Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for From The Deep. I’m sharing a guest post from the author with thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on the blog tour and to Kateri Stanley for writing her guest post!
Julian Finch, widower and fisherman, awakes to learn that the bodies of two colleagues have washed up on the beach of Drake Cove. The close-knit community is under fierce public scrutiny due to a long-standing tradition called “The Culling”, the annual slaughter of pilot whales for consumption. An act which divides the nation.
The suspects are the extreme animal rights group, the Fighters Against Animal Cruelty (FAAC) who go wherever the politics is trending. They’ve been harassing the small fishing town for many years, smashing up their boats and sending vicious hate mail.
Tensions mount after a viral video, uploaded by the FAAC of Julian killing a pregnant whale, causes uproar online and in real life. In the aftermath, Julian becomes the victim of hate crime. In order to avoid further life-threatening attacks, Julian and his daughter take refuge in the home of Frank Blothio: ex-fisherman turned writer and political activist who does not have the best history with the animal rights movement, or Drake Cove as a whole.
As Julian integrates into the Blothio way of life, he discovers heinous secrets and disturbing truths lurking beneath the skin of his hometown that will change his life forever.
Kateri writes about how not to handle criticism as an author.
I wrote this blog a while ago when I was on Reddit and since then, I’ve given it a mini makeover. The blog was inspired after I’d seen a post on Twitter about a writer who’d received some rather scathing feedback from a beta reader. Instead of giving them constructive criticism which is what you want from a beta, they decided to “troll” the writer instead.
This reminded me of a little mishap I’d experienced online. I used to roleplay back on MySpace 10+ years ago (yes I’m an oldie, nobody uses MySpace now do they?), anyway it was great writing practice for me.
On MySpace, users could post on a bulletin board that was accessible via the home page. I began to write with someone, I was enjoying the storyline and I was impressed with their style of creativity. However, this certain role-player then decided to take pot shots at all of the writers they were interacting with, me included – referring to me as “dumb” during one of their bulletin rants.
I don’t have dinosaur skin, being called that hurt and deeply upset me.
So, in my teenage anger at the time, I messaged the person asking them what the hell their problem was. In their glee, they explained that they were a full-time author, successful in the field (selling novels galore) and because of this, they could write whatever they wanted about me (and others) in this certain manner.
I gave up talking to this person and a couple of weeks later, they came clean, confessing in their bulletin. It turned out that they weren’t a successful full-time writer after all, they weren’t even published!
It turns out they were having a lot of personal issues in their home life and were having a hard time dealing with their work being rejected by literary agents. So, they decided to use MySpace as a way to vent their anger, taking it out on other novices like myself. As you can imagine, my jaw hit the floor when I saw this.
What I’ve learned from that experience when receiving criticism:
- You cannot control what others say in their review or comments of your work. They will write whatever they wish, in whatever tone they like.
- It’s one person’s opinion.
- Take the feedback in critiques which is useful and beneficial to the project you’re working on.
- Don’t bother responding to negativity or trying to engage with trolls. If they are being purposely offensive, it’s to incite a reaction from you, or to make themselves look good or witty to others. (Looking back at that moment on MySpace, I realised messaging the other role-player was actually giving them what they wanted: attention.)
- Someone out there is going to hate your book. Writing is subjective. People have different tastes. You can’t please everyone.
- Whenever a beta or a reader reaches out to me and gives me constructive feedback, I’ve always found it inspiring and encouraging. The fact that they bothered to engage with my story and characters is wonderful. Also, you NEED constructive criticism in order to improve your work.
Well, that’s my Storytime done. I hope you enjoyed it and had a good laugh. I certainly do when I think about it.
These are just my thoughts. You don’t have to listen to the advice. As the late and great Anne Rice said: “If it’s not useful to you, then throw it out the window.” 😀
Keep writing, keep creating, keep reading.
From The Deep is available from Amazon.
You can follow the rest of the blog tour here: