There's some advice that more established authors give to newer writers - don't read your reviews, and once your book is out, move on.

Easier said than done, especially when you have a vivid imagination and wild curiosity. Of course you want to see what people thought about the book you've worked so hard on! The problem is, as Joe Konrath recently put it, it's a bit like walking through a line of people, shaking hands. 100 of those people think you're great and like you, and they tell you so. The 101st girl punches you in the mouth, knocking out all your teeth. It's so wonderful to have a hundred people saying nice things, but is it worth it if in the end you wind up toothless?

Especially when they start to have complaints that you feel like are addressed in the book (maybe too subtly?). Take Nico, for example. I've seen some reviews that he's too perfect/good/unbelievable. Nico is not perfect. Nico has a bit of a past that he's trying to overcome, so that he can get ready to be the someday king he has to be. He doesn't do commitment. He's very jealous and has a bit of a temper. He's not perfect. Is he trying to be a better man? Absolutely. Is he taking things slow with Kat because he understands her and her situation and is willing to be patient and woo her? Yes. Is he gorgeous, charming, fun, intelligent and kind? Yes. But those people exist in real life too. I know they do, because I married a man who is gorgeous, charming, fun, intelligent and kind. :)

But not everyone wants a good guy hero. There are lots of stories with lots of fans who like dark, bitter bad boys. And awesome for them, and for a market that lets everyone find the kind of story they want to read! But I like nice guys. I like heroic guys. I like charming, fun guys who have to work a bit to get what they want. I don't want to focus solely on people's flaws in real life, and I don't want to do that in my books, either. People are more than their mistakes or bad choices or vices. That isn't to say that I won't ever write a moodier hero, but I like fun stories. I like reading them, and I like writing them.

I'm also not worried about giving a reader every single little detail. Like, I'm not going to tell you about the heroine using the bathroom. But just because I'm not giving you the details about every bowel movement, that doesn't mean it isn't happening for her. I mean, she's not spending weeks in the story constipated and miserable! Kat, while unconscious, did have a catheter and an IV. It was something Lemon did without her knowledge. So Kat wouldn't bring it up because 1) she's never been unconscious before and doesn't know what happened and 2) Lemon hasn't told her. Since the story is being told solely from Kat's viewpoint, how is she supposed to talk about it?

But you can't say anything or respond, because to do so often makes an author look crazypants and gives you an eternal reputation as a deranged person (google authors behaving badly).

I write the way I write. And hopefully, I have a voice/style that people will either LOVE or HATE. I don't want someone to read a book I've written and say, "Meh. It was okay." I'd much rather move people all the way to either end of the scale, than to have them being lukewarm in the middle. Problem is, when people hate you, it hurts your writerly feelings and you want to curl up in a ball and eat chocolates all day (which sounds awesome, but is really not productive). It's a process to learn to let go once it's out in the world. If people think my baby is ugly, there's really nothing I can do about it.

So I'm resolving to not read any negative reviews, and to focus on what I like doing and hope that readers who like what I'm doing will find me.
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