Reflections on National Authors Day

I confess I don’t celebrate National Authors Day. To be even more honest, I didn’t know it even existed until this year. So when I logged into Facebook and saw posts wishing authors a “happy authors day” I decided to do something in its honor.

Drink? No, I do that on release day, the day my months of work are finally edited, covered, and uploaded on sites that sell digital books. Champagne and pizza on those days.

Read? No, I do that almost every day, along with write, even if it’s just a few paragraphs.

So what did I do? I read the posted reviews for my latest book.

Not everyone who reads a book, leaves a review. It’s time consuming to write one, even if sites like Amazon or Barnes and Noble allow you to leave one or two sentences. I once had a review that said, “Great book. I recommend it.” That was my son who took pity on me because I had so few reviews for one of my first books.

But now I have twenty-one books in print and there are lots of reviews. Scandal’s Child, my first Regency romance, has over two thousand ratings and reviews. In contrast, a novella called Blood Will Tell (which I consider one of my better offerings), has only six. Maybe it’s the title that puts people off. It isn’t bloody. It’s romantic suspense.

In reading the eight reviews of my latest book, Sweet Vengeance, released late last month, I did find a pleasant surprise. I have completed one of my author-type goals. Here’s the phrase that warmed my writerly heart: “Her writing is engaging and makes you feel like you are part of the story. This is truly an important piece when you are reading.” Yes it is. It’s the most important piece.

Writers are told to show, not tell. That means drawing readers into the story instead of having them be observers. It’s hard and I’ve struggled with this for years. Now someone, a new reader, comes along and says, hey, you did it.

Other phrases from the eight reviews (so far) also made me smile:

“I adored this book the second I started reading it.”
“I’m not usually a fan of historical romance but Pamela’s writing style is compelling and the story is intriguing and I was not disappointed.”
“I couldn’t put it down.”
“Get set for a western adventure with rich historical detailing that brings everything to life.”

Okay, I’m showing off. But it’s nice to know someone is enjoying a book I put so much effort into.

Not all reviews are complimentary and Sweet Vengeance will probably not appeal to everyone and that’s okay. If someone takes the time to leave a review, I appreciate it. Sometimes the reviews are instructive. In Scandal’s Promise, a reader pointed out that I actually changed the name of the hero in the final chapter. Ouch! Other times, the comments are head-scratchers. Two conflicting opinions about Scandal’s Child: “This book was too steamy,” followed by, “This book could use more sex scenes.” Like I said, you cannot please everyone.

In case I didn’t mention it, Author’s Day was November 1. Next year you can celebrate it by leaving a review, or just a rating—those count, too—for a book you enjoyed.

Thanks for reading. You can find me here for other stuff:

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