I’m posting this here so that people can discuss the books without spoiling people who haven’t read them yet.
I am currently otherwise working on page proofs for War, due back the morning of the 28th of February, and the next Cast novel, which… has no title, but is the book that follows Cast in Oblivion.
I will probably (hopefully!) finish it on my writing retreat in Brisbane, Australia.
ETA: In general, authors and readers do not discuss reader reactions to books. We never comment on reviews. We don’t enter reader-spaces (like goodreads, etc.) because those are reader spaces, and in those spaces, readers should feel free to say whatever they want without fear of author anger or tears.
We are all passionate about books. We love books and stories in a way that is, and will always be, internal and personal. There are bound to be visceral responses — some of which will be anger, although not all.
But it’s hard at times to stay away from your own home, if that makes sense. So I am going to remind you all that this is my home on the internet and one of the few places I do feel I should be reading and responding to things. You are absolutely entitled to your reactions and your dislikes — I would never, ever say otherwise. Nor would I argue with your opinions because, well, I hate olives and nothing is going to convince me that I don’t. Even if you love them.
I go out to more public spaces once or twice a year, and I read them: goodreads, amazon, etc. But… I know myself well enough to know when things will knock me off my feet and when they will not. When these reviews are in the ether, when they’re not in my virtual living room, I have that choice. I can read, I can take in what’s said, I can assess it. It’s a particularly intellectual and distanced state of mind.
But it’s once or twice a year, and beyond that, I don’t check. I think it’s incredibly important to have spaces in which readers can vent. In which they don’t have to filter. In which they’re talking to other readers, because that’s the point of reviews: it’s meant for other readers.
While I am a reader, and I find review sites valuable for books that I will read, I can’t read reviews of my own work as if I’m a reader. So: I stay away because distance is <em>not</em> what I want <em>as a writer</em>.
But first thing in the morning when I sit down to write and see the notification — because I *also* don’t have google alerts or etc., turned on — it seriously knocks me completely off kilter. I have to attempt to pull right out of the writer-state in order to assess, and it can be a struggle to get back into the mental spaces from which story comes.
Once again: you are entitled to your reaction, to your responses, to your opinions. But… I’m going to ask you to filter or to find ways of expressing disappointment that are, yes, much more tactful. Failing that, I’ll ask you to go to town with the visceral impulse of venting disappointment — but to do it at one of the other public sites that are built and meant for that.
If that’s what’s coming in from my home on the internet, I will have to ignore it the way I ignore most spaces on the internet – because it impacts my ability to write.
And … I would like to have a virtual home and a virtual living room on the internet.
Again: I am NOT arguing with your reactions. I am not saying that you shouldn’t have them. But I’m asking you to think of my personal web-site as a living room in which you’re a guest.