Sometimes we know how we will feel about something in theory, but in actuality it may or may not be true. There have been occurrences in my life when I was so sure and then it happened and I felt like I had been hit out of left field.
Over the past few weeks I had asked questions about what reviews meant to readers and to writers, and I opined that one of the worse reviews I had received, which was a three was the best in terms of teaching me what to do from that point forth.
However, last week I was on a blog tour and the first five days of the tour went well, the book was recommended, even highly recommended, one of the reviewers said that the title was a bit off-putting because she thought it would be one thing, but was glad she read it and in fact she gave it five stars on amazon. But on the last day of the tour, a young reviewer lambasted the book, gave it a 1.5 out of 5 and explained why she didn’t like the book or the character, though she mentioned the fact that it had serious potential, she thought that as a self-published author I had tried to make the main character too good. Now the question is how did I feel?
I know this is going to sound funny, or weird but I laughed. I actually chuckled, because moreso than not liking the book, the reviewer seemed to really dislike Zen, the character, it almost felt as though she knew her and couldn’t stand her. It also felt as if the fact that I self-published it was an issue for her. She also took exception to the fact that the word Ghetto was part of the title.
After laughing I felt nothing, really…
It wasn’t because I didn’t value her opinion, I did in fact. It wasn’t because 99.9 percent of readers had loved the character and the book and it was just one review. It was really because I know going in that every time I write a book, someone is going to take exception to something and they aren’t going to like it for a variety of reasons. Such is life.
I learned this early on that every book doesn’t appeal to everyone and the integrity of the way I write will not appeal to some. I am not geared to write books full of drama or sex or situations that seem forced to me. I also write characters as realistically as I know how to and as quiet as it is kept, though we are all flawed, with our issues there are genuinely good, talented people who need to be presented in that light.
A lot of what we feel about race, age, gender, et al comes from what the media presents or the evening news or books. So, if all we read is a steady diet of screwed up black folks, messed up young folks, crazy old folks, then for those who only know us through our books and media presentations, someone is going to have to step out on a limb and say, we come in a kaleidoscope of experiences and actions.
I know many Zen Coopers, young women who are living in compromised situations who are great students, love their families in spite of their shortcomings and will stand up for what they believe. In many ways I was a Zen. And as long as I know these people exist and I can write, I will write about them and continue to smile through those who find them unrealistic or simply decide they don’t like anything that fits their view of how ALL people of a certain demographic are.
Angelia Vernon Menchan
Angelia Vernon Menchan is an author, publisher and public speaker who owns two publishing companies, MAMM Productions and Honorable Menchan Media. Mrs. Menchan is also a Budget Officer and former Job Corps Counselor. To date she has published eighteen books of her own work, both fiction and non-fiction and more than forty ebook novellas on amazon.com. You can access her bibliography on www.amazon.com search words: Angelia Vernon Menchan
Menchan has also published the work of seven other authors to date and has several publishing projects upcoming in 2013 to include a children's book, Little Wing by biologist, Erin Gawera, Honorable Menchan Poets 2013 by Dictator, Genesis and Creammy Mocha and a breast cancer memoir by Lena Jordan.
She is becoming a sought after speaker for young women audiences because she speaks honestly, straight and open to the issues that plague them such as teen pregnancy, the importance of education and making life impacting choices.
Kim Floyd of Real Mommies Read, a part of the Spartanburg Public Library says:
Angelia's ability to help our teen moms see themselves as she did was a special gift. She instilled within them a desire to make better choices, take control of their bodies and their lives. They realized their pasts didn't have to determine their futures. Angelia let them know their worth.
Mrs. Menchan is available for speaking engagements; book signings and discussions. She resides in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband and graphic designer, Maurice Menchan
Phone numbers: 904 714 2272 904 303 2679