Tuesday 30 May 2023


Tara needs to find some clues fast if she wants to save Kaolin...

BUY NOW: http://www.books2read.com/DTFW

[ID: A ldark brown background with the title DYING THOUGHTS - FOURTH WEEK at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just above the title. The except reads:

A vision meant that Kaolin was dead and we could find her and prosecute her killers, which I totally didn’t want. However, it just being a mobile meant that I was no closer to finding her and for every hour that ticked by was another hour that she wasn’t back safe and sound and another hour that something bad could happen to her.

Above the title is Joey Paul and just below that the website www.joeypaulonline.com, in the top right corner is the Readers' Favorite Review Seal, and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 29 May 2023

Changing The Focus Of Your Writing - The Creative Process


I am, if you're not already aware, very much a multi-genre author. I have written a lot of crime/mystery, but I've also had paranormal, done urban fantasy, done sci-fi, dystopian, and a lot of others in between. I have no problem with this, my readers don't seem to mind either. I stick it all under one name because I don't like being held to one or two genres. I go where my ideas take me and if that happens to be somewhere new, or somewhere familiar, then I don't mind.

That said, I do know that it can be easier for indie authors, and trad pub too, to stick to one genre for a period and not do too much crossing all over the place. I know of some authors who have one pen name for romance and another for fantasy, but for me it's never really worked. I want to see my actual name on my books. I've never been someone who can cope with having all these different social media for all these different names, and the thought just makes me get cross-eyed about it!

If you're looking for advice on how to do that, then I would suggest you go elsewhere because I don't have the first clue what to say and it would be wrong of me to pretend otherwise. I know there is lots of information about having multiple pen names and such all around the internet, and I'm just not someone who that has ever mattered to, and it's never been something I've thought about, or experienced.

So, then what am I trying to talk to you about? Simple, that sometimes you will spend time in one genre, and other times your ideas will switch and take a hard left turn and you find yourself in a completely different one. I was someone who was sure, I mean completely sure, that I would never write any kind of fantasy, and then I got the idea for Cramping Chronicles, and after that, other ideas that have yet to see the light of day. If you've been following along with me for a while, you'll remember the 5 facts I've given about a variety of different WIP and not all of them have been one genre. I do write all over the place, and I'm happy with that.

So with all that in mind, I thought I would give you some tips on what to do if you find yourself switching to a new genre, or changing the focus of your writing. It's not the end of the world, and I'm not anti-muliple pen names, I just don't have the experience to guide you if you choose to take that route.

While I'm pretty sure I will never write epic fantasy, simply because I very rarely read it, it's important to allow yourself some leeway. There are some genres that might not appeal to you now, but that doesn't mean you won't ever get an idea that leans into that space. I've not written any books where romance is the main genre, I've had sub-plots of it, but it's never been the whole focus of the book, but that doesn't mean I won't ever be hit with an idea that allows me to branch out into that genre more. You gotta be open to change, if that's what you want to do.

Is this a project that you want to publish one day? Or is it something that you just want to write and get the story out of you? I've had projects like that, some of them eventually get to the point where my goal changes and I do want to send the book out into the world, but when you're first planning (or not) maybe think about what you want the end product to be for. From there you can work out whether or not it's something you want to put a lot of time into.

This is a question that I ask myself every time I think of a new idea. I have a folder on my computer that has them all written down because my memory is not the best. But I will go back through and read them and decide whether or not I want this to go anywhere, because if I'm not going to enjoy the process most of the time (it doesn't have to be all of the time) then is there any point in putting that on my shoulders? If the answer is yes, then you know that this is something you're going to want to explore.


A lot of the time, for me at least, I will have one genre in mind when I'm planning my book, and it can, and does, switch while drafting it. For that reason I try not to be too limited in what I see as my chosen genres. Like with Cramping Chronicles, it started as a paranormal/mystery, but it soon became very clear that it was urban fantasy, but if I'd not allowed myself that time to work through it, then I wouldn't have gotten it to the point where it is now. So this is a very important part of it.

So there we go, those are my four tips, if you have any, or want to add something more, then lemme know in the comments!

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books. 

Friday 26 May 2023

Review of Blink And We'll Miss It by Ginny Kochis

Mae Griffin’s last blink was six hundred and fifty-three days ago, when she left Minnesott Beach, North Carolina, for good.

