Pssst…want to know a little secret? Reviews make me happy!

Leave a Review

My First BookTube Interview

So, I’m relatively new to the term ‘BookTube’ and up till about two weeks ago, I hadn’t even heard of it. If you don’t know what it is either, I assure you – it’s not complicated – it’s YouTube’s name for the bookish who blog about their current reading material, and what’s scheduled to come. Some even do interviews with authors and other readers. Book Nerd Paradise is one such spot for YA Fantasy, and they reached out to me earlier this Fall to come on their YouTube channel and talk about Dying to Forget. How could I say no?! Take a peek when you have time (there’s a signed print book giveaway involved for those who view and leave a comment) and please don’t forget to give the video a ‘like’!


 

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Thank you for having me on, Book Nerd Paradise! And *clears throat* just a teensy little disclaimer for the viewers: this is my first YouTube interview (my first video interview, in fact), and I have some learning to do about lighting and camera quality and posture so that I don’t look as puffy as a marshmallow! In my darkish living room, in front of my laptop camera, I’ve got quite the implied squishy double-chin thing going on that is not flattering in the least. lol But, all joking aside, please let me know if you’d like to see more of this kind of thing on YouTube, or here on the site. Definitely take a peek at some of the other authors featured on the Book Nerd Paradise channel, and give BNP a subscription and/or follow online for more YA Fantasy interviews!

Happy Monday, y’all!


If you liked this post, please don’t keep it a secret! Like it. Share it. Comment. I’ll send some Karma Brownie Points your way.

How to be a Jerk Reviewer

In the deepest shadows hidden behind the cyber sparks of the ever-reaching interwebs, the Jerk Reviewer thrives on the quiet anguish of authors and the attention of unsuspecting potential book buyers. Make no mistake, the Jerk Reviewer is real, be this person female, male, child or adult. I’m mostly talking about ebook reviewers, but since the explosion of the online review, everyone is an expert and no one is accountable for what they say online – and not just for books, but for everything they spend a buck on. It’s become a bit of an epidemic – the idea that because you can, you should. We’ve all read a book we didn’t like. Some we’ve even hated. But not everyone will leave a truly appalling review of those books online. It takes a special kind of reader to do that.

So, today we’re talking about the less than classy reviews many books receive (some are even from other authors, which just confuses the hell out of me). Quickly, let me explain that I do not feel as if all critical reviews are jerky. On the contrary, critical reviews are just as important as favorable reviews and can actually be helpful. Obviously from the side of an author, the more favorable the reviews, the better. But the critical ones, done right, can be good at times. Authors learn what their readers want, and that’s not something any amount of stars (be it a one star or five star review) will validate.

Anyway, let’s not digress. I’d like to get down to the nitty-gritty, slice ’em and dice ’em, blood-letting, scathing and immature reviews that I want to pin an award on for making the mad dash to the top of the Jerk Review pile.

But, what exactly is a Jerk Review? Well, every reviewer has a different style, but I see the purpose of a book review as the reader’s place to honestly say how the book made them feel, and if they would recommend it to another. This isn’t Rocket Science, but it’s gotten so darn complicated and upsetting and it doesn’t need to be! If the reviewer lavishes insults, discloses spoilers or dumps an entire synopsis, attacks the author or other readers who enjoyed the book, rated the book even though they didn’t read or finish it, nit-picks absolutely every detail in the plot because they know better, or drops a fake 1 star review for the hell of it, etc…then ladies and gents, you have a Jerk Reviewer.

Some of the negative reviews I’ve read (not just on my own, mind you) are so HORRIBLE that one is only left to assume that the reviewer was intentionally being harsh because they hope that someone out there will eventually read their words. They are looking for a platform. They want to be hurtful. Slit open the author’s wrist and pour acid in it. But why do this?

The ease in which anyone can review anything online sort of gives those playground bullies the chance to lash out with one difference – they aren’t on the playground anymore. The public can’t ‘see’ these people, their faces, their names. They get to hide behind the safety of their computer and continue pissing people off without much consequence, if any.

In a way, the negative book review process has become a bit of an art form. It takes practice, skill and a lack of empathy for others. I almost feel like this is a job and someone out there regularly takes applications for Jerk Reviewer positions. I mean, is it exciting, flaming a book or author online and then brushing off your hands and moving on to the next book on your Kindle? It can’t be. Even with the influx in the publishing world and all the NOT great titles out there, do the writers deserve to be treated the way they are online? Probably not. Reading is supposed to be a form of entertainment. If a book didn’t entertain, then move on and find another. Why the compulsion to jump online and rip it to shreds for every stranger out there to see? I think it takes a certain kind of person to do such things. Whether they realize what they are doing (uh, probably) or not.


