The Vampires of New England Series--Inanna Arthen



Rewriting The Rules


October 31, 2013

Guest Blog Post and Free Books!

I’m guest-blogging today on Susan Hanniford Crowley’s Nights of Passion blog! “Treating the Eye, Tricking the Imagination” Answer a question (it’s thoughtful, not trivia) to be entered in the giveaway contest for copies of both All the Shadows of the Rainbow and The Longer the Fall.

And don’t miss the one-day-only Halloween BOGO special for the Vampires of New England Series! Until midnight (Eastern Time), October 31, if you buy any ebook edition of All the Shadows of the Rainbow directly from the publisher, you can request a free download code for one of the other books in the series (Mortal Touch or The Longer the Fall). Direct downloads are securely managed via e-junkie.com. Choose epub, mobi (Kindle) or PDF editions. Go to By Light Unseen Media’s Facebook Page for details (and Like Us while you’re there!).

May 27, 2012

The “50 Shades of My Life That I’ll Never Get Back” Giveaway!

Did you read any or all of the 50 Shades books and now require some literary therapy? A chaser, of sorts, to rinse the taste out of your stunned mental palate? Something to restore your shaken faith that there are good books out there? Reassurance that yes, it is safe to read again?

Then I have a giveaway offer for you!

Send me an email saying “I need something to read after 50 Shades, please help!” and I’ll send you a code number for a free download of one book in The Vampires of New England Series (your choice), in your preferred format (epub, mobi [Kindle] or PDF).

All I ask in return is that you post a review of the book somewhere (your choice: Amazon, GoodReads, Barnes & Noble, your own blog, etc.) after you read it!

The two available titles are:

Mortal Touch (a little sex, rated PG-13)

The Longer the Fall (more sex, rated R)

Click on each title to read more about each book. A sample (PDF) is available for each one.

Send an email to iarthen [at] inannaarthen [dot] com before 11:59 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 31, and I’ll send you the code. Don’t forget to say what format of ebook you want! Ebook downloads are facilitated by e-junkie.com.

Of course, if you read any or all of the 50 Shades books and really loved them, but you still think you might enjoy The Vampires of New England Series, you may have a free ebook, too! Just send me an email, and please post a review of the book when you can.

Don’t wait! Giveaway ends when May does!

March 24, 2012

A brief reflection about (bad) reviews

Over the past couple of years, there have been a number of instances in which authors responded rudely to negative reviews online, leading to furious arguments and violent accusations in the comments sections of book blogs, the author’s blog, various third-party blogs, the book’s Amazon page, everyone’s Twitter feeds…etc, etc, etc. The basic rule that all this unpleasantness has reinforced, for authors more mature than a twelve-year-old, is: Never Respond to a Negative Review. EVER.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. No book can appeal to every reader. Accept the criticism with grace and see what you can learn from it (even if only, “don’t query that reviewer again”). Etc, etc, etc.

But this is bothering me lately, because I’m currently finishing my third novel, All the Shadows of the Rainbow, which is the direct sequel of my second novel, The Longer the Fall. Readers have not been as fond of The Longer the Fall as they were of Mortal Touch, the first book in the series. It isn’t selling nearly as well and it’s gotten, and is getting, much more luke-warm reviews from readers.

The thing is: I’d like to know why.

I really would. Seriously. I’d like to ask the people who just weren’t sure about it, or even the readers like the one who gave it one star on Amazon, “Why didn’t you like it?” Because most of them don’t really say!

I wish I could ask them: “Can you be specific? Can you say exactly how the story failed you? Can you pinpoint where it lost you? Can you tell me what you hoped it would do? What changes would have made it a better book for you?”

The Longer the Fall has its champions, including people who like it better than Mortal Touch. I like it better than Mortal Touch. But when I read people’s comments about The Longer the Fall, I feel that I failed to make the story as clear as I should have. I felt that Mortal Touch should have been edited more tightly, and so I edited The Longer the Fall so ruthlessly, I’m afraid that I took out too much, assumed too much, left too many points unclear.

I won’t say “readers aren’t getting it,” because that’s condescending and puts all the blame on them. I failed those readers in communicating what I needed to. I failed them as a writer. They wouldn’t have started reading the book at all if they hadn’t had positive expectations. They wouldn’t have finished it if something hadn’t kept them going. How did I, as a writer, end up disappointing them so badly?

Now, as I work on All the Shadows of the Rainbow, which like The Longer the Fall is all about magic, and features the same protagonist, Diana Chilton, I really wish I could access my readers’ expanded evaluations and reactions, especially the readers who are critical of the second book. And I can’t ask. At least, I can’t ask directly. Maybe these readers can’t really analyze their own reactions any further, themselves.

But for a writer, nothing really matters (or should matter) more than the reactions of readers, because writing is a collaboration between the author and the reader. When communication is the essence of your being, and you feel like you’ve messed up in a major way, well, it doesn’t feel very good. It’s really frustrating that etiquette so sternly denies us writers the chance to ask our disappointed readers, “I appreciate your candor, could you tell me more?”

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