As an author you have to develop a thick skin. One of my recommendations to young/new authors just getting started is: Learn to accept criticism and negative reviews. The sooner you can do this, the better your writing will be for it and the sooner you can move on into becoming a “real” author. Until you can accept the bad with the good, the negative with the positive, and let them roll off your back, you’re not ready to enter the world of publishing.

That said, I’ve done a lot in the past few years to “grow up” a bit as a writer. I’ve learned to accept criticism and glean through it for what is helpful and disregard anything I totally disagree with. It’s not that it doesn’t still sting a little now and then, it’s that I have learned not to go on the defensive. I brace myself a little, sure, but I don’t get defensive. I try to accept negative remarks as constructively as possible and with grace. Oddly enough, it is now the positive reviews that evoke the most emotional knee-jerk response from me (thankfully, when it comes to positive feedback, I don’t have to be as guarded in my own response!)

That is why I am just overwhelmed right now. Last night, I couldn’t sleep. So I got up and started messing around on goodreads, where I discovered this post:

“Hello, I just created a new blog called The First 7500 words where I will be reading the first 7500 words of a novel and giving the writing a critique based on several different aspects of those first critical words. This idea is based off of the fact that readers only give a novel so long to prove itself. Will your work hold strong?”

Intrigued, because it sounded a lot like the excerpt phase of the ABNA contest (which I haven’t made it to in the past two years) I entered the contest. I expected a so-so response (I had no idea what sort of genre this blogger normally reads and enjoys, and her fun, snarky intro to the rules on her blog had me ready for a witty criticism, not necessarily an overly negative one, but I did not expect an overly enthusiastic positive review, and I was okay with that).

This morning, I read her review of my first 7500 words here and, yeah, I’ll admit it, teared up a time or two. Her sweet words about my writing truly overwhelmed me.

~ jenelle

Blogger Review

I have taken part in a couple of various “blogger review” programs, and decided that I should host my own version of it.

A few days ago I posted on my fan-page that I had 10 copies of my book available for free to the first 10 people to email me their address at jenelle.l.schmidt at gmail dot com. These free copies do come with a bit of fine print: you must be willing to read the book and then write a review to post on amazon and goodreads (and/or other sites such as barnesandnoble or on your own blog, if you are not familiar with goodreads).

Well… I still have FOUR (4) free copies to give out for my “blogger review” program, so if you are interested there is still time to send me your mailing address and I will send you a copy of my book!

~ jenelle


Blogger has changed its user interface all around, and I got behind on my blogging, and now I’m getting even more behind because I have to learn how to use blogger all over again, hence the lack of posting in the past week-ish.

I still have posts coming about:
“Why the Fantasy Genre?”
“Do you come up with themes first? Or do they just happen naturally as you write the story?” – a question I got from a former student and I thought it was an interesting question, because I really had to think about the answer.

I also have an actual website in the works (and it is going to look awesome!) Hopefully I’ll be able to share that with you soon and move this blog over there.

I also have to send a copy of my book to my library (now that I have copies on hand) and hope that they accept it into their circulation. If they do, I am hopeful that I will be able to have a book signing there maybe this summer. I will keep you apprised of those plans and happenings.

Also, if you are in the Raleigh, NC area and would like a signed copy of my book at a discounted price of $12, please let me know and we can arrange a way for you to get your copy.

If you live in the Wheaton, IL area and would like one of these discounted copies, I will be in town May 17-27. Let me know if you want to buy a copy and I’ll make sure to bring one for you!

I think that’s all I’ve got for now. Have a great rest of the week!

~ jenelle