Sunday, January 26, 2014

I'm paying attention to what readers are writing in my reviews? #amwriting


In my last blog I promised that I would give examples of some of my more insightful reviews. I’ve randomly searched through the three books seen below to find ones I feel have messages for me to pay attention to. Since I could only pick a few, I chose those that tended to cover the most popular points of view.
 

My Cheeky Angel:

“I read this all in one sitting which is nice because it seems I never have enough time to finish a book. This one is just the right length. I will definitely read more books by this author. So glad to find another author whose books I can download without the worry that they will be worth my money and my time! ~Reviewed by Deborah Hughes

In this review, Deborah made three points that struck me as being extremely valuable. Beside the compliments for my work, she let me know that she liked the shorter length of this story which was 203 pages. In today’s busy world, people like her find that being able to read a story in one sitting is a plus. So therefore, it’s best to keep up the pacing and not let the middle slowdown.  And… she didn’t mind spending her money as long as she felt she got her money’s worth.


“But sometimes we just need that little push to make the changes in our lives that bring good things, or maybe just to see what was always right in front of our noses.” ~Reviewed by Sue Rees

I liked this portion of Sue’s review because the message I had tried to install in the heroine’s world was exactly what she’d picked up. This one line made all the work I did on this story worthwhile.


Though the book touches on some serious issues, it maintains its easy feel throughout and doesn't weigh down the spirit by delving into somber areas more than is called for. ~reviewed by Word Addict

This line reassured me that my light handling of some very somber subjects was appreciated. After all, I write romance with a touch of the paranormal. I do not want to scare, depress or upset my readers. My sole intention is to entertain.  


His Devious Angel:

“This is the type of story e-readers were made for, the kind you cannot put down. I laughed and cried and cracked up laughing. The hero wasn't an Alpha nor a beta, he was just right, which was refreshing. The heroine was the perfect blend of the girl down the street and the women up the road. And if you own a dog you'll love this story.” ~Reviewed by Olivia Lavyn

From this review, I understood that humor and tears had the reader totally invested. Engaging her emotions, even in a light entertaining read such as this book, was important to her enjoyment of the story. Plus, she totally accepted that this hero wasn’t the usual over-the-top, muscle-bound fantasy so many romances feature. Instead, Liam was a guy who had to work at living up to our expectations. And Sadie, our heroine, had hang-ups that had scarred her but they hadn't stopped Olivia from caring, just the opposite. 


“Oh, and the twists and turns with a surprise ending just adds to its being a darn good and powerful read. Thank you Mimi for lightening my heart.” ~ Reviewed by Beverley Wells

I always seem to know the endings to my stories - either when I start the book or very near the beginning. I know it's a blessing, so it's a skill I've always appreciated. I feel like I need a direction so I can form my character's personalities to match the people I've visualized when their tale is finished. For me, the last few paragraphs are as important as the hook at the beginning.
Personally, I love a book that wraps my reading experience up like a gift with a pretty bow. A little twist, a surprise even a cliff hanger that forces a person to decide their own result makes me feel like I’ve succeeded in my job.
And... when a reader tells me I’ve lightened her heart, well then my heart sings.


Loveable Christmas Angel:

“The characters are so true to life, and the descriptions of the Paradise called Hawaii, are so good. You feel as if you are there and going through their trials and tribulations with them.” ~ Reviewed by jknitter

Although the book’s setting was in Waikiki, I’m not the type of author to wax poetic with long narratives about things such as weather, environments or a city’s sites. Of course, I want to establish the setting so the reader can imagine what the characters are experiencing, but I try and do that with succinct descriptions using as few words as necessary. Sharing the beauty or outstanding features to spark imaginations, to move the story forward and cement the reader in her surroundings is my responsibility and I take it seriously.

 
“I love the way it implied faith and answered prayer without the usual "conversion speak". ~ Reviewed by Deborah M Monroe

I don’t purposefully try and instill inspirational views in my books. I’m a romance writer who creates a love story for two people who learn that when they’ve met the one person who makes them whole, then it’s magic. If a reader can absorb through my words enough of a lift that it makes her feel as if I’ve touched her faith without the usual “conversion speak” then I’m thrilled.  


In this post, I’ve dealt with some of the more positive observations I received from happy fans. In the next blog, I’ll tackle some of the less complimentary comments and tell you how I found them to be as helpful.

 

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