Thursday, July 12, 2012

SM Johnson ~Thursday Morning Coffee~ Bad Author!

Oh, here we are again, more authors behaving badly because their widdle feewings are ouchie from a negative or critical reviews... I'm not going to name names or call anyone out, or post links to the threads that ATE UP MY DAY yesterday - which was my own drama-loving fault, mind you.

Nope. Not gonna do it. I discussed authors behaving badly fairly recently in a 3-part series: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

(Looking for those posts, I am once again not sure of the tile format of this blog. Sigh. The tiles don't show enough of the topic for at-a-glance navigation to interesting posts. Dang it. Even though it looks freaking cool.)

So be warned that the look and feel of SM Johnson Writes will probably change by the weekend.


My response to recent slew of authors behaving badly is that I am going to post here, for all the world and any of my most cherished readers, the bits and pieces of the reviews that bruised both my heart and my ego.

These are the words that make me cringe.

They are also the words that I consciously attempt to remember, because I value the feedback that I get from anyone who has taken the time to review my work.


re: DeVante's Children

"There are some "why" moments in this book. A few storylines that were not really necessary and seemed to drag the book off course and left me scratching my head. Motivations are not clear at some points either."

"The books ends suddenly without any truly satisfactory resolution to the events that had just unfolded. I don't know if it is a cliffhanger or what but I couldn't believe the story just ended so abruptly."
"‘DeVante’s Children’ is a somewhat lukewarm vampire story... The story starts strong and interesting, and it kind of just …I don’t know…, …it has nothing much to offer..."

"Despite the fact that the book deals with one of my favorites genres, Vampires, and it is well written, I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. The bad part is I can't quite figure out why. I like the authors writing style and I liked the characters but the book failed to really capture and hold my attention."

"All that said, it's not a bad book and I'm sure many will read and enjoy it. I just wish I had."

"Overall the story was long, and a few times I found myself wondering where it was headed to. I never really found out. Overall the plot didn’t do it for me, I didn’t get where the story was headed really other than Daniel wanted to be a Vampire."

re: Above the Dungeon

"I would have liked more description of the setting, more character development through the story, a stronger sense that Dare really wanted and enjoyed what happened to him, and clearer indications when the narrator changed."
These next 3 quotes are from the same 1-star review. Yes, receiving a 1-star review made me feel sad, but wow! How amazing that a reviewer giving a 1-star review took the time to write such detailed explanations. This is what a review should be, even a "negative" or critical review - this person is telling READERS exactly what he/she didn't care for in this book. As the author, do I have something to complain about here? No way.

"First let me say I bought this book from the publisher not amazon. I was very dissapointed. I almost stopped reading this book. Usually I have no problems with threesomes or D/s but this whole story grated on me. It was a bit too extreme in a lot of ways."

"Jeff is a brat. He's also introduced out of nowhere and it was jarring. It totally broke the connection I was kind of feeling between Roman and Dare. Then Roman kind of shoved Jeff and Dare together and just lets Jeff be an ass. And man is he an ass."

"I felt like the author had to force the whole D/s on Dare. He just did not strike me as a character who could ever be part of that world. It was unbelievable when the writer had him participating in D/s scenes. It felt rushed and unlikely. Hell half the time Roman had to force Dare to get an erection because he wasn't really into it. There isn't really much love in the story. Lust and control I guess. Cruelty. Oh sure there are maybe one or two "bonding" parts but it didn't really have that "I completely trust you" feel. More like "I'm just going to go along with this" kind of thing."

re: Out of the Dungeon

"Although I like her, I could have used a little less Vanessa & Suede."

"There was way too much Vanessa in this story. Her issues with Suede seemed to drag on way too long."

"Uff - m/f way more than I expected :( "

Now, before you go feeling all sorry for me and shit, these are comments pulled from reviews that were more positive than negative. I'd post the most positive, pretty sentences about my work here, too, but that would speak of arrogance and egotism. I will trust that all my darlings who visit me here at SM Johnson Writes are wise enough to find the pretty words all by themselves. (hint - under the books tab are review links for each title - grin).

I'm sure if I had more reviews, I'd have more critical ones to share, but although I see sales daily, I don't see a bunch of reviews popping up. Which is too bad, because I enjoy reviews of my work, and I learn things. Like, if I'm going to throw F/F and F/M couplings in a M/M romance, my readers would appreciate a little more warning. That's a good thing to know. (grin). So for the most part, I guess I assume that the people reading my books have middle-of-the road feelings about them - i.e. don't hate them or love them enough to write reviews... so in my world, that's a 3-star review, right there. (smile).

I'm not sure where/when or even if I will be publishing my new impossible romance. It might actually fall into the realm of "too taboo to throw out into the world." And yet... the story is in me and demands to be written. Jonah is a 16 years old and basically homeless. Nick is the adult who takes him in, wanting to 'help.'

The age difference means this is automatically an abusive relationship, no matter which one of them is the instigator of sexual relationship.

Oops. Sometimes I just can't help myself.

Happy Thursday, darlings!


  1. I would love to read your new "impossible" romance. I hope that you do publish it! It's not too taboo for me. And, thanks for this post.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Kerry! There is something poignant about impossible romance for me, even if the endings leave me feeling thoughtful rather than feeling "good," - if that makes sense. I'm hoping to have it finished and available by Halloween (before NaNoWriMo starts!)

      Meanwhile, DeVante's Choice, the last of my Vampire DeVante trilogy, is due to be turned in to my publisher in September.