It might have been the move. It’s probably the lack of stress now that her mom is stable. All Mae knows is that her world no longer shifts. She doesn’t glimpse people from the past or fall headlong into their private moments. As long as she can go to school, keep her friends at arm’s length, and make sure Mom takes her medication, she’ll have a pretty solid end to junior year.
Except stability breeds complacency, and when Mae’s not looking, life falls apart. Reeling from a tragedy she should have seen coming, Mae returns to her grandparents’ centuries-old house on the Carolina coast, to the friendships she destroyed and the stoic, dark-haired boy who makes her heart ache.
Back to the blinks that plague her mental health.
As Mae’s blinks ramp up in intensity and frequency, she discovers an unsettling truth. Her greatest fear is the key to healing old, brutal wounds and unearthing family secrets that sparked a bitter feud. Torn between loyalty to the friends she once loved and protection from the pain of starting over, Mae must decide if she can open her heart. Not just to the life she let go, but to the parts of herself she’d rather keep hidden.


My Review: 5 STARS

I picked this up on release day because the cover was gorgeous and I loved the sound of the blurb and I ended up reading it all in one sitting. Mae is an engaging character who pulls you into her world, and let’s you get settled in, desperate to know more about the blinks, about her family, about her fears and worries. I adored the friendships, and the ups and downs, twists and turns that were told perfectly through the story. It was beautifully told and had me hooked until the very end. Very much recommended for some great mental health rep and great characters too!

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here

Thursday 25 May 2023

Tuesday 23 May 2023


Angelina just wants to have a break...

BUY NOW: http://www.books2read.com/WOY

[ID: A light blue background with the title WAITING ON YOU at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just below the excerpt. The except reads:

I sighed and sat down at my usual desk, pulled out my work book and pencil case and started to work through the homework sheet. If Mr. Holt had his way, I’d be in detention from now until the end of term, if not longer. The worst part was I knew that I’d get into strife at home because I was going to be at school an extra hour. It would also make me even later for my date with Zack. Rosemary and Valerie would want something to eat, and demand that I do some kind of tidying up. Mum had probably only agreed to me staying late because she was too drunk to care. I know it seems that I whine a lot, but honestly, if you had my life, how would you feel?

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website www.joeypaulonline.com, in the bottom left corner is the Readers' Favorite Review Seal, and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 22 May 2023

Why I Chose To Be An Author - The Creative Process


I get asked this from time to time. People want to know what drew me to being an author, usually family members or family friends who knew that from a very young age, I wanted to be a doctor. It wasn't a conscious choice that switched things around as such. When I was in secondary school, I started to write 'stories' with a few friends of mine. Nothing ever really came of it, we thought we could get them published and would be rolling in money. Obviously I don't need to point out how naive that view was!

It wasn't until I was 19, and had been medically retired from working life, that I had this choice to make. I could do nothing creative with my time, or I could go back to some of those stories and pick out what worked, what didn't, and start to write a whole new story that was completely mine. I did that, a lot. You all know the story of how I was first published, but if you don't here's a refresher.

At 23, I got the chance to have a book published. I was very sick still, less so than I am now in some ways, more so in others. I wanted to leave my imprint on the world and while I had, at that time, about five books written, I went with what turned out to be my d├ębut, Blackout, and had that published with a vanity press. It did not go well, and it was never something I did again. Later when KDP and self-publishing opened up, I went for it with little understanding of what I'd be doing.

That's the broad strokes on it. I'm now 41 and I've published almost 21 books, and written double that in first draft status. I didn't, as a child, sit down and decide that the author life was for me, but at some point, with the doctor job out of my reach because of ill health, I switched paths and decided to throw myself into being an author. And as it turns out, I feel like that was always going to be the best path for me, though I doubt I personally could've managed to have the books I have now if I'd also been a doctor.

I chose to stick to indie/self-pub because I liked having the control over what was released, and how the cover looked, and which editors I worked with and all of that. I chose this path because it matches my own goals, and it allows me to be flexible with what I'm doing. That's not a slam against trad pub, I know a lot of people have a lot of success with it, but for me it's just not been something that I want to attempt. That may change in the future, but for now I'm happy doing what I do.

I know that a lot of people asking that question are trying to ascertain whether or not it's a viable job for me. Too much of the time people see you doing work and wanting it to be something that pays well and allows you to be a functioning, productive member of society. I mean, I don't make enough to live off my royalties, but I do very much enjoy what I do. I work anywhere from an hour to three in one day and that's about my limit. Being an author, especially an indie author, allows me to work when I can, and take time off when needed, and I don't have a boss coming to talk to me about my hours or asking for overtime that I literally can't do because my body is not capable of it.

