Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ginger Simpson in the Author Spotlight

Pleasing the Critics? When Pigs Fly.

As if writing a book isn’t a daunting enough task, an author then faces the task of finding a publisher who actually likes it. Once you’ve accomplished that major feat and think you can take a deep breath, think again. Reviews! Just the mention of the word makes me shudder.
Reviews are as varied as book topics and movie themes. The future sales of one’s book or cinemascopic wonder depends how a written assessment slants. If the reviewer doesn’t like ONE particular thing in your story, and focuses on that, your sunk. Then, there are some reviewers, it seems, who feel the need to annihilate other people’s work. I’ve been on both sides of the fence–author/book reviewer. I’m not always crazy about the entire content, but I at least try to focus on the positive aspects of the book. There had to be some or it wouldn’t have been published or, in the case of movies, millions spent to film it. Face it!
For proof, I'm offering some varying examples.  Remember the movie, Australia? I suggested to my sister that we go see it. She’s very in to reading reviews to help her decide if she wants to spend the money for a ticket or read. Thank God, not everyone does. I give very little credence to the opinions of others when it comes to books or movies, because opinions are so subjective. Imagine if the success or failure of Hugh Jackman or Nicole Kidman depended on the following comments taken directly from Yahoo Movies:
The film was poorly shot with horrendous transitioning between digital animation and live scenery. "Australia" also took a long time to develop the storyline. The plot was predictable and feebly attempted to chase several "rabbit trails." But the most irritating part of the film was it’s failure to end! On multiple occasions, I expected the film to wrapping up only to realize there was more. I found myself begging for the credits.
Terrible in every sense of the word. The screen writer simply could not settle on what plot to write about. One moment, they were herding cattle. The next, fighting Japanese invaders. Unfortunately, these two stories didn’t connect in any way shape or form…and it was 3 hours of my life that I will never have back.
Hugh Jackman was ok. The film suffers from bad editing, a stupid ending, and the lacking ability to really draw the viewer in. Stunning visuals cannot save this film. It’s like LION KING:THE MUSICAL, meets MOULIN ROUGE, meets PEARL HARBOR, meets THE THORNBIRDS, meets THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER.
This movie was a mess. Worst I have ever had to sit through, and I almost walked out. Stupid plot, bad acting (Jackman did okay), worse dialog, ridiculous soap-opera close-ups, just plain awful. A poop-pile of the worst parts of Titanic (cheesy rich girl-poor boy love story), Mary Poppins (aghh the singing), Pearl Harbor (war mixed with gooey love scenes), Quigley Down Under (look at me I’m Aussie!), Cold Mountain (Nicole Kidman again), Josey Wales (the stupid ending), City Slickers (cattle drives!), Indy’s Temple of Doom (rescue the children for the village, Indy), and Commando (worst villain attempt of all time). You should miss this movie at all costs.
Okay…would you go see it now! Remember there are people who sat in the theater and saw a completely different film as evidenced by:
WOW!! I really can’t say enough good things about this movie. Everything was well done. The story line, the visuals were outstanding. It doesn’t surprise me that the critics didn’t really like it, but why would they when there was truth in what was being told. A definite must see.
I don’t write reviews ever but this one is worth taking the time and telling the world they must see this movie. My family spent time in Australia in 2006 and seeing this movie made us all feel home sick. This movie was exactly what Australia is like. Beautiful but harsh and full of unknown history. This movie covered so much of the life of Australians they way they lived and the way things are now. I can’t say enough. You must go see.
I see many movies and some leave no impact on me at all. This movie I will never forget. Nicole Kidman played her role to the max. Hugh Jackman was good also. But the one that touched me the most was the little boy he was excellent. If you enjoy a movie with a believable story,good acting and beautiful location settings this is your movie. It was well worth the 2 1/2 hours of running time. I never once looked at my watch that's how much I was into this movie. Go and enjoy this epic they are not made like this any more in Hollywood.
this film is outstanding! critics take themselves to seriously. the movie had it all, love, action, comedy, and adventure. I loved it. it may be 2 hours long but it is worth it. go see for yourselves. it is truly an epic!
To say that reviews are confusing is an understatement. I’ve been fortunate to have received mostly positive reviews, but I’ve read unfavorable ones of books and movies that I thoroughly enjoyed. Shocking, to see that others didn’t find the joy or excitement I did, but that’s life. Being an author requires a thick skin.  You will never be everyone's cup of tea no matter how hard you try. There will be highs and lows, so revel in the glow when it comes.
More importantly, don’t let another person’s opinion decide for you. That’s my point. Be your own judge and jury. The same goes for restaurants…food critics have caused the demise of some great eateries all because their taste buds were out of whack on one particular evening. It’s sad that we give someone that much authority over our lives. Like I’m going to put a lot of stock in the fact that Joe Blow doesn’t like a particular artichoke dip or spinach soufflé. I’ll be my the master of my own cuisine…reading tastes and movie preferences, too. If the sampling of reviews I offered doesn’t prove my point…then nothing will.

