Eating Rotten Tomatoes: Guest Post {A.R. Draeger}

**Brought to you as a part of the Paranormal Love Wednesdays Blog Hop**

***Be sure to click and visit the other great authors***

When a Reviewer Throws a Rotten Tomato: Moving Past Your First One Star Review

By A.R. Draeger

Learning to take, let alone welcome, constructive criticism was a hard lesson for me. Writing is a very personal endeavor, and although we do our best to distance ourselves from it, our ego is wrapped up in every word we leave on the page. For some of us, it takes years to lower our defensive walls.  Some of us never do, and this is in response to words that, for all intents and purposes, are meant to grow our abilities, strengthen our stories, and build us up on the whole to be the authors we have it in us to be.

Yet it still stings.

The day comes when you throw your first book out into the wide open world, and it’s terrifying. Your stomach will twist in knots, and despite however many times you have reminded yourself that you will keep writing regardless of what people think of you, your heart will skip a beat when it comes to your attention that someone has left you a review.

Don’t read reviews. Don’t pay attention to them. There’s a reason celebrities don’t Google themselves.

You repeat this mantra, but still, the temptation is there, feasting on each incoming review until you can no longer help yourself. Perhaps you were trying to get ACX set up for an audiobook audition when you looked down and realized your star rating was lower than you last checked on Amazon, as was my case. Perhaps your mom calls you from four states away to tell you, as was the case for another author.

You click, and you find it. Maybe there’s more than one. Maybe there is a whole mess of them.

They are one-star reviews, and they are ugly. They will have subject headings, such as: “Awful! Eye-gouging horrible!”

You’ll find hate-spewing, author-bashing, insult-flinging trash. Those are the more polite ones. The rude ones will spoil everything they can possibly find in your book, deride you for issues that – had they actually taken the time to read the book – would not have been ‘issues’, and proceed to blast not only you as a writer, but every writer that you may or may not be associated with.

The ones that are belligerent are the easiest to digest. They feel little more than bullies on a kindergarten playground. The better written, more eloquent ones are a bit of a gut-punch when you look over them. When you are new to the writing world, those are the ones that take you by surprise – the ones that punch you in the gut, that make you wonder and doubt if you should be writing at all.

It’s those you have to dust off, and believe me, it’s not easy.

How do you recover? How do you cross the bridge when the trolls come out to play?

Simply put: one foot in front of the other.

  • Write, and don’t stop. Why should you care about their opinions? Why should you care about anyone’s but your own? Write because you want to. Publish because you want to. They can hate it, they can love it, whatever.
  • Realize that you may have touched a nerve. Everybody has baggage, and their reactions to you may be from the stuff they are carrying and not what you’re writing.
  • Remember everyone gets bad reviews. Look up the classics. Yikes.
  • Perceived value may also play a part. More independent writers are noticing that when they place their books on sale at $0.99 or give it away for free, it attracts more negative reviews in proportion to the positive. The more we pay, the more we tend to value something.
  • Also remember that the internet provides a mask for bullies. People who are jaded, perhaps failed writers themselves, too afraid to strike out on their own or try again, that hide behind the anonymity of a screenname. Feel sorry for them. I guarantee you they spent more time drafting that so-called review they left you than what they spent reading your book, or what they probably even spend smiling in a day.

The truth of it all is that this situation will come about with every work you release. With time and perseverance, your skin will thicken to the point that you’ll find such reviews completely laughable – and with any luck, you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

In the meantime, look up authors reading their bad reviews online and know, with pride, that you have joined a club of sorts that not many have the dedication, determination, or courage to join: that of published authors. So let them throw their rotten tomatoes. They can’t take away your books, nor your hard work, and truth be told?

They just wish they could be you.

Keep writing.

Author Amber (A.R.) Draeger

**Brought to you as a part of the Paranormal Love Wednesdays Blog Hop**

***Be sure to click and visit the other great authors***


~ Of Ocean and Ash ~

Of Ocean and Ash on Amazon now.

AmberHeadshotA.R. (Amber) Draeger resides in rural Texas with her husband, Josh, and son, Logan. When not writing or reading, she is watching reality TV shows or tromping through the nearby woods.

Website                             Facebook

Twitter                               Pinterest

Ready or not… Conference Time

DSC_0323
Japanese Botanic Garden, Ft. Worth, Texas
I’ll be headed to my first writers conference in seven days.

I am attending the DFW Writers Conference.

7 Days.

I’m a little freaked out.

I need a zen place.