Personally I don't think you have to have a job to be deemed a functioning member of society, or at least I don't think you need to have one that pays the amount people might think it should so that you can contribute to all the things needed. I think the world needs stories, the world needs creative pursuits, and that sometimes no matter how hard you try, you just can't live off what you get for that.

So breaking all of that down, why did I chose to become an author? Because I have stories inside of me that need to see the light of day, that people need to read, that need to be told, and I am the only one who can tell them the way I tell them. It's as simple as that!

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books.  

Friday 19 May 2023

Review of Rebelling With The Bad Boy by Sarah Sutton


Trusting the bad boy… What could go wrong?

It’s on my birthday that I realize the past sixteen years of my life haven't really been mine.
From my outfits to my hairstyles and even to my love life, my parents have control over all of it. And instead of fighting, I live by my mantra: keep my head down and keep my mouth shut.

Until I’m paired with Brentwood High’s resident bad boy, Hudson Bishop. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe him. Intimidating. Scary. Panic-inducing. There’s a reason the school calls him the Grim Reaper. And when our principal pairs us together for a “buddy program,” he makes it perfectly clear he doesn’t want to be stuck with a stiff like me.

But when I’m voted Most Likely To: Stay A Prude by the elite crowd of the school, suddenly Hudson Bishop is more than just a bad boy—he’s a way out from underneath my mother’s thumb. He’s a path to rebellion, and despite all of the warning bells going off in my head, I take it.

I just have to make sure I don’t get lost along the way…
And it may already be too late.


My Review:  5 STARS

I picked this up because I’ve adored the other books in the series and was desperate to read this one. Sutton has a way of pulling you into the story and taking you along for the ride. I adored Gemma and Hudson, and the journey they took. The self-discovery of Gemma was perfect and spot on, the whole thing was just a delight, swoon worthy romance, and I can’t wait for book four in the series. If you’re someone who loves watching characters grow and change for the better, then this is an author for you! Highly, highly recommended!

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here

Thursday 18 May 2023

Author Tag: Get To Know The Author Tag [CC]

Doing a tag today and answering questions all about me! #Authortube

Tag Questions:

1. At what time of day do you usually write?
2. Do you outline your work or just wing it?
3. What author(s) do you admire the most?
4. What’s your least favorite genre to write or read?
5. Do you want writing to be a hobby or is your goal to write full time?
6. What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
7. Do you have a writing routine?
8. What’s your solution to writer’s block?
9. How long have you had a writing blog?
10. Do you think having a writing blog has helped your writing in any way?

SAW ON STEVE DONOGHUE CHANNEL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ooph819bxR4


Tuesday 16 May 2023


Tara has had a very bad day...

BUY NOW: http://www.books2read.com/DTTW

[ID: A lime green background with yellow flowers overlaid on the right with the title DYING THOUGHTS - THIRD WISH at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just above the title. The except reads:

“Hey sweetie, how was your day?” he asked, once I was in the car.
“Well it depends, do you want to hear about how I was up at 6:30am to go to the police station where I had a vision about a boy who had been beaten to death by his ‘loving’ parents? Or the part where the vision made me throw up? Or that part where after all of that I had to go to work because my dad is a sadist? Or the part when I then touched something at work and had yet another vision? Or the part where Steve, my supervisor then questioned me to death about my ‘fits’ at lunch? Or the part with the big row at the end of the day?” I told him, exasperated.

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website www.joeypaulonline.com, and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 15 May 2023

5 Facts About My Current WIP: Disability Detectives: The History Thief


Last week I talked about my other WIP (found here) and this week I'm going to give you some facts about my second one, which is also the second in a series and the facts for the first book can be found here. I do love getting to come up with these facts and share them with you all, simply because they help me hone in on what I'm trying to do and how things are coming about!

Disability Detectives is a young adult crime/mystery series that deals with four disabled teens who attend a prestigious school that mostly caters to those with disabilities. Veronica, the main character, and her three best friends, find themselves thrown into situations that they might not have sought out for themselves otherwise. The History Thief picks up a few months after the events of book one, The French Murder, and so there will be some facts I can't share because of spoilers.

With that in mind, let's get into it!


