Hi, I’m Mike. I’m a novelist.
You have no idea how gratifying it was to write that.
My debut novel, The Daedalus Incident, comes out May 7 from Night Shade Books. I’m excited to join my fellow scribes here at the Night Bazaar, and I can see I’m in very talented company. I’ll do my best to keep up.
I’m no stranger to criticism about my writing. Spending 15 years as a journalist will do that. I sometimes joked that if everybody hated an article, I must’ve done something right that day. I reviewed the first iMac for ABCNEWS.com, and let me tell you, if that doesn’t earn you a thick skin, nothing will. (Love you, Apple fans! Please…don’t hurt me.)
I admit, though, this is different. Daedalus is my first novel, and I want everybody to love it as much as I do. They won’t, of course, and all my reporter braggadocio will wither in the face of the slings and arrows sent my way by reviewers who think sailing ships in space is an awful idea. I’m stocking up on tissues and ice cream as we speak.
But in all seriousness, I want honest feedback. This is my first book, after all, and if all goes well, it won’t be my last. Good criticism is a major part of improvement as a writer, and I will accept it with good grace.
The SF/F community, online and off, has been very welcoming, and there’s already been some kind things said about the book, or at least its premise. I’ve gotten to know some reviewers via Twitter and such, and they seem like good-hearted, fair individuals. I look forward to their thoughts.
Will the one-star trolls on Goodreads and Amazon drive me crazy? Of course. They drive everybody crazy. But I’d like to think that most genre fans know to look past these alleged reviews and seek out more thoughtful opinions. And so long as those critiques are fair and well-intentioned, I’ll own them.
A thought on critics, as opposed to reviewers: A reviewer tells you if he or she liked the book, and why. Critics, in my mind, are the folks who spend a ton of time thinking about the genre, read voraciously, and seek to place the book in the broader context of SF/F. They contribute a great deal to the genre, beyond simply stating their opinion on the book itself. If a critic deigned to review The Daedalus Incident, I’d be thrilled, no matter what they said.
Well, almost no matter what they said. If it sucks, I don’t want to know.
Michael J. Martinez is the author of The Daedalus Incident. He blogs at www.michaeljmartinez.net and Tweets at @mikemartinez72. You can bid on a signed galley of the book over at Con or Bust, with auction proceeds going toward helping people of color attend SF/F conventions. The auction starts Feb. 9 and wraps up Feb. 24. Bid early, bid often, and read it before it hits the shelves!