I'm about halfway done with my latest novel. I'm pretty happy with how it's turning out so far and have decided to avoiding reading reviews, both good and bad, for the time being. We'll see how well I can stick with this!
Obviously, I'm still promoting BAND GEEK, but my mind is attached to my new book. I don't want the reviews to influence my writing too much. I find that my confidence drops whenever I read a bad review of my work, while I tend to get a little cocky when I read a good one. I think that reviews are important and can be helpful, but I need to stay focused on my latest project.
I've definitely learned from reading my book's reviews, as well as from taking a look at critiques of other novels. For this second book, I plan to A) Make sure it's completely typo-free. I've hired a professional editor to do this. After I finish, I might even have her go back through BAND GEEK. B) Not use dialect. This is a small thing, but apparently some readers didn't like reading the way that I wrote out slurred drunk talk. Readers have also complained about dialect annoying them in other novels. I dunno, it doesn't bother me too much, but if I use it, I'll make sure it's easy to understand. C) Get a cover that better illustrates the genre. Though this one is also a toss-up because many have complimented the cover for BAND GEEK.
A few readers complained that my story is too cliche and predictable, and I imagine that they will with this story, too. I'm not really writing suspenseful tales, though; I'm writing realistic fiction and like to think of them as "slice of life" stories. I want them to be more about the characters and their interactions; even if you can tell early on that characters will become enemies or friends, my novels are more about all of that in between stuff. I hope that readers will come away liking and relating to my characters, even if they weren't taken on a wild, adventurous ride.
On the other hand, most of my readers have said that they really liked my characters and felt that BAND GEEK moved quickly, so I seem to be doing something right! I hope that my new novel is as easy and fun to go through. I'm working on it, anyway.
I'm not trying to write the Great American Novel. I'm just trying to create some cute, YA fiction that goes a bit deeper than the average romantic comedy. Just as there's a market for different types of movies, there's one for different type of books. My main goal is to entertain and give my readers some enjoyment, while putting out books that I loved to write. So far, I'm doing just that.
Please read and review REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.