After what happened to her last term, Veronica had kinda hoped that returning to Rosewood would make things easier. She's never had a close relationship with her parents, and spending the winter break with them didn't change that. With the school trying to paper up the cracks exposed from Veronica's last investigation, she's in a familiar place but new faces aren't making that transition easier. She has a lot to work through, and one of the only ways to get proper help would be to ask her parents, but that isn't going to happen any time soon.

With everything that happened last term, Veronica and her friends kinda assumed that would be the end of issues for them. They'd be able to settle back in, take it slow, catch up on schoolwork and then not really have to think about things beyond the upcoming court case which is stressful in itself. Except them a school project puts them with a girl they don't know, and she's had something go missing. Veronica and the others can't help but offer to see if they can track down the thief, which is a whole can of worms they didn't see coming.

One of the things Veronica's parents disagree with their daughter on is simply that she's not top set, A* material. She never has been, and while she works as hard as she's able, it's just not going to happen. So when faced with a mountain of schoolwork that she didn't get a chance to dive into over the break, and deadlines approaching rapidly, teachers starting to lose patience with the ones she's already missed, Veronica is starting to feel like it's sink or swim time, and she can't swim.


While Veronica is happy to help where she can, there are some secrets that she can't keep. She's trying to do her best, to stay on top of schoolwork, to go to her classes and be somewhat present, but with all the people asking for her help, there's one student who's louder than the others. She feels like she owes it to them to bring an end to the fear that has plagued them for a while, but at the same time, maybe it would be better for the truth to come out.

Plagued with flashbacks, and anxiety off the charts, she really does need someone to step in and give her a helping hand, but because of the situation with her parents, she can't do anything about it. She may not mind the fact that her parents are so hands off, but in this point, she'd rather they take that decision away from her and get her the help she needs, even if that means letting her friends advocate for her, something she would never normally do.

So there we go, there are five facts about my other WIP. I do love Veronica and her friends, love getting to see them grow and change and love getting to watch as they go from place to place. I have at least two more books in this series and I'm very much enjoying it. I needed to return to my roots of crime/mystery for a while, and it's not something I regret at all!

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books.  

Friday 12 May 2023

Review of Head Under Water by Rebecca Lemke

Titans are disappearing.

Holding facilities are being emptied of the government’s greatest asset. A single Titan is the only clue left behind.

Melody can’t speak. She can’t breathe air. She can’t leave the confines of her tank.

But she’s the only one who knows who is breaking Titans out of their cages.

Meanwhile, James is unable to accept his fate as a Titan. So much so that he is willing to make a deal with the devil to find the Antidote.

Can they turn back the clock, to when they were all human?


My Review:  5 STARS

When I finished the first book in this series, I was desperate to know what happened next and jumped into book two with high hopes, and it did not disappoint! I adored the different POVs and getting to know more about the older characters and the new ones. I loved the twists and turns, and ended up finishing the book in one sitting as I was desperate to know what happened next. I am craving book three as this is a series that I very much want to continue, overall an amazing sequel, and very much recommended!

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here

Thursday 11 May 2023

Life Of Joey & Bi-Monthly Goals - May 2023 [CC]

Letting you know what I was up to last month, as well as reviewing my goals from March & April & setting new ones for May & June! #Authortube


Tuesday 9 May 2023


Lynne can't believe this is happening...

BUY NOW: http://www.books2read.com/LANH

[ID: A pale pink background with the title LYNNE & HOPE at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just below the title. The except reads:

“Lynne, the sample has already been retested, but I need to ask you a few questions before I can let you get back to work.” He was talking about me going back to work, which sounded like he wasn’t about to fire me.
“Did you touch the knife before testing the sample?”
“No, I don’t have access to anything but the swabs, you know that.”
“Adam does.”
“Yeah and Adam also went home at his normal time last night so he wasn’t around when I started on the sample.”
“Did you personally know either of the victims?” What? What the hell was going on?
“What kind of question is that, Jack?”
“Just answer it, Lynne.”

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website www.joeypaulonline.com, in the bottom left corner is the Readers' Favorite Review Seal, and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 8 May 2023

5 Facts About My Current WIP: Viral Detection


I like to do these when I start new projects. A lot of it is because I'm super excited about the beginning and where the story will take me, and some of it is it's just nice to share that excitement with people. I started two new projects in April, and so it's delightful that that time has come around again and I get to delve into two new WIP to share with you all.

