Constructive criticism… making it work for you.

This past week has been enlightening, and a learning experience for me. I entered my novel, Eternal Embrace, to be a part of an event known as The Reviewers Roundup. It’s an interesting concept, and I look forward to using this platform again for other works. It’s straightforward and simple. Books of all genres are listed. You pick which one you want to read, and it’s sent to you. All you have to do in return is write an honest review. The event is set up for two weeks; the first week for novellas or short stories, and the second week is for novels.

I appreciated the readers who chose Embrace, especially as this was the second book in a series. Not all of them read Phoenix Rising first, and the reviews reflected it. It did, however, give me a lot of insight on how to deal with the remaining three books of my series.

First thing I realized, an introduction to The Kindred was imperative. Coming in cold, readers know nothing of my warriors and their history. I wrote an introduction that will be included in all future books.

Second, as repetitious as it is to me, and to readers who have kept up with the series, there are some details that require an explanation of some kind each time. I use the term, Kith, in my story. Unless you read the first book, you wouldn’t know that this refers to Torie’s personal bodyguards. I’ll try to keep details like this one in mind as I write.

The third item that was brought to my attention was that readers love conflict. Apparently, some were disappointed that Quinn and Torie had no personal struggles in their own relationship. Theirs is a unique bonding, and I have no regrets regarding their story. I couldn’t risk letting the cat out of the bag, but I knew Eternal Embrace was going to more than make up for it regarding conflict.

The most important thing I learned from this wonderful event, was that readers enjoyed my books. While I’ll never write the Great American Novel, I do feel like, for a little while, I provided a pleasurable escape from the mundane. It’s a good feeling.

Till next week,

~Madison

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