I am not ready. I am so not ready.

I don’t know what clothes to wear. Do I have to get my nails done? I think it’s been fifteen years since I’ve had my nails done. My book proposal is a mess, and don’t even get me started on my manuscript.

Everything is unfinished.

It’s all a good start. But I’m terrified it’s not enough.

I am woefully inadequate, and the odds are not in my favor.

Everyone assures me that conferences are worth it. I pray they’re all right.

And I’m going to pitch anyway.

I’m going to try anyway. I would be murdering a dreamer if I don’t.

My goal press for July 24-26, 2015: Anaiah Press Surge

Statistically, this time will fail. That has to be okay. I have to be okay with failing. The half gallon of ice cream is already waiting for me in the freezer, and I’ve already picked the next goal: #PitchWars on Twitter August 17, 2015.

Onward.


man sitting alone on the beachI have an indie release with Blazing Indie Collective and their Falling in Deep Collection on August 4, 2015. Releasing with these brilliant, business minded authors has been a crash course of learning. I’ve made over fifty connections. They’re always ready to give advice. Cold Water Bridegroom is my debut. I’m pretty stinking proud of it. (:


Back to my zen place…

DSC_0275 (1)
Japanese Botanic Garden, Ft. Worth, Texas

30 Days of #MamaWriteLife

Have you tried Periscope?

I found a new platform – actually, Bethany Jett of SeriousWriter.com tried it, posted in Jon Acuff‘s 30 Days of Hustle group, and I grew curious. Several members use the mobile app, and it has been great fun. It’s a lot like people watching, but more specific and a lot more interactive than Youtube.

On this Monday, June 1, 2015, I’ve decided to give Periscope a try – for the first time… EVER. I’ll look like a dork, but why not?

Over the next week, I’ll decide on the best daily time to Periscope, and I will try to stick to that time from there forward. I’ll let you know when I know.

Periscope uses Twitter handles, so find me – @msbbrumley

Today begins 30 days of a daily #MamaWriteLife Periscope broadcast.

Next month, via Periscope, I’ll be counting down to my first ever writer’s conference, and everything I will be doing to plan for a pitch session.

Invariably, we love platform. We’re writers. We have the audacity to believe that we have something to say. So here we are: saying it. And with Periscope, I can say it and read commentary – and answer what you say or ask.

InterviewMelanieKarsakImage.docx

Find me – I’d love to meet you!

~B

Interview with {Pauline Creeden}: Part Two

I met Pauline Creeden earlier this year, and she graciously agreed to an interview. Pauline’s release, Scales, a mermaid novella, is a part of the Falling in Deep collection and is available TODAY. (Be sure to enter the giveaway!) Wooo!

Read Part One

A woman standing in the deep waters with her head above the surface.

What is your favorite writing music?

I usually choose 2 or 3 songs by Red and play them on loop. If you’ve never heard of Red. Here’s a sampler.

Where is your favorite place to find inspiration?

While I’m working – like mucking horse stalls – it’s quiet and takes little thought, so my mind wonders and creates worlds.

What was your inspiration for Scales? Tell me about your heroine.

The 80’s movie Splash starring Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah was my inspiration once the Blazing Indies decided to do a summer mermaid novella. So Verona uses television to help her understand humans better. She is a beautiful, smart young woman who was told she’s ugly and stupid. So she has to overcome these issues and find herself.

Does Scales lead into another novella? When will Salt be out?

Salt was my original story for the Falling In Deep Collection, but it’s turned into not one novel – but two and a prequel novella. I’m hoping to finish the first draft of Salt this month – so that it can be released before the end of summer.

Any advice for new writers (like me)?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and the journey of a seventy-thousand word novel begins with one word. Keep typing and get your stories on paper. Don’t worry about what you can sell, and what will even make it to market. Everything is a learning experience, even when the editor makes your manuscript bleed red.

Read Part One of my time with Pauline Creeden.

Scales is live TODAY!  Make your library happy! (:

Here is an excerpt from Scales:

TO KEEP FROM SCREAMING, I bite hard on my lip. The copper mixture of blood and saltwater mingles on my tongue. Mer claws rake against my back. The barnacles on the post to which I’m tied stab me in the chest. Pain sets my body on fire. Everything burns. I squeeze my eyes shut tight and keep my silence.

“Ugly.”

“Repugnant.”

“Unsightly.”

“Ignorant.”

“Bottom Feeder.”

