kay, I’ve cautioned about saying things on Facebook and pondered about writing train reports differently depending on how well I knew the person. Now comes a cautionary tale about writing reviews.
A while back, I reviewed Jenessa Gayheart’s book Eidolon: The Thousand Year Ghost. I had some good criticisms to make, specifically involving the technicalities of lighter-than-airship travel. But I was a little… um… snarky in my review. I remember thinking that while I wrote it, and thought, yeah, but it adds zest.
I’ve also mentioned that I have to monitor my comment stream for spam (that’s why you don’t see immediate postings – I don’t want to give the “Heated dog bed” spammers a break on the site). But when I saw “Jenessa Gayheart” posting for “Eidolon”, I suddenly realized my chickens had come home to roost.
Now, I’ve had other authors on the site. One really got pissed for something I wrote (but he deserved it – I still don’t know what his point was). Other’s have been gracious when I’ve given them good reviews. And Jenessa had every opportunity to ask me who I was and why I got to be the literary king of the world. It’s within her right. Outside of spammers, I’ve never deleted a comment, especially one I’d earned.
But she was very gracious and thanked me for the review (even the snarky bits). That was something I didn’t expect, and was very thankful for. She also suggested (in a series of follow-up emails) that I should review her full story (not the lead in) and see what I thought. So I’ve agreed to do this and will probably push this review to the front of the line. After all, she was a good example of what an author should be (and in thinking about what I’d said about her, I’m not sure I’d want the same said about one of my books. After all, I remember someone knocking Fire and Bronze because I didn’t know how thirteen year old girls thought. Probably a true criticism and delivered fairly. But had it been painted with a crusty sauce of ridicule, I’d have found it a little harder to swallow).
So, good takeaway on this – for praise, go all out. For criticism, go easy on the sarcasm. And for dead authors, mock them if you feel like. Like, what’s Herman Melville going to do to me anyway? Throw a harpoon? Hardly. He couldn’t get one in the air in under three pages.
BTW, Jenessa Gayheart’s book Eidolon: The Thousand Year Ghost is available on Amazon. Check it out and let me know what you think.