Monday, 30 March 2009

Getting Beaten About The Head With A Real(ity)ly Big Stick And Not Even My "Award Winning" Sales Pitch Can Save Me

I am working on the basis that quantity equals quality here, at least as far as my post titles go. It is quite possible that I will be wrong. In fact, it's almost a given that I will be wrong, but I'm going with it anyway because it amuses me. I am also maintaining my "traditional" pre-post waffle, and, as it's lunchtime, a waffle would be much appreciated. A potato one, obviously, with beans. Maybe a fried egg or two. Some bacon.... A Cup of Coffee...

But, healthy eating aside a waffle is what you're getting while I try to figure out exactly why I'm in need of such comfort food.

Nothing has happened that I did not expect. At all. In fact, like all those proper writers I spend my time reading about, the weekend was - probably - perfectly normal. And also, I have to remind myself that people would kill (have killed, some of them. Actually, really) to be a published author and that I am very lucky. Very lucky. I am sure that many (well, some) people will have read my book now and thought "Yeah that's ok, I could do that." And they'd be right. Like I said. I am very lucky.

Or jammy - as my Gran would say. A Jammy Bastard to be precise. Bit like a dodger, but obviously not as tasty.

But, yeah, the weekend.

On Saturday I got a review. It wasn't a bad review, but it wasn't great. It's over there, on the right. Up a bit. Yeah - the Isolationist one.

It is a perfectly reasonable review, some good points, some not so good but well balanced and, I admit wholly fair. Now, this is the first review I've had that isn't a good one. Obviously this was bound to happen. I know I'm not a pioneering writer, nor am I a particularly literary writer. I write slightly odd stuff which I find entertaining. Or creepy. One of the two.

Ok, so, I didn't really agree with some points, I felt there was more happening in the book than it was given credit for, but - if the reader doesn't see these things then really, there is no one to blame but me. The reviewer didn't get me the way I wanted to be got, so to speak, but why should they? They see what they see, if they miss stuff then it's my fault for not presenting it better.

I was not annoyed with the review. At all. Honest. The review was perfectly reasonable, as I said. I was annoyed instead with my reaction to the review. I was annoyed that I couldn't just shrug it off.

And then the Lazy Sunday happened. Or at least Sunday happened. It was, well, a disaster? No, not really, no one was killed or maimed or robbed or starved to death in the queue at Starbucks, no child got scolded or bruised or lost.

It was just that no one. And I mean no one, was listening.

Had I possessed the sheer stubborn bravery of Sarah Shaw and actually stood up, as she did, and read to a crowded room full of people not even pretending to be interested I might have felt better.

She sat to tumultuous apathy from the surrounding tables. I waved my book in the air. Yelled out my best sales pitch:

"S'got Lesbian Nurses in..."

Nothing, not a flicker of interest.

"And a Zombie..."

The queue at the counter counted out the brownies.

"Premature ejaculation... Anyone?"

A nervous blush from the guy in the corner. Otherwise... Nothing.

I suppose this is one of those things. I've heard other writers telling these stories, of turning up and being the only one there and such like. I had been expecting it. I knew that rapt attention was unlikely.

But still.

It was, surprisingly, painful.

Luckily me and Vix had been Disco Kettling. Between the two of them I was ok. I'll be honest though, it was more Vix than DK. He was too busy dancing...


Roz Wyllie said...

Hey. Haven't read the review yet. Don't sweat it though. Honest. It's pointless. And yes yesterday was a shambolic disaster ...and Sarah was very brave to try and brazen it out...but with no events manager, no-one there to introduce us..and not being able to use that corner where we could have made a cosy listening was never going to work out. Best to laugh...and move on to the next one.
It'll be a hilarious anecdote in your memoir in years to come.
Roz xx

B said...

you see, i don't agree. not everyone can get every book. doesn't mean you did anything wrong; it just means that... this person didn't get it.

crap, i feel awful that i didn't make it over now. i'm sorry. you too roz, and stephen if you read this....

shrug it off, move on. you're too good to let this bring ya down.

Megan said...

It happens - don't worry! Horses and courses and all that. Love your book!

trousers said...

Agreed with b - at the very least, it can't be your fault every time someone didn't get it. There must be so many other variables and factors at play, surely.

I haven't read the review (haven't read your book either) so I can't make anything other than a general observation about this.

Roz Wyllie said...

See this is why I don't bother posting very often....WHAT I MEANT WAS...'best to move on to the next signing/reading event' not the next book. As you know from my review on my website, amazon and so forth I love your book. I think it's far too early to give in on's cracking and you should be proud.
BUT the event yesterday was a nightmare...which is what I referring to...and I should know...I was one of the humiliated writers...
You're great'll all work out!
Now I'm off for a beer before I get lynched by your heavies!

trousers said...

Roz, for what it's worth, I thought your first post made sense, and I don't think anyone is contradicting it: my agreement with b was that nik is being too harsh on himself, and nothing against what you're saying.

Hope you're enjoying that beer anyway :)

watching9987 said...

Thanks guys, I know the review wasn't too bad really, like I said, it was more my reaction that annoyed me. But you're right, I just need to get on with it.

Bring on the next event! I'll kick all ass!