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.

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Interview with {A.R. Draeger}: Part Two

I met Amber during a workshop sponsored by the Cisco Writers Club. This was my first experience with her style of writing, and it’s been great to read everything since. I have secured a spot on her coattails, and it is my plan to ride them when she hits her fame! ❤ She’s been a great friend. She’s always encouraging, ready to lend a hand. I know you’ll love her new Falling in Deep novella, Of Ocean and Ash.

On with the interview…

What authors do you like to read? Favorite saying about writing?

Oh wow. Uh. I have a long list of those.  I can tell you succinctly who I do not like to read. 😉  I shall save that for a bonus.  If people bug you about it, I will divulge my guilty secrets on who I avoid reading.   Favorite saying?  I believe Ernest Hemingway said “All first drafts are s**t” and “Write drunk, edit sober”, but my favorite is a twist on his last – “Write sober, edit drunk.”

You recently attended the DFW RT Conference. How did that go? Any advice for new conference attendees?

The RT Booklovers Conference was in a word – amazing. Completely overwhelming in every sense of the word. I even stalked and got stalked by Heather Graham, who is a lovely soul, by the way.  Advice would be unless you are completely and utterly new to writing, don’t bother with (most of) the panels. Your money is better spent at the bar or at the social events meeting people.  The reader events are a blast, and you get free books…and you meet readers. 🙂  I learned more by visiting with people than I did through any other avenue.

Tell us about Of Ocean and Ash.

You mean a blurb? You want me to write a blurb? Ack! *pokes out eyes*  Let me get back to you after I finish a blurb. LOL 😉 {But she has one! Check it out below!}

Any advice to even newer writers (like me)?

You are not a newer writer, my friend. You’ve been at this longer. I just stuck my head out a teensy bit before you. 😉 {Thanks, Amber! ❤ ❤ }

Keep writing. Don’t ever stop. Don’t give a crap whether or not anyone likes it.

Hire an editor. You can have crappy everything else, but if you have bad editing, no one will forgive you.

Make friends with other writers. Actually be their friend. When you read something of theirs, and they ask for your opinion, give it – but give them ideas to strengthen the bits you didn’t like.

Learn to drink a little. You will need to throw back a glass of wine or two from time to time.

Don’t let them (your critics) see you cry. It’s like bleeding in the water with a bunch of sharks swimming around you. Get pissed off then write more.

Try not to read reviews. I know I’ll be guilty of this – all of this advice is just as much for my benefit as it is for yours.

The best way to sell your work is to have something to sell. Develop a backlist.

Don’t think that traditional publishing or self-publishing is entirely good or bad.  They play well off of each other currently and hybrid authors are seeing great results doing both. Consider this when you have your choices laid out in front of you.

About Amber’s new release:

Of Ocean…

Cast into the sea at birth, human-born Ia found her adoptive family among the merfolk. While her underwater upbringing was peaceful, Ia’s blood-heritage and the strict societal rules of the merpeople lead her to wonder of the world above the waves.

And Ash…

When a storm lands Ia ashore, she discovers her body has transformed into the human she would have been. Taken in as property by a callous plantation owner, Ia works alongside the slaves until she can make her way back to the water. There is nothing Ia wants more than to go home, that is, until she meets a handsome, troubled man named Matthias, who has a touch that can be as kind as his tongue is harsh.

Torn between two very different lives, Ia must choose – stay in his world and risk her life for a love untested, or return to the familiar arms of the underwater world that raised her and risk losing what may be the greatest love she will ever know.

Will Ia’s choice lead to her happiness or her destruction?

Make your library happy here


Author Amber (A.R.) Draeger specializes in macabre, fantastical fiction, spreading her interest across multiple genres including horror, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, and thriller.  Her debut romance novella, Of Ocean and Ash, to be published in the Blazing Indie Collective’s Falling in Deep Collection, will be released June 9th, 2015. Her debut horror/thriller/sci-fi novella,Daughters of Men, to be published in association with Bathory Gate Press, will follow in Summer 2015.  She resides in rural Texas with her husband and son.

Talk to Amber (:

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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

How to be a Mermaid by Erin Hayes

The Glass Mermaid by Poppy Lawless

An Officer & a Mermaid by Blaire Edens

The Water is Sweeter by Eli Constant

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

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