Each word cuts as deep in my flesh as the physical wounds my clan inflicts. It can’t last long. I can endure this. As soon as the sharks catch scent of my blood they will come, and the Mer will scatter.

The world spins around me like a whirlpool. My breaths come quick and shallow, my heart pounds faster in my ears. Each second is an eternity, until I realize fresh wounds are not adding to the burning in my skin.

The elder’s sharp tongue whispers in my ear. “Now you will be measured.”

My wrists fall free of the post as he cuts the ties.

Exile. My Reckoning has begun.

Seriously... Look at this gorgeousness!
Seriously… Look at this gorgeousness!

I was able to get my hands on an ARC copy – you’re going to love it! 

About the Author:

Pauline Creeden is an award-winning author, horse trainer, and overall book ninja. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Her debut novel, Sanctuary, won 1st Place Christian YA Title 2013 Dante Rosetti Award and 2014 Gold Award for First Place YA Horror Novel.

Keep up with Pauline!

Website      Facebook      Twitter      Instagram


Love mermaids? Looking for a great beach read? The Falling in Deep Collection, a collection of 15 unique tales of creatures of the deep, is rolling out the first novella in their collection at the end of May.

75 gift card graphic

From mermaids to sirens, Miami to Athens, dark paranormal romance to contemporary stories with steam, the fifteen award-winning and best-selling authors of the Falling in Deep Collection are bringing you mermaid tales like you’ve never seen before.

Every week beginning May 26th, 2015, we’ll be releasing one unique, never-before-published novella! Each novella will feature our favorite creature of the deep: mermaids.

 Enter the Giveaway

The Falling in Deep Collection (May – September Releases)

Scales by Pauline Creeden

Ink: A Mermaid Romance by Melanie Karsak

Of Ocean and Ash by A. R. Draeger

Deep Breath by J. M. Miller

At the Heart of the Deep by Carrie Wells

The Mermaid’s Den by Ella Malone

The Water is Sweeter by Eli constant

The Glass Mermaid by Poppy Lawless

An Officer & a Mermaid by Blaire Edens

How to be a Mermaid by Erin Hayes

Cold Water Bridegroom by B. Brumley

A Beyond the Sea Prequel by Emily Goodwin

Immersed by Katie Hayoz

Siren’s Kiss by Margo Bond Collins

To Each His Own by Anna Albergucci

Never miss a release! Join our newsletter for behind the scenes information and release updates:

Join the Mermaids!

#FeelinFlashy

Every Friday.

This happens every Friday. 🙂

I get sucked in to all the Flash Friday invitations.

I never win the contests, but it’s like wind sprints. I’m awful at those, too, but I’m a huge fan of wind in my face… and the challenge… and dumping everything you’ve got at that moment.

Besides, I’m a writer. I have an obsession with doing the same thing over and over again. The no’s are just another challenge, right? 😉

If you, too, are feelin’ flashy on this fine Friday, here are some of the contests I’ve found.

This is what it looks like when I write - two monkeys on my back. (:
This is what it looks like when I write – two monkeys on my back. (: #MommyWriteLife

Flash!Friday Goal: 200 words (190 – 210 allowed)

Splickety’s Lightning Blog Goal: 100 words or less

#FlashMobWrites Goal: 300-500 words

See you in the flashies!

~B

Interview with {Pauline Creeden}: Part One

I met Pauline Creeden earlier this year, and I recently had the opportunity to interview her. Pauline’s upcoming release, Scales, a mermaid novella, is a part of the Falling in Deep collection and will be available on Tuesday. (Be sure to enter the giveaway!)

Available May 26, 2015
Available May 26, 2015

Tell me about you. What do you write?

I’m a work-from-home mother of one fourteen-year-old boy, horse trainer, blogger, and author. I write hopeful fiction from a dark prospective. My characters go through hard times but always come out stronger in the end.

When did you start writing? When did you start publishing?

My father gave me a typewriter for Christmas when I was about 9 years old, because I wanted to be a writer. I wrote several short stories for classes in Creative Writing, a few of which were published in e-zines and newsletters. My first novel was written in 2011, and that’s when I also started my self-publishing career. It wasn’t until after I started self-publishing that I also began submitting works to publishers and presses. That first novel I wrote in 2011 wasn’t the first one I published, but it was published by Prism Book Group in 2014.

Has there been a progression through genres in your writing?

Whatever story hits me hardest is the one that I write. It’s easier for me that way. I don’t limit myself to reading one genre, and though my editor tells me I need to stick with one, I can’t write in one, either.

