Being an Author: Readers

Photo: Marina Shemesh

Photo: Marina Shemesh

Now that Perceval’s Secret has been on sale at Amazon, B&N and Kobo for seven months, i.e. published, I am finally feeling that I have published a novel. Last April, I even thought that I was still working on the publication process and had to remind myself that it was done.  It’s a strange feeling, actually. Writing a blog has helped me deal with the feeling of exposure that sending a piece of writing into the world can create.  I’ve been doing that for seven years now and I’m acclimated to a certain extent.  I also write for Classical MPR online, and that has added to my feeling of exposure but thankfully in a good way.

Being an author can mean different things to different people, I guess.  To me, it means that I’ve written a work of fiction that’s published. It’s now available for people to buy and read.  Often people who are complete strangers.  A few have written reviews at Amazon for the novel, and I am ecstatic to hear what they think of the book and that they enjoyed it.  I think it’s important for authors to hear from readers — a meeting of minds over a work of fiction.

But what about when readers don’t respond in some way?  It’s understandable to me that readers who don’t know the author might remain silent, which is the reason I’m thrilled when a stranger writes a review.  What has been a surprise is my reaction to the silence of readers I know, people I know have bought the book — they’ve told me — but then say nothing after they’ve read it.  Did they hate it that much?

My insecurities come gushing out.  Why hasn’t so-and-so told me what she thought?  Why hasn’t this relative responded or written a review?  Why haven’t other relatives bought and read the book?  I need to take a deep breath, let it out, take another deep breath, and let it out.  Breathing is an amazing defense against the ego’s chaotic sensitivities.

Credit: Deepak Nanda/

Credit: Deepak Nanda/

I remind myself that I know not everyone will like Evan’s story. Some people won’t like being immersed in the classical music world, or read about PTSD and its effects on a person’s life when it’s untreated, or like Evan’s dilemma and his way of dealing with it. Maybe some people just won’t like my writing. It’s impossible to please everyone, but I would hope that people will try the book before making any kind of judgement or forming an opinion.

Then I remind myself that no one is required to communicate with an author with a response to the author’s book.  Even the people I know personally.

The best way to move away from all this ego chaos is to write. I write in a journal daily. I write my blogs. I write e-mails.  I write promotional materials for the book.  Slowly, I write my way back to fiction. My current projects are short form: a short story entitled The Negligee that is finished and only needs some tweaking, and a short story that I’ve begun writing. Eventually, once I’ve completed shorter writing projects, I’ll begin work on Perceval’s Shadow, the second book in the series. Its first draft is done, but needs a lot of work.

No matter what anyone thinks about me or my writing, I shall write.  Once I have this mantra back into my mind, I’m fine.  The ego quiets down so I can give it something else to preoccupy it while my imagination comes out to play. So, as much as I’d love to hear from readers and what they think of Perceval’s Secret, it is not essential to my writing life.


Perceval’s Secret is still on sale at Amazon, B&N, and Kobo for $2.99.  Now would be a good time to buy your copy if you haven’t already.  I’ll be raising the price on January 1. Or take a shot at guessing the mystery element in the book’s cover design to win a free book! (See details under the “Free Book!” tab)  And if you’d like to write a review to let other readers know what you thought about the novel, that would be grand, and I thank you for it….


5 responses to “Being an Author: Readers

  1. Hi Cinda,

    Thanks for sharing your talents with the world, in your novel, and on your blog! I hope my review showed up on Amazon…I wrote a week or so ago and it said it was awaiting moderation…

    I know what you mean about readers’ silence. I have handed out numerous copies of my book The Hidden Half of the Gospel to family members, and I haven’t heard anything back from most of those. I wonder what they think, just like I wonder what they think of my blog posts…but then I think that they probably just haven’t taken time to read the posts, or the book. Reading isn’t a top hobby for most of my friends and family members like it is for people like us:) Also, as a reader, I would just say I get so busy that, even if I would like to compliment an author after reading, life has a way of crowding out those good intentions. Anyway, glad to hear you continue to write. I hope you will find joy in writing every day!

    • Hi, Lindsey,

      Thanks for the review at Amazon! Such kind words. I do hope you knew that Evan Quinn was an orchestra conductor and not a composer? (smile) It can be hard if you’re not familiar with classical music to keep it all straight. (smile) Thank you!

      I recently read a memoir written by a writer I know locally. I’ve been meaning to write her a note about it because I found it very moving, but I haven’t had the time. I know she’d appreciate the note, too. Right now, I find myself running to catch up, not only with my writing work, but also with lots of other things. Modern life with technology is not necessarily better, that’s for sure. Technology is a time suck. For example, waiting for a webpage to load when a website is being squirrely. I’ve been dealing with that a lot lately.

      Thanks for the long comment, and glad you enjoyed the post — I love hearing from people here and what they think of my posts!

      • Hi Cinda, oops on the composer vs. conductor. That was just a slip-up; I have played in bands and things (trumpet player in high school), so the difference is clear to me. Wonder if I can edit that on Amazon? I was happy to write the review, just sorry it took so long. You are right about technology being a time suck. I love it and hate it at the same time!

      • So glad to hear that you grew up involved in music, Lindsey. What a difference that can make in someone’s life.

        I don’t know about editing reviews at Amazon. You’ll need to check that out there. If you can edit it, great. If not, that’s OK. I just wanted to make sure it was a slip on your part and not a misconception. (smile)

        Thanks for the comment, for the review and for taking the time to stop by!

      • My pleasure, Cinda. And your book left no doubt about Evan’s occupation. Keep up the good work!

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