The Art of Opinions

Today’s post is going to be on something I’ve thought about for a long time. We all know what we like is subjective. What you like in a book someone else doesn’t like. As an author, I know that not everyone is going to like my work. As a reader, I encourage other readers to stay true to what they love and to only read stories that they cannot live without experiencing.

We all aim to be honest. At least, most days. I respect honesty, in all of its forms. What I cannot respect is slamming a book because you didn’t like it or because you didn’t get it. The other day, I read a review that said, “This book is dumb.”

What?! Do you even have any idea what work went into creating that “dumb” book?

Readers, you breathe life into our words. But you can also suck the little life out of them. There is a thin line between honesty and being rude. Before I published, I had no idea how to review. If I didn’t like a book, I’d say that I didn’t, without giving the author any opportunity to gain anything from my review. Because it was my opinion and I’m entitled to my likes and dislikes. But now, now that I know the massive amounts of work it takes to publish, I review to applaud and to assist. As a reader, those should be your two focuses. Tell the author what you liked and tell them what you think needed work.

Because, “This book is dumb,” does nothing for us.

When you disrespect an author, you make them not want to do this anymore. And we rely on your opinions! Slamming an author should never be an option and should not be tolerated in the reading community.

Readers be more conscientious. Don’t you know you’re dealing with passionate people? Your words can harm us more than you think.

Side note: Due to my busy schedule, I’m finding it easier to keep my readers updated via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Now playing No Rest for the Wicked by Lykke Li.

All my love,
Cynth

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hello! Here’s a video.

Currently playing One Last Night by Vaults.

All my love,
Cynth

Since I’ve Been Gone

Howdy, folks! If you didn’t know, I’ve been away for military things. I got back last night and I come with news!

Chasing the Tide is with beta readers and I’ve gotten their feedback back! Unfortunately, I cannot give you her full feedback because it would definitely ruin the book for you all. Instead, I’ll give you a small piece:

“Beautiful, sad, but beautifully said.”

That, of course, made me happy. Just waiting on two more! In the meantime, I’m going through Chasing the Tide edits and working with Crashing Souls. When I ‘m not doing either, I’m working on The Reigning Waves. I’m working hard! Here’s a teaser I posted last night, which was one of the beta reader’s favorite parts.

CTT JayTeaserNow playing Wasting My Young Years by London Grammar. This song is Crashing Souls all the way.

All my love,
Cynth

 

Volition by Lily Paradis (Review)

I’m going to start this post with a little backstory. Not of the book, so don’t get too excited because I am to keep all details to myself. I just feel like I need to be honest in order for you to take this review seriously.

Lily Paradis is not some random author. I didn’t just stumble upon her book. We’re friends and she sent me her book, which will be released on February 9th. I don’t think she expected the reaction I had to it. I’m letting you all know that, although we’re friends, this post is honest. I can only be honest about this book because Tate McKenna, the main character, demands it.

Volition

Synopsis:

You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach that stays with you, then tears you apart slowly at first, and all at once shreds every fiber of your being?

It’s because you’re contradicting the universe.

Everything lines up so perfectly that you couldn’t have imagined it to work out any better, but then you have to go and do everything humanly possible to ruin it because you can’t stand to have it go right?

That’s what I did. I did it because there’s a darkness that surrounds me, and I think I want it there.

My name is Tate McKenna, and my soul is blacker than my heart.

As you can see, the synopsis doesn’t give us much. You go into this book blindly. Does that make you nervous? It made me nervous. I was an idiot for being nervous. Almost immediately, we see Tate for her flawed ways. The greatest thing about this character is that she is her own worst enemy and, damn it, she’s one of the best villains I’ve ever read. Even when she’s being an absolute asshole, we’re on her side. And it’s about time someone wrote about women as they are. Am I always good and proper? No. Sometimes I’m the villain of the story. You connect with Tate because you recognize the sinner in her and it makes you feel like maybe you aren’t alone. You also relate with her situation. But that’s all I’ll say on her “situation” as the book hasn’t been released and blah blah. Pre-order the book because it’s only $1.99 and the price will go up after release.

Lily, you crazy, beautiful genius, your dedication was perfect and I knew all at once that this book was going to rip me to shreds. Are there going to be people who don’t like this book? Of course. Because what is beautiful is subjective. But you’ve created a story that will stick with me until I die.

Below I have the video I posted on my Instagram after reading the book. It was 4 o’ clock in the morning. I’ve also posted the teaser I made a few weeks ago.

LPTeaser

In Chasing the Tide news, I should have it back from Rosemi today! And it’s on Goodreads! I’ve also been working on The Reigning Waves.

Now playing Take Me to Church by Hozier.

All my love,
Cynth

Dealing with Reviews from Hell

I want to start this post off saying that when we sit down to read a book, our minds are always in a different place, wanting different things. One person might interpret a romantic scene as beautiful while another won’t understand how quickly they became attracted to one another. Once you understand that we are all on different paths, searching for different things, you’ll understand why some people love your book and others don’t.

I am fortunate to have been placed in situations that make harsh words laughable. If someone leaves me a bad review, I understand that my words just weren’t meant for them. I have a moment of “aw shucks” and then I move forward. I understand that a lot of people aren’t like that. Our words are our babies. We strung them together to create this wonderful story that we obsessed over for a great portion of our lives. We are then able to hold that work in our hands.