This week, I'll be dishing the facts about Viral Detection, which is the first in what should be a trilogy and is young adult sci-fi/dystopian. The world has changed remarkably from the world we live in now. Nia, the main character, and her twin, Neema, are the big pushing points of the story. There's a virus that the world hides from, and to combat the spread, people are separated into pods of no more than six people. They're born into one, and when the time comes for them to be matched and moved, they enter another and have their children and live their lives in a brand new pod, never looking back, never being able to talk to their families again.

So without further ado, let's get into the five facts!


You'd think that growing up in a world where everything is checked and monitored, that they'd both have learned the rules about what questions and such are off-limits. Nia follows them more closely than her twin, but still the two of them want to know more about the people they've known their whole lives. Their father died before they were born, so they only have their Mama to guide them. It's only when Nia is the one to break the rules that she's sanctioned and removed from the pod, never getting the chance to say goodbye, never getting the chance to apologise for the fight she had with her twin the night before. She has no choice but the be removed and taken to a different pod.

You'd think that given how things have gone, that she's been removed from her home, taken from the family she's lived with her whole life, that Nia would start to conform, ready to escape the penal pod she's been placed in and show The Powers that she's worthy of being matched one day. Of course it's the events of what happened after she was removed from the pod that make her question things even more. Everyone wears a smart watch, something that can sense if someone has any hints of the virus in them, and the morning Nia is removed, someone in her home pod tests positive for the virus, and The Powers answer is to destroy the pod and everyone within it.

There are pods for those who can't seem to follow the strict rules laid down by The Powers. Nia never knew this, she never even considered that people would go against their wishes, but once there and having met and spoken to those other young teens in the pod along with her, she starts to see that there are some rules you have to make. She watched The Powers destroy her home, and she grieved the loss of her family, never really understanding why The Powers reacted the way they did when the virus was contained. She still needs answers though and even if they're not supposed to talk about this stuff, she finds allies in the people trapped there with her.

Neema is presumed dead after The Powers destroyed the pod. Nia never got a chance to apologise to them, never got a chance to say goodbye, and yet when there are whispers that Neema might have escaped unharmed, Nia knows what she has to do. She has to somehow escape the pod, and find her way to her twin, and make sure the two of them survive what lay ahead for them. After all, she shared a womb with Neema, she shared a life with them, and she will never, not ever, leave them out there on their own. She'll do what she has to do to save Neema, even at the cost of herself.

Given that every other member of the pod, bar the leader, Hail, is there for their own crimes, and wants to one day graduate to a match and getting on with the rest of their lives, Nia has to be careful about who she asks for help. She won't be able to pull off an escape on her own. She has a long road ahead of her, and with the watches tracking every movement, she might very well get caught and brought back. She doesn't want someone else to pay for her crimes, but she also can't do it without some help. Choosing who to trust is going to be a hard decision, and one she has to make quickly, and carefully.

So there we go, there's five facts about one of my current WIP. I am loving this story and where it's taking me along the way. I have the next two books mostly planned in my head, but as we know with my process, it can sometimes switch and change and that's okay. I'll be back next week to talk about my other WIP and I'll hope you join me then!

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books. 

Friday 5 May 2023

Review of As Long As I Have You by Brandy Woods Snow

A headstrong Appalachian girl, determined to save her family farm from foreclosure, takes on a lucrative internship at Johnson Farms where she competes for prize money and the heart of Farmer Johnson’s son.

One summer to lose yourself. One summer to find yourself.

Reeling from an unexpected public break-up, recent graduate Bo Johnson finds his life in flux, unsure of his romantic outlook or himself. The one thing he can count on, however, is his dad’s desire for him to get serious about a future on the family’s large commercial farm—the one he stands to inherit. If he actually wants it, that is.

For headstrong Jordan Wright, a life on her family’s small Appalachian farm has never been in question—as long as it doesn’t fall into foreclosure first. With debts mounting and the bank’s grace running out, Jordan inherently knows the one thing her mama and grandparents won’t say aloud: it’s up to her to save them.

When Jordan lands a prestigious internship at Johnson Farms with a lucrative cash prize, she vows to keep her focus, despite partnering with the owner’s ruggedly handsome son who’s also shouldering the weight of family expectations. But as their success and affection for each other grows in tandem, Jordan becomes the target of Brice Johnson, the other intern leader, who harbors a grudge against Bo and a growing resentment toward Jordan.

Just when Bo is discovering his place on the farm and Jordan’s payout is within reach, a jealous Brice undermines the internship in an attempt to reclaim what he believes to be his rightful family stake, leaving Bo and Jordan with the realization that saving their inheritances could mean losing each other.


