Monday, March 29, 2021

Author Advice with Aidan Lucid - Dealing With Negative Reviews

Dealing With Negative Reviews

Negative reviews suck. As a writer, there’s nothing worse than someone tearing your novel apart like a tiger ripping flesh from his prey. It hurts that bad. But as an author, you have to get used to it. Bad reviews are par for the course. After reading those biting words, you question if you’re worthy of having the title of ‘author’. Doubts start to creep in and dark clouds of depression hangover you. Last year (2020), I received one of the most scathing bashings from a reviewer who clearly had their own agenda. It took me a while to get over it but I did. And here’s how. 

Tips to Recover From Negative or Harsh Reviews

1. It’s Just Their Opinion: What one person might hate, another will love. Everyone has different tastes. When inside a restaurant, did you ever see all the customers eating the same dish? No. Why? People have different palates, preferring to opt for one food over the other. The same applies to readers. Not everyone likes Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. 

2. Don’t Take It Personally: Sometimes this is hard to do because of the way the reviewer delivered their feedback. Like my example above, unless it’s clear that the reader decided to make it personal, take a step back, leave it for a few days and read it again. The best reviewers are ones who give balanced arguments and not just focus solely on the negative. 

3. Even the Top Authors Get Bashed: Take solace in the fact that Stephen King, JK Rowling, and Tom Clancy receive one-star reviews on Amazon so you’re not alone. In fact, some writers say that they read these reviews to recover from the thrashing their own book received. It lets them know that they don’t suck. 

4. Don’t Read It: From speaking with other authors, some suggest not reading low-scored reviews. I’ve mixed feelings about this. On one hand, they have a point. These types of feedback can be off-putting and can end some writers’ careers. However, those who wish to grow and become better should read them because there might be some advice that could win new fans. Ultimately, the decision is yours but as excruciating as it may be, I will always read these types of reviews (hopefully there won’t be many, though). 

5. Take What You Can From it and Move On: I know this next tip will be difficult because it was hard enough to read through the review the first time. Leave a few days pass by and return to it again with objective eyes. There may be some nuggets of wisdom hidden within those cutting remarks. 

6. Dust Yourself Off and Write the Next Book: Don’t let a reader’s opinion stop you from chasing that dream of writing a bestseller. Become thick-skinned and after reading harsh feedback, say to yourself, ‘I can do better and I’ll prove it’. There is a lot to be said about positive thinking. Develop mantras like, ‘I’m a bestselling author’, ‘I’m so blessed to be able to write great books’, ‘I’m growing more and more as a writer every day’. One can come up with their own positive sayings. The trick is to never give up. 

Being an author is a lonely job and one that is wholly unappreciated by a lot of readers.

Speaking from experience, prior to becoming an author in 2002, I took it for granted the amount of work that goes into writing a book or even a short story. Now I can appreciate all the time and effort. 

So don’t let that negative review stop you. Go forth and show the world what you can do. 

Share your stories and enthrall us all!

The Scavenger
The Hopps Town Series
Book One 
Aidan Lucid

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Jongleur Books
Date of Publication: January 10th, 2021.
ISBN: 979-8593579034
Number of pages: 146
Word Count: Approx. 37000
Cover Artist: SmStudioinc 

Tagline: Three Separate Wishes. One Twisted Nightmare!

Book Description: 

Just like Hopps Town, their humble home, Jessica Barlow, Jared Duval, and Adrian Cole are fostering dark secrets. Plagued by loss, cruelty, and physical abuse, these friends are kindred spirits, bound by anguish and elusive dreams. They’re soon to find the key to change, but any happy future will demand they face a haunting past and brave a lethal present.

Deep in the forest on the outskirts of town, aging and nearly forgotten, there stands a well from another time. Happening upon this relic, Adrian goads his companions to join him in making a wish. Soon, difficult though it is to admit, their luckless lives do seem to shift. The only problem is, the changes aren’t at all as they’d imagined. Seemingly, they’ve only left the pan to face the fire.

Should they hope to both survive and thrive, they’ll need to pool their wits and draw on mystic inner-power. Solving Hopps Town’s greatest mystery now means life or death.



After drying herself off, Jessica watched some TV in her room. As she flicked through the channels, she heard footsteps in the hallway.

“Is that you, mom?” There was no response. “Mom?” she called out again, but there was no answer.

Sighing, she got up and opened her bedroom door. Looking left and right, there was nobody around. “Mom?” Bertha didn’t respond. “Guess I must be hearing things.”

Laying back down on the bed, she picked up the remote.

Jessica rubbed her arms, now feeling cold. She felt a sudden chill in the room. She glanced at the window. It was closed and locked.

“Why is it so cold?”

As she stood up to get a warmer sweater, Jessica stopped. The girl swallowed hard and her heart thundered as her chair beside the door moved two itself.

“O...kay. That’s weird.” Approaching the chair cautiously, she pushed it back.

Opening the wardrobe door, she rummaged through all her sweaters. Jessica paused, hearing the wooden chair creak. Again her heart beat faster. Slowly, she half-closed the wardrobe door to take a look, even though every fiber in her being said not to. Shutting her eyes, the girl rattled off a quick prayer.

Turning around to face the chair, Jessica opened her eyes. She screamed as it now leaned forward, its two back legs high in the air. Tears threatened to drown her eyes as she jumped on the bed. Something dragged the chair across the room, stopping at the foot of her bed. It now fell back, resting on its four legs again.

Seizing her chance, Jessica bolted for the door. Just as she was about to make her exit, an invisible force slammed it shut. Jessica pulled at the handle, trying hard to open it.

“Come on, come on,” she said with a shaky breath, tears continuing to stream down her face. “Open, damn it!” When that didn’t work, Jessica banged on the door in desperation. “Mom, mom. Help!”

Her banging came to an abrupt halt when someone grabbed her ponytail, yanking it hard, pulling her to the ground. She cried out in pain as her back hit the ground hard. Ice cold fingers pulled up her sweater and t-shirt. Now they stroked and caressed her stomach.

“No, please, no!” The malevolent force ignored her pleas, continuing to crawl down towards her underwear.

Jessica wriggled and flailed her arms about to break free. Once more, she felt the acrid stench of a hot breath against her left ear.

“Get away from me, you sick bastard!”

She almost leaped off the floor when she heard his menacing Southern drawl, “You want me to leave you alone? Then forget about the well.” His ice-cold fingers no longer tugged at the waistband of her pajama bottoms.

The tight grip on her ponytail was gone. She waited a few seconds to see if Caleb had gone too. When the eerie icy atmosphere had lifted, she scrambled to her feet and ran to the bathroom. 

About the Author:

Since 2004, Aidan Lucid’s work has been published in national and international magazines, as well as various poetry anthologies. For a period of nine months in 2007, he was a film reviewer for the award-winning Irish newspaper, The Kerryman. From 2009 to 2017, Aidan was an assistant editor for Bewildering Stories e-zine. Lucid began critiquing novels and short stories in 2018 and continues to do so. In October 2019, his debut YA fantasy novel, The Lost Son, was released.

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Aidan Lucid said...

Thanks so much for having me on your blog. It's an honor to be here. I hope that people will find my article useful.

Thanks again.

Aidan Lucid