Becca Wilhite Blog

June 24, 2010

Bad Idea, Good Result

Filed under: anxiety,reviews — becca @ 8:10 am

I did it. That thing they tell you that you should never, ever do. That dumb, egomaniacal thing.

I looked at my reviews.

Not professional ones (I don’t even know if there are any professional ones – I wouldn’t know where to look). Just the ones on Goodreads. Why? you ask. Why would you do this thing? Hm. Maybe here was nothing else to do? Well, yeah. That’s just silly. I don’t know why I did it. But I did.

I got on Goodreads (where I once set up an account, but have never really spent any time) on Kid 2’s login. Not to be sneaky or anything, but because I can’t remember my own, and the computer remembers hers. I looked up MRRO, and it said there were a bunch of reviews. (Bunch = technical term for something like 135, but I’m too lazy to pull up another web browser page and actually check my figures.) I read them. All.

I know. I’m a true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool, hyphenated-cliche-using idiot.

But do you want to know what? People like this book. Funny, isn’t it? There were 2 fairly negative reviews (one, which I love, and may reproduce in vinyl lettering for my bathroom wall*, ¬†which something like, “I’m glad this book had the word “ridiculous” in the title, so I’m spared the effort of finding an appropriate description.” Tee-hee.) But the rest of the reviewers liked it. Some even loved it. And the best part? I only know like three of these people. (Hi, Kim!) It’s not like I recruited my friends and family to write positive reviews.

This time.

Once upon a time, like for instance, maybe eighteen months ago perhaps, let’s just say that I may or may not have asked a few people if they would maybe put up a kind word review on Amazon about BBM. Just a few. Like 5, I think. They did. (Hi, Emily!) But then a strange thing happened. I learned never to look at my own Amazon pages. Except to see MRRO’s page once in a while, as I waited for it to become available MONTHS after I had a box of copies. And one day, I looked (who knows why I do these things?) and saw seven reviews of MRRO. Seven. Not a single one of them were by a person that I know. Isn’t that amazing?

Now, I know that seven reviews are not much. Some people probably get that much in an hour. But this was a cool thing for me, especially because most of them say very kind things.

So to read more than a hundred strangers saying nice things about my writing? It was a validating exercise. And a gamble. Because it might take on a very different feeling if the scales were tipped AT ALL, and the ratio was any higher on the snarky side. But it wasn’t different. And it was … nice.

I like nice.

Also nice? A friend sent me a photo from her phone of MRRO on an actual book shelf in an actual book store in an actual state that is not my own! I know, right? (Hi, Melanie!) The book was face-out and everything! I’d love to post the photo here, but there is the little detail of Kid 2’s trip to Washington, DC and my phone’s untimely demise (appropriately) at Arlington cemetery (*snicker*). I love me some good irony.

And the point here is that sometimes, it’s okay to take an emotional gamble (but I’m only saying that because I won).

*Really? Do you think I have vinyl lettering on my bathroom wall? I guess not.

March 5, 2010

Nice Review, Baby

Filed under: reviews,RRO,spring is coming,Uncategorized — becca @ 5:25 pm

Another sweet review ran in Teens Read Too this week. (Click here to see it.) These girls are awesome, reading and reviewing tons of books. Keep your eyes open, because I’ve just finished a Terribly Charming interview with them. (I know. You can hardly wait.)

In other news, the seven inches of new snow this morning did not cause me to commit any irreversible acts of vandalism, profanity, or binge eating. Instead, Kid 4 and I went swimming. (Inside, duh.)

And with that, I wish you a happy weekend full of blossoms (if you’re lucky) or hot chocolate (see? Still lucky) or musical theater (if you’re me).

February 25, 2010

About Name-Dropping and Book Blurbs

Filed under: books,character,reviews,RRO — becca @ 12:08 am

So I’m having a problem.

What? You’re not surprised?

Here it is. My publisher has been doing a good job of getting word out about MRRO, getting me lots of blog interviews and having the book listed on lots of buying sites. The problem is the blurb.

It mentions Mr. Darcy.

Why is that a problem? Because the book, well, doesn’t.

Sarah has a compulsion about romance novels. But not the Jane Austen kind. Not the, um, legitimate kind. The other kind. The busty maidens and pec-heavy pirates. She has sort of built an expectation for her world out of the pages of that kind of book. And it’s funny.* But the blurb says “Mr. Darcy” and so people are responding to That. To Mr. Darcy. Who doesn’t make a single appearance in the book.

In fact, at one point during our round of Titling conversations, my editor suggested the title, “Wanted: Romance, Jane Austen Style” to which I responded, “it’s so cute. I’ll be back after I rewrite the entire book.” This blurb may be left over from that epoch, but it feels wrong. I feel like I’m trading on Miss Jane’s name. Do you see what I mean?

So here’s the scoop. It’s a funny book. A romantic comedy. About a slightly crazy girl taking a chance and recognizing her worth. there is hotness (though not Darcy-related hotness. Just Bennish hotness – his name is Ben) and some pretty good kissing, if I do say so myself. I hope you will love it. It still makes me laugh (especially her inter-brain discussions) and I hope it makes you laugh. But it’s not about Darcy, because Miss Jane already did that, and nobody matches her brilliance. So pick it up because you love me, or because you love the cover, or because it’s short and you don’t have time for a long read. Or because my cousins are discussing it on Facebook. Or because you read one of the great reviews that have been sprinkled around blogland. But just not because you’re looking for a Jane Austen spinoff. Because I want you to lurve the book, and not be disappointed.

Because I lurve you.

You know.

*Feel free to disagree, you know, nicely.

February 15, 2010


Filed under: reviews,RRO — becca @ 4:45 pm

MRRO is reviewed here, at Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books. Go check it out!

February 9, 2010

More Fun

Filed under: giving,reviews,school — becca @ 6:56 pm

Look! A great review by YA Book Queen. This fun blog is run by Lea, who is 18. Girl Power! She ran the review today and is running a contest in the next few days. And speaking of contests, my Good Friend Melanie J is running a giveaway of MRRO – you can jump over to her hilarious blog and throw your hat in there, too.

Meanwhile, I get to experience shame at the hands of eight-year-olds today. I’m teaching a dance for a musical program at school. I know. This is enormous irony. But away I go, to dance and sing my little guts out.
Over and out.

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