Let’s discuss just HOW one can be a top notch Jerk Reviewer:

Make it personal

Well, duh. The author must be a novice. A child. Totally lacking any imagination or skill. So point all of this out. The more personal you make your review about how awful the book was, and how it stole precious time from your day that you will NEVER get back, and how you would have rather hung upside down from a tree while fire ants devoured your skin than read the book to the end. This book ruined your LIFE. Make sure the author is aware just how miserable you feel knowing that the book exists and you, poor sap that you are, spent an entire $2.99 on it then threw away your Kindle because it made you vow to never read another book again. This book killed literature for you and everyone should know it. You quit.

Here’s a woman who just moseyed on over to her laptop one day under the misconception that she’s a writer to the detriment of the reading public on whom she seeks to foist this rubbish that evinces an utter lack of any skill.

Go heavy on the insults

I mean…really, really heavy. Don’t just say the plot was unrealistic, the main character was too predictable, the author is dumb, etc…go ALL the way and really let it rip. The meaner, the better. As far below the belt that you can hit the writer, the more people will understand your pain. Don’t beat around the Amazon bush, make all readers aware that this author SUCKS BALLS. This isn’t the time to leave a ‘nice’ negative review. Give your insults some creative spice, will ya?

There is no way this book deserves this many 5 star reviews. The only explanation I can come up with is that the author has paid huge bucks to an online reputation management company, essentially buying votes. Either that, or maybe she belongs to a mega-church which has somehow convinced legions of true believers that a good review for this book gets them one step closer to heaven. CERTAINLY there can be no discerning readers who actually LIKED this utter piece of garbage.

Be a know it all

I mean, you already ARE, so why not show the world how utterly perfect your life is by ripping apart the plot of a book and pointing out what you feel are all the mistakes. Ignore completely the fact that fiction writing is  ‘not real’ and really let the author and potential readers know that black holes ‘don’t work that way’. I mean, jeesh, don’t authors do ANY research?

While the plot was pretty interesting,it required the reader to suspend common sense. Survivors finding places that still had electricity and running water stretches credibility even if the place had solar.

Spoilers are awesome

Seriously, they are the best thing since smartphones. The plot, the climax, the ending, who dies…BLAB ABOUT EVERYTHING. Because all those potential readers out there truly want to know exactly how the story plays out before they buy it. Really, it’s your civic duty to save them the time spent reading the book themselves when you can simply dump a synopsis in your review.

HERE BE SPOILERS…

The customer is always right

And the customer is you. You rule, authors drool. No matter what your complaint about a book you read, nothing anyone says can compare. Remember this rule, because you’ll be forced to defend it at times. But push all those little authors under your feet and stand atop them as tall and proud as you deserve to be. The book was too expensive, the research was bunk, the author shouldn’t have named the characters that, and the cliff-hanger ending was lame. The reader knows best. So you are right. Always, always right.

Can anyone leave a comment here that might help me to be inspired to read any more of this story? Go ahead, tell me where the plot goes in the comments…Oh, and I just have to point out a few technical issues…Geesh. Better stop ranting, huh? This book is very weak…Even if you get this one for free, “buyer beware” is my advise (i.e., don’t bother).

Review like a five-year old

The best thing to do in your shaming review is to lecture an author about their editing as if you have the writing ability of a Kindergartener. This gets your point across rather well. People love kids, right? Plus, if the book wasn’t written perfectly, why should you bother to leave your review with anything less than unreadable words? Pffft, review legibility is so overrated when the book already sucked.

l hated the book.l would give it a 1 star.
it didn’t tell me where to start.it didn’t tell
me about the story it gost telled about dog’s
l dilated it from my reader it was horebol

Be King of the Trolls

You hated a book so much that it made you homicidal, but since you’re afraid of going to jail for the rest of your life, your best bet for revenge is to hit up the author’s other works with a bunch of low reviews. And make them mean. You didn’t like one, so it’s totally impossible that you would like the others, even if they are totally different books. And while at it, downvote all the good reviews and leave nasty comments on them because clearly those readers didn’t read the same book you did. This is a no-brainer. Troll away!

Read and review everything, Even the genres you hate

You LOVE thrillers, but you can’t be a high-ranking Reviewing God unless you read the paranormal erotica, sci-fi and cozy mysteries too. Don’t bother reading the blurbs for your titles beforehand because if the book is not what you expected, it’s obviously the author’s fault, not yours. Grab up all the books you can, regardless of genre, description, price or length, because if it’s published, surely the book is meant for you to read, right?

