You know it is interesting but ever since I started having stories published ( though this, I will be the first to concede, is still at a very embryonic stage ) the interest of people close to me seems to move from the publisher to reviews. As if it isn't enough that I have found a publisher who likes my work enough to publish it I now have to count the validity of my work in terms of whether it has been reviewed and if so how did I fare. The heartening thing I have discovered is that of the few reviews I have had ( good or bad) they don't seem to have affected me in the way that I feared they might.
Take the two following reviews about my short story 'The Moonkeeper's Friend'.
The first one is on the Amazon website by a customer (http://www.amazon.com/Clockwork-Phoenix-Tales-Beauty-Strangeness/dp/1934169986) and I am particularly grateful to them for taking the effort to review a book when it is of no gain to them. In their review they list my story as one of their 3 favourites, stating " Joanna Galbraith's "The Moon-Keeper's Friend" is a charming tale of two friends that brings the fantastic (and the moon) within man's reach."
In the second one (taken from the GreenMan Review http://www.greenmanreview.com/book/book_allen_clockworkphoenix.html) the reviewer is less of a fan , stating "Joanna Galbraith's "The Moon-Keeper's Friend" suffers from an identity crisis, veering from fairy tale to social commentary to magical realism to parodic ludicrousness. While some of her language is lovely and the premise intriguing, this story ultimately falls flat." Wow you'd think that would hurt but the interesting thing is it doesn't (ok may a little bit.) Largely because I think the reviewer is right in the sense that the story has many identities ( but I suspect many of my stories are like this - and it's why I sucked in my previous incarnation as a legal officer since I never seemed to be able to tell a straight fact). Also, the reader found the story fell flat. Fair enough - the thing is for every reader who likes the story I will probably find 10 who didn't and I can live with that. It's what makes us all individual. I think I would have been more bothered if they had referred to my writing style as 'pretentious, insincere, or overly flowery' but the fact that they found it lovely lessens the sting I suppose.
But what if they had torn apart my style as well?
To be honestI think that would have hurt more. But at the end of they day I feel as long as I can look at the end result and feel that I have been good to the language and written prose which is thoughtful, honest and elegant then whatever follows in reviews I will be able to handle in the correct way. Take on what is constructive but let go of what is not.
Have a day J :-)