Hey all! *waves* I know I haven't been over here in awhile. I keep meaning to, but I spent a month writing 3 full-length novels and then I had to edit them all + another editing job I took on to pay the bills while I get his writing gig going. *wipes brow* It's been a ride.
First, an update:
Lost Brothers is on schedule. The last of the proofing is being completed and then I will send it to my ARC team. If you are on my ARC team, you'll receive an email about it soon. If you would like to be, email me! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tristan III is on schedule. He's still in edits but is in very good shape. A note on Tristan. I want to introduce some new characters so bad! I will write a new blog for us tomorrow with some of this stuff. And I kinda had this idea that I would post a "pics of Tristan characters if they were real people" blog. Thought that might be fun.
All right so the thing I need to get off my chest. As you know, writers get reviews. Not all reviews are good ones. Some are bad. Very, VERY bad. I know and accept this. It's a little easier than it used to be but I'm still waiting for it to get "easy". In any case, I'm a grown adult and I can take it. I want to state that I can definitely take critiques no problem. This is why I have my team of 9 beta readers + 2 Editors. I get critiques from all of them. They make my books better. They make me a better writer. I've even been observant of things that have been said in comments while I was writing fan fiction. These things have all contributed to the writer I am today.
But sometimes "reviews" are plain nasty and mean. It's hard to call them reviews. EVEN still, as a writer, you've got little choice but to accept abusive comments without saying a word. Especially on Goodreads. This is chatted about by many authors. We literally cannot say a thing in case "reviewers might feel hesitant to review" even if the reviewer says something that's factually inaccurate. Even if the person commenting has never even read your book. If you say one word, you run the risk of being bombarded by other reviewers. It has happened to me by reviewers who haven't even read the book. Hence, I've learned to walk away. Goodreads doesn't do much even when it actually is abuse. I report abusive commenters, but often GR will leave the review anyway.
On Sunday, I received the most horrific comment from a reviewer than I ever have. It jolted me. It was hurtful to an extreme. I know humans can be mean, that's not new, but I'm not used to it because I surround myself with some really kind and good humans. This comment didn't just say my book was bad, they made comments about me personally as a person -- even though I do not know this person.
So I reported the reviewer to Goodreads. To my utter shock and surprise, Goodreads actually removed the comment. Sadly, I'm an intuitive and my intuition tingled HARD. It said, "Mock. They will return with a new comment. This one will follow the guidelines but it will still hurt."
Welp, yep. They came back today. They begin by stating that they decided to remove their comment since it was trollish. Not only was this an understatement, but it was a lie. GR removed it, not them. I was the person who reported them. I have the email stating that GR was on it. Ergo, they pretty much returned to be vindictive (IMO). I assume they were told by GR what proper reviewing looks like due to how it was structured the second time.
If GR removes anything (GR is notorious for leaving even some pretty abusive other stuff) that tells you just how bad it was. They begin with the "nice" points of the book, but then they write an entire novel on why the book was awful. Some of their interpretations are just plain wrong, but I digress. They still get to have them.
So fine, but what they said bothers me so I need to ... get this off my chest.
They don't seem to resonate with spanking orientation. Because they don't, they make so many assumptions that put my book in to a poor light, but it's mostly picking apart the spanking aspect even though the word spanking isn't used. But like, HOW can they not say that word when the book was a spanking book? Or if they are too uncomfortable to use the word spanking, you'd think they would elude to it somewhere--this is literally what the book is about.
They proceed to give me a play by play of what would have made my book better. They assume I did the book alone. They lamented about "my poor editor" and how painful the edit must have been for them. Meanwhile, my editor wrote me a special note to tell me I was a supremely talented writer. That's not a norm. It's usually the opposite. And I made a clear note to my editor that I wanted as much feedback as possible to make the work as original as possible. Much of the stuff I kept was because it was wanted by my editor, beta team, AND ME. Though on the last one, I would have compromised if the team and my editor all agreed to axe something.