What authors do you like to read?

Tommie Lyn, Sheila Hollinghead, Susan Ee, Amy Bartol, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, C. S. Lewis – my tastes are pretty eclectic.

You have something coming later this month. Tell me about that.

Scales is coming out later this month. It’s a mermaid fantasy story from the Falling In Deep Collection. The mermaids in the story are written from a more realistic marine biology prospective – with claws – and have Vulcan-like personalities. I originally was writing a different story for the Falling In Deep Collection, but it turned into a novel – so Scales is actually a prequel story for the novel.

Part Two of my interview with Pauline Creeden will post on May 26, 2015. 

Here is an excerpt from Scales:

TO KEEP FROM SCREAMING, I bite hard on my lip. The copper mixture of blood and saltwater mingles on my tongue. Mer claws rake against my back. The barnacles on the post to which I’m tied stab me in the chest. Pain sets my body on fire. Everything burns. I squeeze my eyes shut tight and keep my silence.

“Ugly.”

“Repugnant.”

“Unsightly.”

“Ignorant.”

“Bottom Feeder.”

Each word cuts as deep in my flesh as the physical wounds my clan inflicts. It can’t last long. I can endure this. As soon as the sharks catch scent of my blood they will come, and the Mer will scatter.

The world spins around me like a whirlpool. My breaths come quick and shallow, my heart pounds faster in my ears. Each second is an eternity, until I realize fresh wounds are not adding to the burning in my skin.

The elder’s sharp tongue whispers in my ear. “Now you will be measured.”

My wrists fall free of the post as he cuts the ties.

Exile. My Reckoning has begun.

Buy Scales for your library (:

Seriously... Look at this gorgeousness!
Seriously… Look at this gorgeousness!

I was able to get my hands on an ARC copy – you’re going to love it! 

About the Author:

Pauline Creeden is an award-winning author, horse trainer, and overall book ninja. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Her debut novel, Sanctuary, won 1st Place Christian YA Title 2013 Dante Rosetti Award and 2014 Gold Award for First Place YA Horror Novel.

Get up-to-date news and information on Pauline’s latest releases!

Website: http://paulinecreeden.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/PaulineCreeden

Twitter: http://twitter.com/P_Creeden

Instagram: https://instagram.com/paulinecreeden/


As a part of the Falling in Deep Collection, we’re offering a giveaway!

75 gift card graphic

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love mermaids? Looking for a great beach read? The Falling in Deep Collection, a collection of 15 unique tales of creatures of the deep, is rolling out the first novella in their collection at the end of May.

From mermaids to sirens, Miami to Athens, dark paranormal romance to contemporary stories with steam, the fifteen award-winning and best-selling authors of the Falling in Deep Collection are bringing you mermaid tales like you’ve never seen before.

Every week beginning May 26th, 2015, we’ll be releasing one unique, never-before-published novella! Each novella will feature our favorite creature of the deep: mermaids.

The Falling in Deep Collection (May – September Releases)

Scales by Pauline Creeden

Ink: A Mermaid Romance by Melanie Karsak

Of Ocean and Ash by A. R. Draeger

Deep Breath by J. M. Miller

At the Heart of the Deep by Carrie Wells

The Mermaid’s Den by Ella Malone

The Water is Sweeter by Eli constant

The Glass Mermaid by Poppy Lawless

An Officer & a Mermaid by Blaire Edens

How to be a Mermaid by Erin Hayes

Cold Water Bridegroom by B. Brumley

A Beyond the Sea Prequel by Emily Goodwin

Immersed by Katie Hayoz

Siren’s Kiss by Margo Bond Collins

To Each His Own by Anna Albergucci

Never miss a release! Join our newsletter for behind the scenes information and release updates:

Join the Mermaids!

DFW Writers Conference, and then That Day I Lost my Mind

I did it.

I signed up. I think I can pitch.

I’ve been talked into attending the DFW Writers Conference in Dallas, July 24 – July 26, 2015.

Woot!

394

I’m terrified.

It’s is a lot of money in my world. It’s a weekend away from home.

Is it the best choice right now?

I’m working on a SciFi novel. It’s clean, no cursing, might be salable as a Young Adult. I’ll be hustling to get it done-enough to pitch the best I can.

I’ve chosen Susan Chang with Tor Publishing and Laura Maisano with Anaiah Press as my options for pitching.

What if I do it wrong? What if I fail?

What the heck was I thinking?

Available Agents and Publishers at DFW Writers Con