My Review: 5 STARS

I read the first book in this series and fell in love with the characters, so was happy to dive into this one, and wow, was it even better than the first! I adored Jordan and Bo, loved watching them fall for each other and navigate the twists and turns of their story. It was sweet, and heartfelt, and swoon worthy romance. Snow has a way of making the characters leap off the page and make you fall in love with their story. For anyone who loves contemporary romance, this is a must read and a series that I highly recommend!

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here

Tuesday 2 May 2023


Tara wants to keep her gift a secret, you never know how people might react...

BUY NOW: http://www.books2read.com/DTSS

[ID: A blurry blue sky with green and yellow leaves in focus background with the title DYING THOUGHTS - SECOND SIGHT at the top and out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook just above the title. The except reads:

“I just thought you could finally solve that for them. You know, get hold of something of hers, bam, case solved,” Kaolin muttered, her lips barely moved.
“Kaolin, as my first and pretty much only friend, I don’t want to have to kill you but if you don’t drop it I will be forced to hurt you.”
Cassie turned her head to look at the both of us. “What the hell are you two whispering about?”
“Nothing,” I told her, smiling sweetly.

At the bottom is Joey Paul and just below that the website www.joeypaulonline.com, in the bottom left corner is the Readers' Favorite Review Seal, and in the bottom right corner is the logo for Bug Books. END ID]


Monday 1 May 2023

Handling A Bad Review - The After Process


I remember the first time I ever got a bad review. It was way back at the start of my career, and it devastated me. Part of me wanted to reach out to the reader in question and explain a few things, but one thing I was told repeatedly when I was first starting out was that you never ever engage with reviewers. The reviews aren't there to make you feel good, they're there for other readers. It is not a space to get into as an author, but as a reader.

That said, I understand the urge. I understand the nerves and anxiety and the dropping in the pit of your stomach that someone out there didn't like your work. It was something they didn't enjoy to the point of wanting to warn other readers not to buy it. In my case, it was a stylistic choice that the reader didn't like. They felt that I'd overused some things, but at the same time, editors and the like agreed that it was the way of telling the story.

I know that a lot of the time, authors are warned not to read their reviews, and personally I think it's something that only you as the author, knowing yourself best, can decide. If you're someone who's going to ignore the above advice and engage with the reader, or publicly shame them, or rant about it on Twitter, then yeah I don't think you can read your reviews. It's better, if you actually want to know what readers are saying, to let someone you trust pick and choose the ones for you to read.

Those things I just mentioned about engaging and ranting publicly? Those are warning signs that you can't handle what a reader might say. It's one thing to rant privately to friends, hell I've done it. But posting said review on your social media makes you look very bad if it's followed with a rant about how the reader is wrong. Over my time as an author, I've seen people handle it very badly, and it always, always blows up in their faces.

Reviews are very much for the readers. They're not something that authors have to read, and while I understand wanting to - I always read my reviews - you don't have to. If you want to throw a pity party with close friends, that's completely valid and okay. Just don't throw said party on social media for all the world to see. It leaves a bad taste in people's mouths, and it does get noticed by other readers in that space, and you do not want that.

So how is the best way to handle it? If you're someone who wants to read reviews and is aware that not everyone will love and adore your work, then the best way is to simple take what's been said, and privately reflect on it. That first bad review I mentioned? I talked about it with my best friend, we dissected what had been said, and then I moved on. Do reviews still make me anxious? Occasionally, especially when they're a low star, but I still read them because I personally know I can handle that, and if I can't, I have friends I can go to who will help me work through what's been said.

I know some authors don't think there's any point in reading the criticism, because, after all, not much you can do about that book now. Truth is, for me, it's not about that particular book, because it's published and there will be no changes to it. Instead it's about spotting mistakes that I might have made in the execution of that book, and making sure that they don't end up following me through future works. For me it's about taking those words of critique and learning to grow as a writer with them.

Now yes, I know that some bad reviews aren't going to help with that. Some bad reviews are people either not giving critique but just hating the book, and for those I just remember that you can't please everyone, and they were obviously not the target audience for that book, and that's okay. It's something that does help me in working out how to market and the like.

So when the first bad review comes, be ready to absorb the blow. Feel what you feel, but don't reach out to the reader, don't post about it publicly and rant and rave. Just take it for what it is, and move on with your day. I know it hurts, I know it's hard, but there is nothing you can do about it.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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