Monday, December 26, 2011

Guest--Author J.C. Phelps

I’ve been told one of the worst things you can do, other than describe the weather, is start off a novel and maybe a blog post, with an introduction to the character.
I did that in my first book, Color Me Grey, and I’m going to do it here.  Yeah, I suck.
My name is JC Phelps and I entered the self-publishing world back in 2004 – before Kindle/Nook.
It’s been one heck of a ride and something new always crops up.  For example, writing guest posts.  As if anyone wants to know what I have to say.  But, this is Mac!  I have to try.  Be interesting.  No pressure, nuh uhh…
He said I could write about anything I wanted to, so I will.  First of all I will give all you aspiring authors a rule that you should never break and then I will give you a reason to break it.
First, the rule:
DON’T read your reviews, but if you must - NEVER respond to a negative review. 
Now, a reason to not always follow the rules:
I met Mac when I was doing a Google search for my books/name.  Yes, I like to know what people think of my books. 
This post came up: Click
I immediately fell in love with Mac.  Okay, it took me a full paragraph to fall head over heels.  (Since we are both happily married, my little internet-crush is okay.  I double-checked with my hubby.)
This is the beginning of his second paragraph:  “One of those novels I downloaded for free made me hyperventilate. I had found a new,  favorite author.”
Oh. My. Gosh.  This was the best praise I had ever received and from some one I didn’t know.  I was so excited.  Then I read further.  Ha!  Mac pointed out several flaws and then threatened me!  No joke! 
Here’s proof:
“…I may have to hunt her down and bludgeon her about the head and shoulders.”
I read my reviews.  I don’t have anyone else to read them for me and I’m snoopy.  So, the first part of that rule broken, I broke the second part. 
Mac pushed me over the edge.  He toyed with my emotions.  He had me so happy one moment and then looking over my shoulder the next.  I had to respond. 
Granted, the review was actually a very good one, so the response wasn’t a complete break of the rule.  But, the fact that he seemed a little menacing was too much for me to resist.  A girl likes a little danger from time to time.
I’m very happy he threatened me, otherwise I might not have been compelled to comment to thank him for his review.  What I like to think of as a great relationship has grown from his generosity, honesty and humor.
The two of us email back and forth and help each other with whatever we can.  A very fruitful relationship has been building over these past months that I hope will continue once Mac becomes rich and famous.  It’s who you know and not what you know, after all.
So, in conclusion, follow your heart before you follow the rules – as long as it’s in good humor.
Thanks for the opportunity to tell this story, Mac.  It is one of my favorites I’ve collected during my publishing journey.

Amazon author page:
My Facebook info: (Author fan page)
Author Profile page:


  1. Thanks for letting me post to your blog, Mac.

  2. Praise without spot-on criticism is like smoking crack cocaine on a sugar high: Forget about bettering my writing. Where can I find another happy reader? It feels so good.

    The reviews I read of CJ’s first work first work sounded studied and insightful with many potentially relevant issues that speak to the need for improvement. Even Mac’s review was mixed.

    Don’t read the reviews? Do readers go out of their way to piss on your parade? I think not. Surely they have other things to do. They took a day or more to read your work then another day to think about it and maybe an hour or more to scratch out their impressions. Not reading or saying you won’t read them is disrespectful to the very people you wish to please, the very folk you want to gather in your fold. Oh, yeah, it should help you be a better writer, too.

    I’m all for encouraging folk that have skill. I’m even there with a pat on the back for the dreamers. But I’m damn hard on each. You want a day of the last years of my life? Earn it. Make me hyperventilate, but spelling errors and plot muddling makes me want to choke someone. After the sugar coating wears off, the bitter good medicine can do its work.