Okay. It’s now been one official week since my novel ‘Spectrum’ dropped. (http://www.amazon.com/Spectrum-Novel-Jason-K-Melby/dp/1938191072/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387492984&sr=8-1&keywords=jason+k+melby)
I haven’t heard much of anything about it yet, and I really didn’t expect to as it is the Christmas season and most people’s thoughts are occupied with sugar plums and the like. I was a bit curious today and I searched my name and didn’t find much. I did however find a link to a site where readers are able to offer their reviews of books and surprisingly, Spectrum was the subject of such a review. I wish I could say it was more positive, but I take it on the chin. I figure it’s a subjective thing, what’s good or bad, and one person’s view is just an opinion. Nothing to say someone else’s wont’ be different. My issue with this review however stems from the fact that this site allows the reviewer to post their opinion of the book as they read it. Traditionally I assumed the reviewer was expected to read the entire book first and then offer up their views. I don’t understand how anyone could have such a strong opinion of a book until it has been completely read. I’ve never done that. There have been books I didn’t like at first, but by the time I finish I love it. These kinds of reviews are a disservice to the writer and the critic alike. If you don’t like the first few chapters of the book and make that known, what are you going to do if you discover you adore the last few chapters? You have to go back and eat a bunch of crow in that case. What’s that? What if the critic is unable to finish the book? Oh. That’s simple. Don’t review the book if you don’t finish it. Movie critics can’t talk about a movie unless they’ve seen it, so why should a book critic be allowed to tear down someone’s work without first thoroughly considering it from beginning to end? And this particular reviewer seemed to take exceptional glee in running down my work. Using excerpts from the book to take pot shots and what not. I get that this person isn’t a professional, clearly, but why all the hate? I mean, I get the impression this is someone who wishes they could write, but since they can’t, they fill their days tearing down the efforts of others.
I understand bad reviews are a part of the package with this writing thing, and I feel I have enough success behind me to know that I do have talent. I mean, this book was read by others and THEY liked it so much they wanted to print it. If there are people who liked it that much, there must be others. I guess the first harsh words sting a bit. I don’t wish to spend too much time defending my work. I like my book. I like the story I told and the way I told it. I read through it over and over and every time I was satisfied I got across what I intended. Maybe this critic was expecting something different. This is a comic book-esque book, but not in the ‘Wham! Zap! Pow!’ sense. I focused more on characters and story than outlandish visual moments. I feel like I’m cheating a bit on this, but for those who follow this blog I will let you in on a secret. The way it’s written was intended to make it seem like each chapter is an issue of the ‘Spectrum’ comic book. I’m sure the whole thing would have been much better if I could draw, or knew someone who could, and made it a true graphic novel. I just worked with what I had.