I’ve come up with the best possible solution, in my opinion. When you receive an unfavorable review, read it because there could be jewels in there. We as writers are always learning. If it’s just pointless bitching, let them bitch and ignore it. Once you’re done, take a deep breath. Now, remember the way you felt when you wrote those words. Will you apologize for what you wrote? Or for the fact that they didn’t like it? NO. Because you should never apologize for your feelings and when you were writing, you were feeling. Stand by your words, always. Does that mean screw the reader? NO. It means to chalk the story up as what has already been done. That story is gone. Like a balloon that you let go. Gone. Bye. Shake it off and show growth in your next story. Listen to your readers but never apologize for what’s already been done.

CS1

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you know by now that I’ve completed the first draft of Crashing Souls. It’s been so wonderful and I feel so much older/wiser this time around. I can’t wait for you all to read it! Tune in to my social media accounts tomorrow for a #TeaserTuesday post! :)

Now playing Lea Michele’s album, Louder. I’m not embarrassed to say that I love her so much.

All my love,
Cynth

Teaser Tuesday and Meeting Blue!

Hello! Another video is below but before you click play, check out the teasers for my upcoming releases this year!

CTTteasertuesdayCSteasertuesday

The Chasing the Tide teaser was made by myself and my cover artists (www.ingenioustekgroup.com) and the Crashing Souls teaser was made by me. I hope you liked them! Watch the video below. :)

I was playing Diamonds by Johnnyswim in the video and towards the end Hallelujah by Hannah Trigwell began to play.

All my love,
Cynth

Let’s Talk Crashing Souls (Video Update)

Click play! Winnie makes an impromptu appearance! :)

I was playing True Colors by Jules Larson. It’s a lovely rendition.

All my love,
Cynth

2014’s Lessons, 2015’s Blessings

OK. So today marks the last day of 2014. I’m sure you have all experienced your own triumphs and failures this year. I’d like to focus on something a little less tangible than sales and books. Let’s talk about lessons. Here’s a list of the things I’ve learned in 2014.

1. Trust yourself. A lot of times, I knew something wasn’t right. It felt like it in my gut. I know when something isn’t working in my writing and usually I know how to fix it. Never forget that you are the master of your own universe.

2. Embrace the crap reviews. I’ve had a few. Every author has them. It’s something we struggle with, especially the ones that are long in length and detail every single thing we did wrong in the reader’s opinion. Guess what? Everyone has an opinion, and most of the time, you aren’t going to like it. But drive on. Because for every person who doesn’t like your work, there are more who actually enjoy it.

3. You define your own success. This lesson comes straight from Rosemi. The first time I mentioned the word ‘success’ to Rosemi, she asked me what it meant to me. How would I know I was successful? Which leads me into number four.

4. Crave connection. My answer was along the lines of, when seventy strangers have reached out to me in regards to my work. It wasn’t a sale number, it wasn’t a dollar amount. I only wanted to connect with readers. That excitement, I love it! And I want it.

I’m hoping to learn many more things in 2015 and definitely have more books available to my readers. So far, we have Chasing the Tide and Crashing Souls slated for release in 2015. I hope you’re all as excited as I am. I shared a teaser for Crashing Souls on my Instagram account yesterday in celebration of hitting 60,000 words. It’s only right I share it here!

CSHere’s to 2015! Life has always been what you’ve decided to make of it. Much like the blank page before you start writing, let this year be an exceptional project for you!

Now playing Sex & the City the movie! Next is the second one! I’ve always loved Carrie Bradshaw.

All my love,
Cynth

Starting Over

I hope you all had a very happy Christmas! The day after always feels like a hangover, right? So, this morning I’m awake next to my sleeping husband and I had a thought: Crashing Souls is off. Something is wrong. Within the next hour, I figured out what was wrong, figured out how to fix it, did some research, and rewrote the beginning and many small pieces that brought the story to its rightful place.

When I first spoke to you all about Crashing Souls, I mentioned reincarnation and religion. Religion is likely the most controversial topic. I don’t want to force my opinions or beliefs on others. So, I took out the religion because it wasn’t working for the story. Dexter Andrews is no longer given the chance to return to earth by God. He is given the opportunity by the Angel of Death. Yes, the Grim Reaper.

See, the story couldn’t handle the weight of religion. Dexter was crumbling beneath it. It was the one thing I felt that was holding my characters back. I can’t say that I did this out of fear. I refuse to think that I’d change a story because of what people think. Rather, I did it for my story.

This brings me to the topic of being able to scrap things that don’t make sense in your work or that are hindering that massive jump in your word count (because I know word count is a big deal to some of us; it shows progress). I know a lot of us are temperamental and we become attached to our words. We love the climbing word count and the idea of deleting anything makes us want to cry.

But, think about it. What is writer’s block to you? Why do you think you experience it? Writer’s block, to me, is that moment where you lose sight of what your characters are telling you. You are too into your own thoughts. This isn’t your story. You are just here to tell it. So you have to stop thinking and just write, unless your characters are telling you it isn’t working early on, like mine told me today. Don’t be afraid to start over. Your eyes will be keener the second time around.

Fitz

Crashing Souls’ first draft should be done soon!

Now playing Moments by Tove Lo.

All my love,
Cynth