Reviews and Tea and Cake

Reviews are funny things.

Get a good one, go orbital. The world is your oyster, and you’re wondering just where you’re going to put that award. Then when you’ve climbed back down and remembered reality, your rational mind takes over and you realise that you’re still just you. The fact that someone loved it is fantastic, they understand it and they enjoyed it, and it’s all fine.

Reviews are funny things.

Get a bad one, and it’s like you’ve been punched. You go on your arse, all your breath knocked out of you and you wonder how to tell your agent you’ll never write again. Then when you’ve stood back up and remembered how to inhale, your rational mind takes over and you realise that you’re okay. Not everyone’s going to like the book, not everyone likes the same thing, it’s all fine.

In Ecko’s case, when you’ve written a book that’s that far outside the box, that has a confrontational lead character, then it’s going to provoke strong reaction. Some people are going to love it, others are going to hate it and find it offensive. And honestly, if they didn’t? Then Ecko wouldn’t be the character he is.

Reviews are funny things.

Too many good ones, and the bad ones keep you grounded. Too many bad ones, and the good ones stop you drinking meths.

Author Jaine Fenn once gave me a piece of wisdom I’ve never forgotten. When Jaine gets a bad review, her husband sits her down and feeds her tea and cake. When Jaine gets a good review, her husband sits her down and feeds her tea and cake…

Bless Jaine. Tea and cake, it seems, is a universal panacea.

4 thoughts on “Reviews and Tea and Cake

  1. The only problem is, I do tend to put on a bit of weight whenever I’ve got a new book out…

    Actually, I must credit the original source of this sound advice, as it came from Liz Williams. Her theory was that any railing against the critics/congratulating yourself for your genius was permitted for the time it took to drink the tea and eat the cake, after which, bolstered by sugar and tannin, you put aside whatever feelings the review evoked, and get back to work.

    (Sorry to miss the launch party for Ecko Rising BTW – I hope all went well – and congratulations on the birth of your first-born book!)

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