Wednesday, May 7, 2014

#IWSG : Why I wanted to hide in a closet and suck my thumb

On the first Wednesday of every month, we post about our insecurities or share encouragement. To join or find out more about the group, click on the image above!


Well folks, it's official.

I got my first negative review. So bad, that upon reading it I wanted to go hide in a dark closet and suck my thumb. Talk about a heart-sinking moment!

ARCs for Love's Sorrow went out two weeks before release, and the first person to respond - my very first feedback outside beta readers and editors - was slaying to say the least. She said she wouldn't recommend my book to any of her friends.

Why? There's no HEA or even an HFN. 

You see, Love's Sorrow isn't your typical romance novel. It's the first in a series that tells the tale of Anne Tearle and her unexpected finding of love.

Real life love.

Not a gushy, gooey, fairy tale where everyone is joyously happy for the rest of their lives. Anne's story is a journey through many emotions - heartbreaks - all to typical of the 19th century woman. 

Do I give her an HEA eventually? 

Of course I do! It IS a romance series, and everyone who reads romance will tell you the 'rule' of said genre is that everyone must live happily ever after. It's just too bad that reviewer isn't interested in waiting to read about it. Took me a few days (and a few raving reviews!!!) to say to myself...



Stay true to the story your muse dictates. 

You cannot please every reader every time. 


  1. Hi Terri, please come out of the dark closet and stop sucking your thumb. Don't stress over one person's opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. If your editors and publishing house were okay with the ending, then there is nothing to worry about.

  2. 'Her loss' is exactly right!
    No book can please every reader. In fact, whenever I get the notion that I should change something about my story to please someone other than myself, I take a look at the reviews of some of my favorite books ever. Even those have unenthusiastic reviews!
    Kirsten @ A Scenic Route

  3. Kind of rough to have the first reader feedback be negative, but I think having some negative reviews can be a good thing depending on the ration to good reviews and the nature of the bad review.

    I think you close with a good mantra. Lot's of differents tastes out there and I don't know if there is an everyone-gets-pleased genre.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  4. I'm sorry about the bad review, but it definitely is HER LOSS! I think you're an amazing writer and I CANNOT wait to read Love's Sorrow! I personally enjoy romance stories that divert from the norm. I love Nora Roberts, but after reading so many of her books I start to hate the predictable story lines and endings.

    There will always be negative reviews, it's the readers who give positive ones who we write for. :)

  5. I think it is the reader's loss. Just remember you're not going to please everyone. I know there are many who will LOVE your books. Suck your thumb today but tomorrow come out of that dark closet swinging!! :-) There'll always be the naysayers. Listen to your heart.

  6. Whew, that must've been rough! Good for you for working through it and coming out stronger. Your writing will be even better for it. :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

  7. If your thumb tastes good, it's not a total loss.
    I'm not sure what HEA and HFN are.
    But, yeah, there will always be someone that doesn't like your work; you just don't want it to be the FIRST someone.

  8. I remember my first one star review - they criticized the book for being a short story. Heck, everyone on the page it says SHORT STORY. Oh well... Since then I've had others but the 4-5 stars far outweigh them. We can't and never will make everyone happy. Most of my writing friends no longer even read their reviews...I can't go quite that far. LOL!

    D.B. McNicol
    Romance & Mystery...writing my life

  9. I'll be bracing myself for the negative reviews when I publish. And it's so true, you can't please everyone.

  10. That is the truth! Can't please them all. If she didn't want to stick it out and read the whole series, it is her loss.
    Hey, at least she didn't say your writing sucked.

  11. Sorry, Terri. Hearing negative things can be tough. Try to remember that words only have the power you give them and you're right; it is their loss.

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

  12. Rachna - it's tough NOT to stress a little over that first negative review! I'm definitely over it, though.

    Kirsten - I, too, went to check on unfavorable reviews of some of the best books ever. Definitely brightened my mood!

    Arlee - I DOUBT there's a please-everyone-genre. Doesn't hurt to try, though, does it?!?

    Chrys - since you're tired of the same old, same old, you'll definitely enjoy LS! At least I hope so anyway. :)

    Jenny - you're one of my best cheerleaders. Thank you for your ra-ra-ra-ing!!

    Madeline - that's my hope as well!

    Andrew - totally made me laugh! Coffe-flavored thumb. Excellent. HEA - happily ever after. HFN - happy for now. Romance terms. ;)

    Donna - there is always that one idiot, isn't there??

    Cindy - brace yourself. They hurt, but take that criticism & use it to make yourself into a strong writer. Best of luck in your publishing endeavors.

    Alex - TRUE! She did enjoy my writing and the story itself. Just didn't appreciate the ending. hehehe

    Em - unfortunately, I gave them too much power for a few hours. The Pen Sisters helped get me out of the funk. Hugs!!

  13. Negative reviews hurt. That's why we develop thick skin, right? LOL You can't please everyone so don't try. I had a 1-star review that said excerpts were longer than my book--of nearly 400 pages. Say what? Let it go and get out of the closet. :)

  14. It's hard to weather a bad review, especially she it is the first one. I'm glad you were able to feel the pain then let it go. You're right - her loss. Many good reviews will follow that one bad commentary.
    Elizabeth Hein - Scribbling in the Storage Room

  15. Boo for that review! And yay for listening to your muse. I'm glad you're not in the closet sucking your thumb :)

  16. I know I shouldn't read my reviews (when or if they come) but I know I'm going to. I hope there's enough good to outweigh the bad. I hope I'll be able to say 'their loss.'

    IWSG #224 until Alex culls the list again.

  17. I've been in that closet too and you are so right there is no way everyone is ever going to love everything we write.
    It still stings, though.
    I hope you continue to recieve more good reviews.

  18. It's extra hard on you that the negative feedback came first. Glad you're now able to see that it's just one opinion - and glad you have had other different opinions.