Thursday, February 23, 2012

What A Waste? Or Is it?

Don't waste your money.  This has got to be the most unproductive catch phrase currently circulating in the online reviewing world.  Every purchase involves risk and when something cost the equivelent of pocket change, it's tough to justify that it is a complete 'waste.'  Surely, you got something out of it? Granted, it might not be what you wanted, but you did get something for your eight quarters and change. Don't get me wrong, I'm not 'pro-waste' of cash.  I get that we all work hard for our tiny piece of the pie, but waste is relative to each individual.  

Why the rant? It stems from a short sentence review of my latest book.  It might seem as if I'm bitter or can't take criticism, but actually that is untrue.  Before you race to click on 'comment' to tell me off, let me speak -- or ummm...point out why I'm truly not that upset with the statement left on the book's site.  

First, the reviewer did purchase both my previous books and loved them.  I did something good and provided a product worthy of the cash spent.  However, he/she did not enjoy my latest book and remarked, "It is as if it was written by someone totally different."  *As noted by the reviewer, only a few pages were actually read before the flush occurred.  

I can attest that A Secret of Spicy Jalapeno was indeed written by Charlie Courtland.  BUT, this book is much different than my first two, which are historical fiction. The third is contemporary horror. I'm pleased with this comment because my intent was to create a work separate from the first two books. It's a different genre, time, place, and subject matter with unique characters. I struggled to give the jalapeno characters their own voice and I'm excited that they don't come across like my other fictional stars. As a writer, I consider this a compliment and a successful hurdle jump.  

With that said, I do understand that readers might get annoyed when authors divert from a favored style of writing.  Now, if I was continuing on with the Bathory series, I'd stay with the same writing style.  Also, if I was writing another period piece, I would pen with similar tones because I'm aware that fans of my genre work have certain expectations.  The deviation is purposeful and gives the creative opportunity to NOT do the same thing. Reading the back cover and synopsis of the third book should provide insight into the content. 

In defense of my paperback baby, another review on the same site clearly notes that, "Altogether different from her Elizabeth Bathory series in style and tone, there are still precious Charlie moments within it."  With this statement beneath the nose, it's hard to sympathize with the groan of money wasted. A Secret of Spicy Jalapeno differs from the Blood Countess series but this doesn't mean it is a sucking black hole hungry for coins.  Fans of contemporary horror and twisted tales will likely love it. Historical fiction fans? They may not if they don't enjoy contemporary horror.  Anyhoo, Charlie Courtland did write all three and I'm flattered by the unrated criticism. Kudos to me for pulling off what I set out to do! 

Mentioned quotes can be viewed at Smashwords

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