The reviewer felt they needed to "call me out" on that it was a fanfiction, but like, I never hid that? I can't say that in the book for obvious reasons, but it's not hard to find here or on my fanfic account. I took painstaking measures to include a TON of original content and there is. Like, can you see the similarities? Yeah, for sure. But The whole world of magic is recreated (not an easy feat) and while the characters might have some similar backstory to ones we've seen before, they are 100% their own people. Charlie was hardly even in the original books. The book doesn't contain anything that belongs to any other author. I made sure. Even some of the BIG name authors take inspiration from other works and put them in their books. It's done all the time. So long as I wasn't writing about Quidditch and anything ONLY belonging to a world, I'm fine. Did you know even Mandrakes are not a thing that belongs to JK? NOPE. She took that from other lore. It's just that it became famous because of her. Technically, I could have put that in my book too and it would have been no violation. Like, I could literally go on an on about the things in the HP books that aren't JK's that even belonged to other authors that I COULD HAVE USED, but didn't because I was trying to move away from it. But sorry, Charlie was always gonna have red hair. But this is to do with my total obsession with red-haired Scots. I'm totally putting Charlie in a kilt for the next book. "Westley" isn't a play off "Weasley" believe it or not. It's and ode to another fave of mine: The Princess Bride. I almost went with Astley. Perhaps I should have. But I love Westley from PB. Also, funny thing -- I barely read the HP books. Like, I read them all once over a decade ago. I saw each movie once, but I recall surprisingly little. I would write a "new" thing, thinking it was just "MINE" but because my editor was such an HP fan she'd say, "Mock, this is like x y z from this book." I was like, "really?" *blank stare* Anyway. I could go on for years. But there you have it.
Some of the characters have pieces of people in them who are no longer with me. And maybe I shouldn't have done this, but I did. The reviewer kind of crapped on those characters.
They claim to be a "Tristan Fan". They've even pre-ordered the third book. And yet, never have I ever seen a comment from them raving about how much they love Tristan. Plus, Tristan is SO much more problematic! OMG. I know this because I LIKE writing problematic characters. Some of the things they complained about in Dragon Tamer are in Tristan but to a MUCH worse degree. LOL I just can't even reconcile it.
They comment on "all the sex the teens are having at 16" when they can literally not have sex. It's even called not-sex. I mean, they get off sometimes in a very NOT getting off way. It's far more like making out. And the time they spend doing this as 16 yo in the book is, like, a blink. They are mostly 17 + 18 which is the age of consent in most places. It really depends on the country and state. But even still, they are teens making out with other teens and nothing is explicit. If they've read Tristan, they should know what explicit sex is. Charlie does kiss Jude once when he's about 17.5, but he waits for all other things. They can't even do it until he's 25!!! I'm just *face palm*
Last, they then complain about the lack of sex in the rest of the book. It's a spanking book. I never promised sex. I am on the ACE spectrum (I'm DEMI) and so yeah, sometimes I don't write sex. I just don't always need it. Other times yes. Like, WTH with this person? They want it, they don't. They wrote out for me how their perfect book of my book would have gone and they said (in their original comment) that they write fanfic. I am totally OK with them writing a fanfic of my story. I am waiting for this day. I am actually HOPING with all HOPE that someone writes me Tristan X Dragon Lord fanfic. If I did it that would be "wrong" (even though I'll probably write it for myself, LOL) but someone else can! *wink* But yeah. If they can do it better ... go do it better. Please don't yell at Mock about it.
Anywho because of the way GR's is, I will get feasted on by wolves if I say anything even though this time I REALLY wanted to. I decided to come here and just off-load it. I promise it's not for "woe-is-mes". But I know the people who signed up here are my people and I just needed to talk to you all even if just via blog.
In their original comment, they stated I was a "sicko" and some other stuff. Something about my "wet fantasies". When Goodreads chastised them, they had to return and do it again. That's what gets me about it the most. It's sheer nastiness all around. Couldn't they just drop it?
I didn't write the book for them, I wrote it for me and all of us. Believe me when I say it was expensive and exhaustive to produce and no, it wasn't a big seller (Tristan's still the man paying my mortgage, lol) but it was so important for it to be out there. We needed our spanking trove of comfort and we were gonna have it, dammit!
I'm just ... my heart is so heavy. Why do people do these things? We've been through so much. All of us. The past two years have been difficult. Haven't we learned to be just a little kinder?
Okay. I'm gonna go. If you stuck around this long, thanks for listening. If YOU are being bullied by anyone online, my email is ALWAYS open even if it's just for venting. Or catch me on IG.
Love to you all,