

“I think it’s stupid…

…and you’re weird.”

Yep, that’s an actual quote from an in-person review of my new book, Back in the Habit. A co-worker started the morning with, “I finished your book. I liked it, but…” That’s never a good sign. She then asked what the Swedish nun and the facial moles were all about.

I explained that I’d come across folklore in which the location of a facial mole indicated personality type: Greedy, loyal, treacherous, loving, etc. It fascinated me, and I knew I had to use it in a book one day. The title of this post is the response I received. (I’m evil enough to tease you by not revealing what the Swedish nun and the facial moles have to do in Back in the Habit.)

I was innocent enough once to think that when I had a book on bookstore shelves that these slap-in-the-face incidents would be a thing of the past. (I’ll pause while the choking laughter from all published Inkspot readers subsides.) Reality hit soon, in the shape of… reviews.

I learned right away that unless my publicist sends a review along, I don’t read it. I have rhino hide, but a snarky review will always find the cracks in it. Reviews aren’t for authors anyway—they’re for readers.

Besides, I have something infinitely better than any review. I have fans.

Fans are awesome. Total strangers email me to tell me they love my books. Total strangers come to my book signings and ask me to sign their copy. This is as good as standing on stage basking in audience applause (been there too). My books on bookstore shelves are the result of years of work. Fans show me that it was all worth it. They more than make up for people who somehow feel compelled to tell me that I’m weird and my ideas are stupid. (I smiled and shrugged at my co-worker when she said that. There was really nothing else to do.)

Without readers, my books would be gathering dust in a desk drawer.

Thank you.

11 comments:

Robin Allen said...

Amen, Alice! Loyal readers more than make up for those other people who don't "get" our books. Still, it's tough having a critic in the next cubicle.

Lois Winston said...

Alice, weird is good. Normal is boring.

Sheila Webster Boneham said...

I think people who are compelled to say such things are weird - not to mention rude, aggressive, and probably a bit jealous, too! Then again, she COULD show up in a book.... :-) I love weird little pieces of esoterica in books, so keep it up.

Dru said...

I'm definitely a fan and I'm looking forward to the next book.

Alan Orloff said...

Alice, I'll second your sentiment: thank goodness for readers!

Beth Groundwater said...

Hey, Alice, I always take it as a compliment when someone calls me weird. The LAST thing I want to be is 100%, boringly normal!

Jan O'Hara (Tartitude) said...

I love the expression to "let your freak flag fly." Everyone's weird, except to their tribe, and your group of fans is growing.

Alice Loweecey said...

MAny thanks for the lovely comments, everyone. I'm quite happy in my weirdness and my fans make me even happier!

Jennifer Dahl said...

You just come on over here and sit by me, Cupcake. We can let that 'freak flag fly' over both of us!

Those Habit books are Habit Forming! (Did you see what I did there; huh, didja?)

Your books are AWESOME.

So... there, co-worker. Neener.

Karen Duvall said...

Hugs, Alice! I learned long ago not to read reviews. They're often (not always) written with good intentions, but not meant for the author to see. Sometimes they're not even meant for readers, just for the reviewer to vent.

Alice Loweecey said...

Thanks, Jennifer! <3

Karne, I avoid reviews normally. too bad I couldn't boot that co-worker out of my cube.