share that journey with my readers? Well, as with most man-made plans, I was immediately thrown a monkey wrench. Shall we begin?
I received this review on Monday morning:
This review is from: Under Abnormal Conditions (A Michael Drake Mystery) (Kindle Edition)
I think this the most boring thing I’ve ever read! Or should I say started to read, I wanted to throw my kindle in the trash about 2/3rd’s of the way through the 3rd chapter. I so HATE giving bad reviews. So let me just say Eric, you do have potential, but you need to let your creative mind open up. You may love reading this type of book, but I can see its not what with in you. I suggest you try writing about your dreams, the things that fill you with passion and let it just flow from you. You are trying to hard. RELAX and it will just come flooding out when you are just about to give up.Good luck with your future endeavors.
Wow. That was pretty rough. Now I’ve received some bad reviews in the past. In fact, one lady wrote that her fifth grader wrote better fiction than I did. Usually I just let the criticism roll of my back. I know that everything is not for everybody and no one is going to like everything I write, other than my mom (gotta love moms). This review was different. She addressed me personally as if she knows me. If she felt that strongly, I wish she would have contacted me via email. If you don’t like the book, that’s fine, but don’t question where my passion lies. I fought the urge to fire off an angry response or find out where she works and go critique the way she does it. I hate to admit it, but it did get under my skin for a bit. Moving on . . .
In January, I gave away close to 21,700 ebooks of Under Abnormal Conditions and 200 ebooks of Paved With Good Intentions. Thankfully, that has translated into over 500 actual sales for the month of January. Even though I don’t know the exact numbers and I would need Dr. Sheldon Cooper (Shout out to Big Bang Theory) to translate the Amazon sales rankings method, Mask of Shadows has been selling its best since its release in April of 2012. As happy as this makes me, it drives me crazy that Darker Than Night is still sitting on the shelf after the debacle with MuseItUp Publishing. As good as those three books are, I know that Darker Than Night is my strongest book. At this point I’m wondering if I should try the traditional route again or self-publish. I’ve built up a pretty good following, so I could go either way. I decided to query a few carefully selected agents and if I didn’t receive a positive response by March, I’d publish the book myself. After a few rejections, I began to prepare the book for a March 5, 2013 release date. Then a funny thing happend. The agent that sent me the first rejection letter had a change of heart and requested to read the book. Who knows what’s going to come of it, but it was so encouraging!
Due to my ever present insomnia, I was up late Friday night listening to a podcast from an old episode of Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman,where he was interviewing Paul Dini who is best known for his great work on Batman: The Animated Series, as well as creating the characters Harley Quinn and Renee Montoya. In the interview, Dini speaks about the Heart Of Ice episode from the first season. The episode featured, the brilliant cryogenics expert Dr. Victor Fries who is transformed into Mr. Freeze, a vengeful creature who can only survive in subzero temperatures.
Due to a terminal illness, Dr. Fries placed his wife Nora in a cryogenic stasis until he can find a cure. Due to cuts in funding, his boss arrived at his lab and shut down his top secret project, which in essence, sentenced Nora to death. Fries begged the man to stop, but he refused and callously kicked Fries into a table of chemicals. The chemicals damaged Fries so severely that the doctor is unable to live outside of a sub-zero condition. Fries becomes Freeze and uses a freezing ray to take his revenge on his enemy. As crazy as it sounds, it was a very powerful episode with a very sympathetic villain. When Dini spoke of the character’s motivation, he actually seemed to choke up. That’s passion. He took an easily forgettable, two bit character and and turned him into a top flight member of Batman’s illustrious rogue’s gallery. Dini’s voice was filled with the passion that made me an even bigger fan. That episode first aired in 1992. Even after so much time has passed and with all of his accomplishments, he is still so in touch with these characters he brought to life. Maybe that was why I took the bad review so hard. I put all that I am into my books and these characters aren’t just characters to me. They are my friends that I interact with daily. Even when the reading and writing is complete, they continue to live and breath in my consciousness. Thanks to Paul Dini for helping get back on track.
Saturday I received an email from a fan who loved both of my Michael Drake books and was ready for another one. It came at a perfect time. I had just made few changes to Dark Than Night before sending it off to what will hopefully be my new agent. Even though I’ll be a little disappointed if I don’t sign with anyone, I feel good that my art, my gift has touched so many people. I’ve received so much encouragement and positive reviews that I know I must be doing something right. My weekend ended with a trip to Southeast Cards and Comics. After getting me hooked on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I only thought it fair to introduce my wonderful wife, Rena, to the magical world of comic books. My friend and Southeast’s owner recommended Marvel’s 1602 series from 2003. Marvel 1602 is an eight limited series written by Neil Gaiman and penciled by Andy Kubert, where the familiar superheroes of the Marvel universe have been transplanted to the Elizabethan era. When their world is on the brink of destruction, the heroes must fight to save all they hold dear. She blew through the first seven issues pretty quickly so now I’m on a mission to find that precious last issue.
All in all, I’d say the week was a successful one. Although I didn’t get to blog or do much writing, I was able to find strength from the most unlikely place. One bad review doesn’t make me a bad writer, just like one good review doesn’t make me a good writer.Passion and belief in my talent makes me a good writer. I know with each book I produce, I am putting my best foot forward. As long as I can continue to let my passion fill my pages, I’m satisfied. No. On second thought. I’m not satisfied, I’m happy. Though, it feels great to be ranked in the top five on Amazon, it feels even better to know that my self worth comes down to more than reviews, rankings and sales.
Thank you for sharing this journey with me.