Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Nice Girls are Panned by the Reviewers
One trait southerners are known for more than any other is being nice. Well, they all think when we say "Bless your heart", we mean it literally, but then let them live with that false impression for a while. After all, we would not want to hurt their feelings.
When I set out to write the book about my mother I fretted about the alcoholism. Would it make her look bad? Would it make me look ungrateful? Would my family disown me? I wrangled with this for a long while. As I wrote, there were chapters I penned about ugly times that all children of alcoholics had faced. There were the embarrassing moments that one could not find any humor in. There were the actions she took that made her look horrid in any light.
I would put in and take out, put in and take out. Finally I wrote the first part. I questioned using the chapter title "Southern Women, Drunks, and Silver". Had I gone too far?
Now I am beginning to get the critical reviews. Before the book was released I contacted 25-30 book reviewers who particularly like independent writers and I chose those who preferred my genre. I wanted their thoughts and criticism. And now the reviews are coming in. Is the book entertaining? Oh, yes. Is it southern? Why yes. Did it keep your interest? Yes. Could you relate Yes (I am convinced every critic I contacted was the child of an alcoholic - or so they said.)
Their main complaint - I was too easy. I did not go into the depths of the drinking. I sugar coated over that. I made light of the situation. If it really were a problem, why did I not dwell on it.
Perhaps, I should have just left that part out all together. If I cannot do something well, why do it?
Being nice is killing me in the reviews.