It did not take long for me to realize that somehow, I mistakenly got this book while searching for Christian fiction. I deleted it.

DIY

The book you just finished was so awful you are certain that you could do it better yourself, so make that clear with the author by telling them what they did wrong, and how you could do it right. They are obviously not the professional if they didn’t write the plot the way you wanted it to go. You’ve been reading Paranormal Romance for twenty years. YOU know exactly what should’ve been in that vampire series. Where’s your pen and paper?

Bland characters, boring plot. Here’s a test. If I moved all the action to the local coffee shop and replaced the dogs with, let’s say, donuts, would I have the same book? Yes.

Be A sneaky bastard

You heard about this book and went online to check it out and saw that it has a bunch of glowing 5 star reviews. It appears that most of the readers loved the book more than their cats, but that’s not possible, is it? The author must have paid for all those fake positive reviews. Surely the book has flaws, and the description isn’t totally earth-shattering to you, so go ahead and give it a big fat 1 star with the words, ‘I won’t even bother reading this book.’ Or better yet, lie. Say you did, but you couldn’t finish it. You won’t be the first person to do that, but hey, at least your point was made.

Didn’t read it.

Bitch about the price

The first book in a series was free for your Kindle, so why the hell would the author charge $3 or even $5 for the follow ups? Are they crazy, or just plain greedy? I mean, that’s an entire coffee to-go right there! And we all know that authors are swimming in the Benjamins. Sure, you really liked the first book, even left a full in-depth review all about the plot when it came out just to help the lowly readers considering what to read next, but you were expecting the second book to be free too. What are you supposed to do now? Don’t go down without a fight. There’s a plethora of pirating sites where you can surely find an illegally downloaded copy of this allusive second book, but the chances are high you’ll have to input your credit card info and possibly have it stolen in the future, or that you might download a nasty ass virus onto your computer instead of the book file. Hmmm…decisions, decisions.

I got the first book of this series free, and after reading it and coming to the cliff hanger ending it had, I decided to buy this book to see what happens…The very obvious attempts to try to get people to keep sending her money by purchasing each installment is obnoxious to me.


And there you have it – the Jerk Reviewer’s Basic Guide 1.0 to leaving a killer bad review. Or, in other words, the list of what NOT to do if you regularly read and review books. Unless you don’t mind being the kind of reviewer most authors would rather not have as readers at all. Because in truth, like said above, reading is about entertainment. It’s an escape from life, and if a book just doesn’t do it for ya, perhaps you are reading the wrong things. I encourage my readers to leave honest and spoiler-free reviews, but it’s not my job to ask people to be tactful or remember that writers are people too. When it comes down to it, us writers love writing and love our loyal readers. We want to keep you happy. Truly, we do.

Obviously this post was dripping with sarcasm in parts, and makes a mockery of a very valid issue. Why? Because if I can read my one star reviews or those of my writer friends and survive – laugh even – then I’ve lived another day worth living. And I’ll continue to do my best, writing another book worth reading.

Happy reading (and reviewing), everyone!

Review Milestone

I woke this morning with a goal to do workish things while my kids struggle to wake up and function enough for school work, and my quick peek on Amazon divulged a rather awesome review milestone in the making!

Dying to Forget is only one spot away from 400 reviews (in the regular Amazon store – I’m not knocking those of you in other territories who have read and reviewed – thank you SO much). Mostly positive, some critical and a few…well…harsh. lol I think this is amazing, so to celebrate these 399 reviews, while trying not to bite my nails waiting for the next one to come in, I’ve decided to pull some of my favorite positive and negative reviews and share them with you here. Sure, some might see this as tortuous behavior, but I swear, I’m 100% fine. *wink*

THE GOOD

Hannah Grace says: ASTOUNDING! Dawson is a very good author, and she also makes her books very interesting. I highly recommend reading one of her books if you love adventure and creative and imaginative stories. 😉

Alicia says: Tragically Beautiful. Dying to Forget was tragic, heartbreaking, beautiful, compelling, interesting, curious, an experience from start to finish. I don’t want to give a SINGLE thing away!! I read this in 1 sitting, and I was shown mercy, as this series continues in Dying to Remember, which I just want to buy so badly I can’t think of how to express how extremely touching, comforting, and memorable the 1st Station book was!

All I will say is I kind of foresaw the end, and I’m extremely intrigued to see where it goes. I also can safely say that on her journeys, I love how creative and full of perspective Piper was.

I recommend this book-to all ages and to all people whatever stage of life they’re in. It’s a book about hope and 2nd chances, and at 171 pages, I would’ve stayed up much later than 1:16 am to finish this 1st installment! WELL DONE! Thank goodness it’s not over yet!!