Odessa - available from Eternal Press
When the wagon carrying Odessa Clay and her father overturns, he is killed. She is left alone in the middle of the desert to try to find her way to kin in Phoenix. Hot, dry and scared, Odessa is near death when Zach Johnson finds her. Squinting up into his tanned and handsome face, she imagines she’s died and gone to heaven.
Would-be-outlaw, Zach comes across an unconscious woman alone in the middle of nowhere. Where did she come from? She appears young, but the curves beneath the dusty gingham say otherwise. He didn’t plan to become someone’s hero, but he cannot leave her helpless and stranded.
Will the promise of Odessa’s sweet lips lure Zach from the secret mission that has his gut twisted into a knot? His father’s ranch isn’t the only thing at stake—now it’s his heart, too.

After slipping the sheet music beneath the mattress, Odessa stripped down to her undergarments, hung her dress on the bedpost and crawled between the covers. She stifled a giggle. Zach would be surprised when she gave him the news of her plans, but she’d have to wait and pretend she found the job during the daytime. Believing she’d put something over on him brought a feeling of satisfaction. A smug grin tugged at her lips.
Fatigue from the long day embraced her. She plumped her pillow and pulled the blanket up beneath her chin. Releasing a relaxing sigh, she closed her eyes.
“You’ve been gone quite a while. Gonna tell me where you’ve been?” Zach’s deep voice cut the silence, startling her.
“Ah…I thought you were asleep.” “I’m sure you did.” He sat up, letting his blanket fall to his waist.
Distracted by moonlight from the window highlighting his bared chest and muscled arms, her alibi drifted right out of her mind. 

Ginger Simpson currently resides in Tennessee with her husband and biggest fan, Kelly. He believes he's the inspiration for all her romantic scenes, but Ginger won't verify his claim. Since the publication of her first book in May 2003, she has remained avid about adding to her accomplishments. Her favorite genre is western historical, but she has been known to dabble in other areas. A 2009 EPIC Nominee, she recently won the 2009 Best Historical Novel from Love Romances Cafe for Sparta Rose. She has added the beautiful banner to her wall with other stellar acknowledgments of her work. She retired to devote more time to writing, but her promotional efforts, blogging, tweeting, and interacting with new friends on author’s and reader’s loops have stymied her efforts. She watches her grandson, Spencer, in the afternoons, and besides seeing one of her books in a real "brick and mortar" store some day, her main goal is to help her little darling overcome the developmental delays Autism has foisted upon him. She's got that "million dollar" book in the works, and one day hopes to haul someone into Wal-Mart, point to her novel and say, "That's me." She proclaims that Grandma Moses didn't make it big until her "golden" years, so why not be a believer that good things come to those who wait...and wait...and wait. 


Jannine said...

I never go by what a critic says of a book or movie. I found that what he didn't like was what I liked.

When it comes to our personal book reviews, it's hard to open them up and read. You never know what the reviewer will say. I guess it's all part of the biz.

Good post, Ginger.

Roseanne Dowell said...

Like the saying beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so also are books. Everything is a matter of opinion. You can't please everyone.

Marie Higgins said...

Ginger, what a great blog. I totally agree with you. The worries authors go through is never ending. I wish we could please everyone, but we can't. Sad...

I really can not believe those bad reviews from Autralia. I LOVED THAT MOVIE!! Then again, I'm a die-hard fan of Hugh Jackman. But still, I thought it was a great plot! Go figure... lol


Margaret Tanner said...

Great blog Ginger.
I don't take much notice of critics either, let's face it, one man's meat is another man's poison.



Unknown said...

I'm one who cringes when I send a novel for review.

You are sooooo right. We can't please everyone and we shouldn't try. When we write a good story with a good plot we hope for the best.

Reader preference is what it comes down to. And I agree, I'll make my own choices.

I've seen movies that have won awards for being the best, and it often amazes me when I have seen the movie. I scratch my head and say "huh?"

Others, both books and movies, I think should have high ratings and don't. Well, I always did say I read from another planet. But, I'll stick to judging for myself.

Great post, Ginger.

Tabitha Shay said...

This is a great post, Ginger. I loved Australia. And ur right, a reviewer can make or break an author's books with just a few unkind words. There has to be something positive or the book or movie would never published or filmed...just as u said....U go girl, I've never known u to be wrong yet....Hugs...Tabs

Emma Lai said...

I never read movie reviews. Invariably the best rated movies are ones I hate while some with the worst ratings are my favorites.

If you're going to read reviews, the best thing to do is find one or two critics who consistently deliver opinions you agree with.

As a reader, I never read reviews.

As an author, I read reviews to determine if there were things I could have strengthened in my stories as well as to see if readers connected with my story in the way I meant them too. However, I always keep in mind, the review is just one person's opinion.

Great post!

Name: Holly Bowne said...

Wow, what a difference between those two reviews! I rarely read a review, but prefer to go by recommendations from friends for books and movies.

And as a writer, I agree, we have to remember we can't please everyone!

Unknown said...

Thank you all for coming to support me, and thanks again to Cate for featuring me on her blog.

Cate Masters said...

Happy to have you anytime, Ginger! Congrats on your release!