Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Calm after the Storm . . .

Well dear reader, a week has gone by since Riddle in Stone was released and, boy, what a week it has been!!!

I’ve been elated by good reviews and devastated by “bad” ones and afraid of what was to come. But, overall, I have to say that it’s been a good week.

The book is selling fairly well (not flying off the shelves by any means, but the numbers are apparently good enough for the publisher) and I’ve gotten more positive reviews that bad ones.  Which is wonderful!

It surprises me that some of you actually like my little story.  I honestly didn’t know if any of you would.  After so many rejections from publishers and so forth, I just figured it sucked.  But maybe there is something there that is worthwhile. 


Perhaps the most important thing that has come out of this week is that I’m starting to feel comfortable with the idea that I won’t please everybody. 

At first, it was very difficult for me to reconcile some of the comments reviewers made about the book.  Some people hated Edmund’s stutter and found it distracting, others thought it made him unique and endearing.  Some people told me to get rid of the inner dialogue.  Some people told me that they liked it.  For somebody who wants to know EXACTLY what to do, it’s enough to make me want to pull out my hair!! 


This attitude makes me a good husband (hopefully), but it hurts my development as a writer.  Evidently, there is no right way.  There are bad ways to be sure and I need to learn what those ways are.  But I can’t please everybody.  I have to do what I think is best.  I have to use my best judgment. 


Right now—at this very second—I’m actually kind of content.  I accomplished a lifelong goal.  A publisher published one of my stories and a handful of you appear to like it!  What’s not to feel good about?

I know that I’ll get more bad reviews.  And I suspect that, in the end, there will be just as many bad as good. 

But, RIGHT NOW, that’s okay.  I wrote my first book and that makes me smileJ

HOWEVER, knowing myself the way that I do, I am quite sure that as soon as I look on Amazon.com and find that people hate the book, my feelings will change. 

As my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Roush, said: ROBBIE IS A VERY EMOTIONAL BOY!!!

But as a depressive, I need to focus on the good days.  And today is a good day.

Once again, I want to thank you all for your support and encouragement. You’ve been incredible.  Seriously!  I love my wife and family.  But when they say, “The book is good!” I don’t believe them.  Hearing the positive comments that some of you have made about Riddle in Stone gives me some confidence that maybe I have something to offer readers.


So thank you all!  Thank you all very much!

Somebody has asked me to talk about how Riddle in Stone has changed since its first draft.  I think that’ll be my next topic.  So, until then…thanks for stopping by!


  1. Yay! I'll be the first to comment, and the first to say I'm truly, truly enjoying the book. (But you've already heard that a gazillion times from me!) Personally, I love the inner dialogue; it gives Edmund a "dual personality" feel (i.e. he's got conflict and strength within, which adds depth). And his stutter does actually get less as the story goes on. Still there, but less noticeable. Now, whether or not that's because I'm used to Edmund at this point, I don't know. Anyway, great story. Really great, and well worth the read. Thank you for writing it!

    1. You are so kind Kimberly. I can always count on you! Let me know when you'll finish it!!!

    2. I will. I'm about 70% through now. :) And still enjoying it, of course.

  2. Yes, being professionally published is definitely something to be proud of. Also, I look forward to your post about how Riddle in Stone changed since its first draft. It is always interesting to see all the work and changes that books go through before publication.

    1. Thanks, Danielle. I am proud... for now. Again, one of my issues is that my mood changes so quickly. As soon as I start seeing some negative feedback about the book, I will probably change. But for now...it's kind of cool!! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I think most writers feel insecure. I know that I get a lot of praise for my writing...but I don't truly believe it. I keep wondering if my stuff is actually any good or if I'm deceiving myself. I tell myself that people just like to be nice, or they hope that I will reciprocate with their books if they say mine is good. I don't know when I'll ever reach a point where I can believe my writing is good--perhaps if I manage to hit the bestseller list?

    1. Yeah, I think writers are, by our very nature, screwed up. Otherwise, we wouldn't spend so much time trying to make up new worlds and characters who seem real to us.

      The problem that I have is that I think happiness will only come after this or that. I'll be happy ... when I finish my first novel-length manuscript. I'll be happy ... when an agent agrees to represent it. I'll be happy ... when a publisher buys it.... and so forth.

      I really need to just be happy with who and what I am. But, it's difficult. Baby steps. Baby steps.

  4. Grats and good luck!

    I have only read the first chapter so far. The inner dialogue doesn't bother me, but I guess melting the narrating and the inner dialogue might have worked even better.

    Guess John Locke's book ("How I Sold ...") might be an interesting read. He writes about how to figure out who your audience is and how to write for them and reach them.
    It explains a very specific way of thinking about ratings in that context (how he got less and less bad reviews).

    About the statement "But as a depressive, I need to focus on the good days. And today is a good day.":

    What served me well is thinking about positive things in an emotional way, while turning thinking about bad things in an analytical way into a habit.

    I also think it is the real world that is screwed up and sane writers and artists make up better ones.