Joyce D says: I loved reading Dying to Forget. I loved reading “Dying To Forget: The Station Series 1”. I read it straight through as soon as I got it. Trish Marie Dawson writes with a good sense of humor on a very sensitive subject. It is very believable and one can feel very confident in life after life after reading it. The issue of suicide is often not addressed because of the sensitivity of it, but this is a very believable look at a probable way of bringing it to the attention of those who might contemplate suicide as a way of escaping the trials of life on this Earth. I’m anxious to read the other two books in the series as well.

Coffee says: Makes me think differently. Wow. My whole thought process just went “GASP” at the ending. Absolutely wonderful read. Had a very hard time putting this book down. Cannot wait to read book two. This book really made an impact in how I think. Maybe it’s not just me in my head….

Kirstin says: Once you start, be prepared to read the whole book. You know that little voice in the back of your head, guiding you in the right direction? Do you listen to it? Not everyone does, but after reading Dying to Forget, you may listen a bit more…

This is a strong character driven story and series that tackles serious issues in a comfortable and relatable manner. I was impressed with the way the author handled it.

and the ending… WOW… all I can say is that I was glad I already had book 2 on hand because I started right after.

THE BAD

Peg says: Story idea good, but no real story line to grab and hold you. Liked the idea of a way station after death and a possible second chance. The writing was okay that’s why a 2 star review but the seriousness of suicide was totally glossed over. By half way thrum the books just closed it and left it unread. The story dragged with no point left to the story line.

M Anderson says: A smudge above average. In Dying To Forget, the main character, Piper Willow, is someone who I can empathize with on many levels. Her development is steady and logical, and the overall story is sweet. What starts out as a truly depressing introduction, turns into a lovely read.

But this is where the rise in Star points peters out. The writing style is mildly juvenile- things phrased the way I would expect a high school student to phrase things, conversationally and descriptively speaking. The plot twists were a bit obvious though I didn’t mind that so much as I minded the end. When I read the last words of the book, I had the sensation that when the author wrote them, she did so with a loud and machiavellian “Dun-Dun-DDUUUNN!” Queue creepy, hokey B-rate movie suspense music. Had there not been a “duh, of course that’s how this book would end” combined with the obvious attempt at leaving us readers with a Thrill to follow into the next book, I would have made it four stars, not three.

Otherwise, it’s a good quick read. To anyone around 16 years old and looking to read something interesting enough to pull you from your own reality for a few hours, I highly recommend this book.

THE UGLY

Jennifer says: Horrible. This book is not badly written, but that is the only good thing I can say about it. Most likely, as I don’t find suicide romantic, I should have not even started this, but I read the reviews and hoped maybe it would be worth it. And it was free that day.

The real problem I found in this book is the complete glossing over of the suicide. There is no pain, graphic description of just how horrible what she did was or how awful for those she left behind. In fact, it read to me as though if you kill yourself you get to maybe have a new chance at romance even.

While authors are not held to the duty of raising children, if you are going to write a YA story about suicide, at least have the decency to make it obvious that your after life is worse than the life you killed yourself to leave. Make it clear that you don’t get it better once you go, so maybe instead of seeing it as a way out, a way to a better place, someone would see it as an awful choice and make another one.

Redaim says: How did this book get such great reviews? This was one of the most pointless books I have EVER read. I read all the reviews and it sounded so good, but the story was seriously lacking in any type of plot and downright stupid. I kept wondering when it was going to get better and live up to all the reviews…but then it just ended.

Abby says: Nope. read the first chapter and thats as far as I got. usually I can wait to see if it gets better but I think it was just the writing style that got so far under my skin that I just had to stop reading.


Why did I share more positive reviews than negative ones? Because there are over 250 five-star reviews, and over 100 four star reviews. I think this is pretty awesome. And those people deserve a shout out. But don’t worry…I will definitely be working hard to make my writing style more enjoyable, my plot lines less pointless and will make it MORE clear that I don’t support suicide, and neither do the main characters in the Station books. In fact, I’ve gotten more private messages from people I don’t know, explaining how these books helped them during tough times – even keeping them from self-harming. And that right there, is beyond amazing.

Piper Willow would love to hug each and every reader and reviewer, and kindly remind them she is a figment of my imagination, but very much real in everyone’s hearts. Not everyone reviews a book after they read it – a small percentage do, actually – so thank you for taking the time, if you’ve reviewed. I hope to keep you entertained for many years to come. And if you have NO idea what the Station is all about – check it out yourself – the first book is FREE and available on Amazon, Nook, Smashwords and even iBooks. Happy Reading!

XOXO – Trish

beautiful blonde in a hat. hipster style

Interview with Hutch & A’ris!

Well, it’s Friday – finally! And like promised, I have the stars from The Dry Lands here today for an interview. Everyone, meet the rugged Krane Hutch and our heroine, A’rissandra Brynx! While you settle in with your eBook copy of TDL with a cup of coffee, or something a bit stronger, I’ll get Hutch and A’ris situated in their seats.

469925ce1cef18560ef8bae49830fc6edc83d1beca133a254a16fc89fd047883*fluffs sofa pillows…arranges water cups…dusts off keyboard* Ready?

TMD: So, I’ll start with A’ris. Ladies first. *wink*

KH: Are you sure she’s a lady? *ducks from flying pillow hurled by a flushed-faced A’ris*

TMD: Fine, I’ll start with you, Hutch.

AB: She did say ladies first. *giggles*

TMD: *clears throat* Okay…Hutch. I think readers would like to know more about your little tryst on the Worker ship that got you tossed, quite literally, onto the Dry Lands.

AB: *giggles stop* Yeah, Hutch. Tell us about your tryst.

KH: *smiles sweetly* I have a way with the ladies. Let’s just say it was an experience I’ll never forget.

AB: *mumbles something under her breath*

TMD: What was that, A’ris?

AB: *lifts chin and straightens shoulders* Of course he won’t forget it. He was thrown out of a hovering ship to the ground where he broke most of the bones in his body…all because he couldn’t keep his pants on.

KH: Who said I took my pants off?

AB: *gasps* You’re horrible!

TMD: If I didn’t know better, I’d say you’re trying not to laugh, A’ris.

AB: I am not! *clamps hand over mouth*

KH: *leans over to poke A’ris in the ribs* She’s a really bad liar, can’t you tell.

TMD: And you consider yourself a trust-worthy person, Hutch?

*the room falls under an awkward silence*

AB: Are you going to answer that, Hutch?

KH: *pauses* Well. I’d say I’m a good man who has done more than a few not so great things. Some…bad things, actually. Would I call myself trust-worthy? I don’t know.

AB: *rolls her eyes* Of course you are. *looks at me* He is. Though he’s made some mistakes. But haven’t we all?

TMD: Yes. We have. *clears throat* A’ris, can you tell us more about your relationship with your father? Why are the two of you so estranged?

AB: *sighs* I had a feeling you would ask about him.

TMD: *smiles* That is my job.

AB: *laughs hollowly* Yes, it is. Well. What can I say about my father? He’s a bastard. A selfish man that wants nothing but his own pleasure. And now that I know he’s kept our planet poor and destitute on purpose, it makes me hate him more.

TMD: Did something happen between the two of you that brought those feelings to the surface?

AB: *squirms uncomfortably* I can’t talk about…that. Not yet.

TMD: Okay. Moving on.

KH: Yes, lets. You’ve made the girl uneasy.

TMD: And you are quite protective of ‘the girl’, aren’t you?

KH: *smiles* I have my moments.

TMD: Hutch. Would you say you’ve changed, since meeting A’ris?

*watches as color begins flushing his neck*

KH: Sure, haven’t we all?

AB: *playfully slaps Hutch’s leg* Behave.

KH: I am. This is me – behaving.

TMD: What about you, A’ris? Have you changed?

AB: *leans back and stares up at the ceiling beams* Oh, yes. I’d say everything has changed. In good ways and bad. But meeting Hutch has been a surprise.

KH: A happy one?

AB: Can’t you be serious for one minute, Hutch?

KH: I am being serious. I can’t drive you crazy all the time, can I?

TMD: Sure you can. I think you drive each other crazy in equal amounts. It’s what makes your relationship work. Or am I wrong?

AB: No, you are not. Next question?

TMD: Just one left. *shuffles papers* A’ris, TDL ends on quite a cliff-hanger. Can you give us any insight into what happens next?

AB: *chews lower lip* Hmmm. If I could tell the future, you’d bet I’d want that question answered above all others.

TMD: So, nothing? No tid-bits?

KH: The Princess gets to use a gun, right? Tell me, she does. Because I really want to see that. *ducks as A’ris lifts another pillow* What? Not every girl can pull off that look, and you do it nicely. *takes a face-full of pillow with a laugh*

AB: I apologize for his brutish behavior. He’s not been properly trained. *swallows a laugh* But he’s right. I wear a gun rather well.

*No photo copyright intended. Individuals are not affiliated with The Dry Lands in any way. All images link back to source.