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October 14, 2005


David J. Montgomery

I have another piece of wisdom to add to Rowe's list:

Authors who bitch about the reviews they get don't get more reviews.

If you click through to Rowe's piece, you'll see that he mentions he received a glowing review in the Chicago Sun-Times. That was from me; I really liked the book.

But he then whines about Oline's review, which was critical, but fair. Oline is always fair. Slamming her in print is not only petty but foolish.

You think she'll review his next book? You think other critics will? He certainly hasn't helped his chances of it.

Karen Olson

Writers who get six-figure advances shouldn't whine.

Tess Gerritsen

Well, I haven't read his novel, but I thought his tips are pretty darn funny. (And, sadly enough, all too true.)

Where ARE our groupies, anyway?

Alina Adams

You mean he made enough for a Whopper with CHEESE?

Karen Olson

We are our own groupies.

Anthony Rainone

Yeah, probably not a good idea to complain about a review publicly. I thought his tips were funny, however. Whopper with cheese? No way, man. Gimme a Big Mac anytime.



Groupies? I didn't know we were supposed to have them. Sheesh, that's not mentioned in that 'How To Get Published and Hit The Best Seller List' I just bought. I want my money back.

Jim Winter

"And that's exactly why you get novel #2 done before you sign on the dotted line for novel #1, if at all possible..."

Bingo! Thank you for bringing that one up, Sarah. I did not sign until I had the first draft of #2 done, and by the time an agent finds me that next contract, #2 on the new series will probably be fermenting while I work on something else. I thought that was common sense.

OTOH, who ever thought I knew what common sense was? In some circles, I've been accused of being a pen name for Steve Almond. [Jim ducks as the garbage flies at him.]

David Terrenoire

I sent thank you notes to everyone who reviewed my novel, good or bad. It's just polite.

I've also sent thank you notes to hookers, but that's another story.

Jim Winter

"I've also sent thank you notes to hookers, but that's another story."

Is that the REAL reason you left Cincinnati? (Because we just don't do that here.)


DJM wrote: "You think she'll review his next book? You think other critics will? He certainly hasn't helped his chances of it."

I'm confused. Are you saying that while it is okay for a reviewer to say whatever they would like about a book, the author of the book has no right to respond to the review? Or that reviewers take it personally when they do and "retaliate" by not reviewing those writers?

That sentiment (if that's what you're saying) bothers me.

Clea Simon

OK, I agree with most of the above (don't complain about your reviews in public -- that's what your family is for -- and if you get six figures you lose most of your whining rights). But this STILL made me laugh out loud.

Which I needed, because it's nearly 4 and I've spent most of the day on promotional stuff w/ Book #1 when I promised myself a day of revising Book #2!

David J. Montgomery

I wasn't talking about anyone's rights. Obviously, he has the right to say anything he wants. I do, however, question the wisdom of it.

And I did take exception to him stating that "Total strangers will fuck you" and then citing Oline personally as an example. That struck me as a classless act. She commented on his book; he commented on her.

I did enjoy the book, though. I found it to be an entertaining read.

Tess Gerritsen

Oh, but I understand the perfectly natural impulse to fire back at a bad review. (Whether it's wise or not to do so is another matter.) I've had some doozies over the years, which I talk about on my 3/21/05 blog. Take a look at some of the choice reviews I've gotten, just to see how cruel they can be.

Oline's review is NOT in that category. But there are times when a writer really has to struggle to hold his tongue.


Well, I didn't mean "rights" in the technical sense. The second part was more accurate, about taking it personally.

As for the wisdom of it, your comment wasn't specific to this one book, though. It looked as if it were a "caution" to any writer who might respond publicly to a review. So I ask if that seems an appropriate response, shutting them out.

Kevin Wignall

There is an unspoken rule among authors that you shouldn't rock the boat - don't criticize the critics, don't criticize fellow writers - but increasingly, I think it's wrong. We should speak out, as long as we do so fairly. If someone hates your book and can say why, it's churlish to berate them for it. If someone writes a spiteful or sloppy review, it's open season. Some of you may remember that I objected to that guy at the WaPo, not because he didn't like my book, but because he wrote a lazy, spoiler-heavy review. Scarlett Thomas in the Independent hated one of my books and I put the review with the others on my website because I thought she took a valid position. That's the difference.


Hey, David. There are a few books out there by writers who's last books you liked a lot, and who haven't bitched, that you have not reviewed yet. Get to work! ;)

PJ Parrish

Rowe writes on his list: You will become a whore. You will be contractually obligated to get up on your hind legs and dance like a monkey for the pleasure of suburban housewives. This is called a book tour.

I haven't read his book but anyone who has this much contempt for readers, especially those who take time to come out for the signing of an unknown author, has a screw loose somewhere.

Cornelia Read

"You will be contractually obligated to get up on your hind legs and dance like a monkey for the pleasure of suburban housewives. This is called a book tour..."??????

To-Do-List Addenda for Suburban-Housewife Self:

* Cough up $15/hour for sitter so as to catch this guy next time he tours my 'burb. Seriously, I mean, woke up today feeling this gaping bourgeois LACK in my life, but couldn't put my finger on the specific damn missing ingredient until reading PJ's comment quoting this dude, above. DUH! SO PATENTLY OBVIOUS... I haven't been gulping down NEARLY enough misogynist derision from Kvetchy Dancing six-figure-deal Monkeyboys since that smug little putz Franzen's Oprah-invite snit.

* Need vacuum-cleaner bags. Stop at that place on Broadway on way back from DMV, before G's orthodontist appt.



I just saw the cover of your upcoming book on your website. Beautiful! When will it be released?

Cornelia Read

Thank you, Naomi--it's supposed to be out in June '06. I love the cover a LOT, and feel very blessed that Mysterious took such care with it.

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