Presumably almost all authors have the experience of getting both good and bad reviews for their books. And while bad reviews may sometimes be justified, for an author it is particularly infuriating when the bad review is based on an erroneous interpretation of what was actually written.
This experience happens to me every so often for my women’s friendship novel MRS. LIEUTENANT, which takes place in 1970 during nine weeks at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, during one AOB (Armor Officers Basic) class.
Sometimes a negative review is connected to a reader’s views about the Vietnam War. These readers read into the story their own experiences and expectations.
But recently a review chastised me for mistakenly saying that all warrant officers were helicopter pilots. What I actually said was that all the warrant officers in this particular AOB class were helicopter pilots because they had been offered, due to this circumstance, a very specific option.
Rationally I can understand that the person attacking my “error” believed she was setting straight the status of warrant officers. But as an author I cannot help feeling irked that what I wrote was misunderstood by a reader.
Of course, authors cannot ensure that every word we write is understood correctly. Yet, when we review books by other authors, I hope we all consider whether we have correctly understood what was written. It is important to take a moment and think about such things instead of jumping to conclusions that an author has gotten something wrong.
I’m wondering if my writing a dystopian thriller set 36 years in the future will prevent the occurrence of these kinds of misunderstandings of what I have written. Or perhaps this is too much for which to hope?
You can read the first chapters of THE MOTHER SIEGE: A DYSTOPIAN THRILLER by clicking on http://budurl.com/MSintro and then clicking on the dropdown table of contents.
© 2013 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and the romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY.