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On reading and being reviewed

It's accepted wisdom that authors are not to respond to reviews. There's a good reason for this wisdom.

My first interaction with fiction was as a reader; I was an avid, almost devout, bibliophile. Books and stories took me to a totally different place. It was, however, an internal space, a way of reaching into myself and embiggening my sense of the world.
Neurotic Writer is NeuroticCollapse )

Oh, and before I forget, I'm going to WFC in Columbus, Ohio this year. Yes, this is a bit last-minute. Is anyone else going?


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 8th, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
I won't be at WFC. I should probably start going to conventions at some point soon, but things are too much up in the air.

I don't avoid my reviews, I seek them out. I check Goodreads once a day to see if anyone has said anything new, and I check the other sites every couple of weeks.

However, I almost never respond, and when I do it's to say "This is really interesting!" or "This person is not reading my mind."

In the latter case, what I was responding to wasn't the review itself or the reviewer's reaction to my book, it was to a few lines wherein the reviewer tried to work out my (supposedly mercenary) motivations for story choices.

Generally speaking, the negative reviews don't bother me--even when the person says things like "Can anyone say LAME?" or whatever.
Oct. 13th, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
No WFC this year, alas. Chose Sirens instead -- at which, btw, I made mention of the Sun Sword books on our female friendships in fantasy panel, to much appreciative murmuring in response.

I will be in San Diego for next year's WFC, though!
Oct. 13th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
btw, I made mention of the Sun Sword books on our female friendships in fantasy panel, to much appreciative murmuring in response.

Best morning news ever :D
Oct. 13th, 2010 03:19 pm (UTC)
I want to be able to express the full range of reading experience. I don't want to be silenced when I can't stand something, and I don't want to silence myself, either. In some ways, arguing about the merits of a particular book or books is an extension of the reading of said book, for me. And of course I can't do that when the author is involved in the discussion ... Which is the reason I absent myself entirely from any discussion of any of my writing. I want readers to have the same freedom that I want as a reader.

This. So very much this.

It's the reason I won't even comment on friends' posts about my books, or on glowing reviews by strangers of them ... I keep thinking somewhere, some reader wants to comment about what didn't work for them, and if they know I'm there listening, it'll just throw cold water on the whole business.

I worry about seeming unappreciative, a little--but right now my take is I don't say anything unless I'm invited in, either by a link sent by email or a direct question asked of me in a post.
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