Beth is a friend I met through a forum on Writer’s Digest. She’s super creative, prolific and she loves reviewing Indie published books. I've only read three of her wonderfully imaginative books and enjoyed each one. Take it away Beth….
Guts, Glory and One Star Reviews
Thank you, Evie for asking me to guest blog on your site. It truly is an honor. I've admired your poetry and writings for a long time. And, you’re a wonderful, beautiful friend.
A little about myself: My name is Beth Muscat, and I started writing in 2009 after reading a book by L.J. Smith called Dark Visions. Previously to this though, back in the early 90’s, I went to a psychic who told me that I could write. I thought, “Well, yeah…of course I can write.” I thought she was talking about my penmanship. But it was after reading Dark Visions that I came up with my first novel Remember The Eyes. After writing that book, even though the book ended, I didn't feel that the story was complete. I then wrote a second book, Nothing Without You, and a third, Infinite, in the series. This series takes place over a twenty-five year period of time. I've got the starting of a break-off novel to this series, using many of the same characters, and even a few more. The Remember The Eyes series is a Paranormal Romance, but without the vampires, witches, werewolves and ghosts that most of the others have. My main character(s) have special abilities like telekinesis, psychic abilities, mind reading, amongst others. Remember The Eyes is one of my favorites because the past life dreams that the main character has, were mine…just embellished!
Adding to this list, I've also written a Contemporary Romance called Wildflower and a Fantasy Romance called The Bracelet.
I must also tell you that I have a pseudonym by the name of Devon Cooper. I've written one book under this name called Bad Day, and it is one of my favorites to date. Bad Day takes place over one day, the day starting out bad and just getting worse. It’s a Romantic Comedy, so anyone can enjoy it. All my books can be found at Amazon.
Aside from my current list of novels, I've got a few other books in the works, and a few ideas for more. Now it’s just finding the time to get them started or finished. Due to some stress in my life over the last six months, I've put some of my writings on the back burner. The stressor’s are gone now, which means I need to get busy with these projects that I've already started or want to start.
So, what’s been keeping me so busy that I can’t write? Well, along with writing, I also do a lot of reading, and consequently, lots of reviews.
It takes a lot of guts to write a novel/novella/short story/poetry…it takes even more guts to self-publish your thoughts and ideas. Writing has changed a lot; no longer do you have to write query letters and troll for agents and publishers, only to be met with rejection after rejection because [they] don’t like the style of your writing. Personally, I like writing in the first person. And most of my books, except for one, is written in multiple first person point of view. It’s just the way I like to write. But maybe the agents wouldn't like that style. Or maybe the agent you've chosen doesn't like your humor.
Regardless, it is now much easier to get your works out there and published. That’s the glory part of it. Amazon has made it fast and almost pain free. Almost.
Recently my Devon Cooper novel Bad Day was given a one star review on the UK site because the lady couldn't open it up on her phone. With her dreaded, nasty one star review, she brought my five star status down to a three in one foul swoop! I was mortified that she would blame my book for not downloading properly. The review was eventually taken down after some complaints were made, but it makes reviewers look bad. Not to mention what it did to my book’s status there.
Coincidentally, I just finished reading a novella by E. J. Wesley called Blood Fugue, Moonsongs Book One…and the same thing happened to me…I couldn't open it up on my phone, yet it would open on my Kindle. If I didn't have the Kindle though, I would have just deleted it from my phone and moved on. Leaving a one star review for something that isn't the fault of the author’s is just dumb. I chalk it up to technology and its many glitches.
As a rule, looking back at most of the reviews I've done, most of them have four and five stars. Rarely do I give out one’s, two’s or even three’s. I might mention in my review that there were spelling/grammatical type errors within the story, but unless it is totally distracting, and taking away from the story, I don’t let that affect the rating. I know my works aren't perfect, so giving a low review number because of a few minor mistakes is stupid and makes the reviewer look like a hard-ass and, as other’s have said, the “Grammar Police.” I’m not one of those. So, if I ever review one of your books, know that I probably won’t give you a low rating because of that.
One thing I do tend to give lower ratings about is the over-use of the thesaurus. If I have to constantly look up words to get what the author is saying, then it is totally distracting and just takes away from the story. Please, not all of us have perspicacity…wait, before you look that up (because I had to), it means, keenness of mental percentage and understanding. See, couldn't you have just said, smart?
Reviewing is subjective. They’re just my opinion, but I do give as honest a review as possible. I understand what getting a one star review feels like…I have many…so I try to not give out too many of those.
You can find reviews at my blogsite, www.bethsreviewsandpromotions.wordpress.com. I hope to see you all there, and maybe I’ll even review your book! My email is email@example.com and I can be found at Facebook as well. https://www.facebook.com/beth.muscat.1?ref=name#!/beth.muscat.1 Drop me a line, and if you have a free book coming up, let me know, and I’ll grab it.
Thanks again, Evie for letting me be a guest on your blog.
You're most welcome Beth, come back soon.
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