It is well documented that I am a lover of books. Some of my favorite reads have been panned, not only by critics, but also by genuine lovers of fiction across the board. The Fifty Shades of Grey series has been called atrocious, poorly written and recommended for “coma patients – wait, NO! They have enough problems!” I loved ‘em! I also read and throughouly enjoyed each of the books in the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, which have been called wretched, shallow and gloomy. One review of Twilight, which made me bust a gut giggling, said, “Pop! There goes my Meyer cherry. And with it, my integrity.”
Okay, I know, it’s mean to laugh at mean reviews, right? Especially considering I read and loved each and every book in both the Fifty Shades and Twilight series, AND I have a book coming out in less than a month myself. I won’t be laughing when the negative review start rolling in, as they inevitably will. Oh yeah, I am sure there’s going to be some hum-dingers in response to my gratuitous use of profanity and tendency to disrespect the English language with my whimsically incorrect use of the elements of style commonly used by learned writers. My writing is conversational and if you have ever had a conversation with a hyperactive prefix and suffix abuser, you will have no trouble plowing through the stories.
But some people will, and OUCH it’s gonna smart when I get smacked with the first backhanded wallop of negative feedback. I might even cry. Well, probably not, but there’s a chance I could shed a tear if I’m feeling particularly hormonal or human and come across a fiercely harsh critique of my epic novella. It could happen.
Epic novella? Just kidding. My book is 300 something pages of hyperbole and profanity and reads like my blog. I’m pretty sure it will never been considered one of the “classics” nor will it be used as an example in any writing classes where students are learning how to write humorous essays. It also does not belong in the parenting section of the library of bookstore. If you want advice and direction, hop to the self-help section. If you want to laugh a bit at my expense, buy and read my bookie.
I am really proud of it. I am. I did it! I wrote a book. Me. Nobody ghosted this bitch – it was all me! The edits were light and mostly focused on mechanics, which anyone who reads my blather knows damn well, is where my writing is weak. I hope readers will say something like, “Pop – Nikki popped her author cherry and aside from needing to have her mouth washed out with soap and re-taking English 101, I think she did a good fucking job.”
OOOOO That’s what I’m hoping for, but alas, I don’t anticipate this will be the only response to my book and I am, as I type this blog post, thickening up my skin with a cheese grater. Sure it hurts, but Jesus Christ, I have less than a month before a heap of trolls come after me with hurtful commentary on my musings and personal shortcomings as a human being and a writer. I would say that I need to grow a pair of balls, but as Betty White is famously quoted as saying –
Good thing I have a vag, because this bitch(me) and my blog have been taking a pounding for years!
I know that I’m not the only writer that experiences extremes in response to their work. From the beginning, it seemed that people either loved my writing and thought me to be a swell gal, or hated it, and me with the white-hot heat of 1,000 suns. This makes me deliriously happy. Intensity behind a feeling indicates honesty! And so, much like my blog, those who choose to read my book will either love it or hate it due to the strong language and no topic is off limits or safe from woven into the fabric of a funny (subjectively speaking, of course).
I’ve never had to wonder what it’s like to be embraced by the misfits and excluded by the in-crowd of the blogging world, because that’s exactly what has happened throughout my career as a blogger. So far, being a wallflower suits me, the negative feedback barely registers on my give-a-fuck-o-meter these days. I’m good with where I “fit” in the blogging community, which is smack dab in the middle of WHATTHEHELLDOWEDOWITTHISWEIRDOANDHERBLOG-ville. I’m harder on myself than anyone could ever be on me, (Writing that makes me laugh, which is one of the reasons people loathe me. I am terribly immature, crude and unable to resist the opportunity to be crass and make a boner reference. I said I’m HARD on myself. Dirty pervy Nikki!) but I can’t say I’ll feel the same way about my labor of lovey love – my book!
But oddly enough, when I read the finished product for the first time, I hated it.
I’m told this is normal and that most authors go through something similar. Good, I thought, because I couldn’t stand to look at it. I found every error and 100 things I wanted to change. In the blink of an eye, (actual timeline – 3 years) I went from scribbling thoughts in journals, to sharing these thoughts as a blogger, to selling these thoughts to a publisher who trusted me to write a book. I suppose my next book will be better, but who the hell knows? What I do know is that my next collection of essays will not be any less irreverent or honest and I certainly hope that my status as the anti-role model holds up. I have so much growing up to do, as a person as well as a writer and I think I’m going to grow at the rate of Reneesme Cullen (Twilight reference for those who know nothing of the Cullen clan – Reneesme grows really fucking fast, as in full grown in seven years fast – IKNOWRIGHT?) if the initial feedback is anything like what’s coming down the road in the near future.
I wonder if E.L. James wanted to punch herself in the neck every time she read the parts of her stories where Ana called her twat her “sex?” Did Stephanie Meyer read her books and say to herself, “Self, what the fuck is with you and the word ‘glowering, sister? You done overdid dat shiz!”” I wonder what is it like for them dealing with the bitch-faces and book snobs that never learned that if you can’t say something nice – you shouldn’t say anything at all? And I’m not talking about honest reviews here, I’m talking about snooty pooty peeps, beastly literary types, bent on being better by way of book choices! Honestly doesn’t have to include cruelty.
Ana’s inability to call her junk by the proper name and Bella and Edward’s constant glowering irritated the shit out of me at times, but I loved the rich characters and fun stories. I love to escape into a story and I especially love to LOVE the story. I’ll even settle for liking it or learning from it, because why else would I be reading it? Books are what they are and each genre is written for a specific audience. If someone is into classic literature and prefers prose and poise, why read about bloodsuckers and buttplugs? Cause that’s what my peeps E.L. and Steph were selling, no more, no less.
If I were a skilled writer, I’d wrap this up with something quippy and probably would have included a clever transitional sentence, blending the previous thought with a closing ka-pow that would blow your hair back. But I’m not. A skilled writer I mean. But I did write a book and really this blog is a shameless
buttplug plug/sales pitch wrapped up in a soap-box lecture about why people don’t need to act like dicks if they don’t like things (especially if the thing happens to be my book).
BUY MY FUCKING BOOK, if you want to. They buy buttons are all over this blog. A monkey could figure it out. You might like it. My mom does. The end.
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