How to Find the Silver Lining in a Bad Review

Well, it had to happen eventually; I received a few negative reviews of my novel “COUGAR!” after the Amazon promotional campaign last week that gained us around fifteen thousand new readers.  Now there are negative reviews and there are negative reviews, but a couple of mine were downright hateful, and at first glance did not seem very helpful as a critique of my writing abilities.  To be honest, my bad reviews in the last two years number in the single digits, and my good reviews number in the triple digits, so I can dismiss some of these as people picking up the wrong book by accident and finding out that I wrote a fictional conspiracy thriller when they were looking for another genre altogether. Okay, unlike other writers, I received a bad review, the question is; How do I use this review constructively?  The first thing that I do is to filter out any criticism that deals with the philosophical differences that the reviewer might have with me, or what they assume about me from what I’ve written.  Once that filter is in place, I am then in the position to accept or reject the remaining criticisms of my work. As an example, my first novel, “COUGAR!”, went to an editor who worked with me to correct the most glaring sins of both omission and commission.  When we had finished this laborious undertaking, I overwrote the original manuscript with the edited and corrected version, not knowing that having Adobe Acrobat installed on my older computer with Windows 2003 created a situation where the file changes did not overwrite.  That file went to the publisher and, voila, I have a novel that has a few typos…okay, probably more than a few.  Am I going to act on this criticism?  Absolutely, and hopefully within the next ten or fifteen books those objections will be put to rest! The point that I am trying to make, is that you do not have to take a negative review personally, but at the same time, your skin should not be so thick that you cannot receive a little constructive criticism that might just help you present a better product to your growing audience.  Learn from the story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”;  If we only listen to glowing reports of our literary prowess and dismiss the occasional bad review as the lunatic ramblings of folks that we differ philosophically from, we might end up old,  bitter, and broke with no one taking our writing seriously.

Here Come the Reviews

Well, as some of you may have seen, the reviews have started coming in for “COUGAR!” on and they are overwhelmingly good! The funny thing is that one four star review was from a self professed liberal whose head did not explode when she read the book, although she was upset that I seemed to blame all of the problems on liberals. The upside is that she is looking forward to reading the sequel…yea!

The other one was a one star from someone that didn’t like the little kitty cat killing the bird in the manner that cats are known to use. Who knew that a member of the Audubon Society would download a book named “COUGAR!”? Anyway, they are from Alaska, and the six months of darkness probably has to be taken into account. God bless them. 🙂

We are finishing up at close to 15,000 new readers which I think is awesome! Thanks to everyone that helped with this campaign, and I really do appreciate honest reviews since they help me fine tune my writing skills.



Midland Gun Show and Other News

I just want to remind those of you in the Midland/Odessa, Texas area the we are going to be with All American Firearms Service on the 2nd and 3rd of August at the Midland Silver Spur Gun Show. The show will be in the Horseshoe Arena. Mary K and I will be selling guns, autographing books, and making new friends, so please spend an afternoon with us.

Gunshow pan

Hey now, we’ve got 15,000 new readers since July 21st, thanks Largely to my publisher, Inc. The promotional giveaway of my novel “COUGAR!” in eBook (Kindle) format will end at midnight tonight, but the book will still be available for $.99 through October. One word of caution: If you read “COUGAR!” you will probably develop a slight fear of the dark, and you will definitely be compelled to read “NIGHT WIND”, the sequel. 🙂

New Background2


Well, I hope to see many of you there, and I look forward to hearing from my new readers!


Tales From the Gun Shop

Hi Everyone,

Since I am not really employed at All American Firearms Service in the strictest sense of the word, but am really working at my hobby (guns) while I sift through stories that might have some merit when they are blended in to one of my novels. (and boy do I hear some good ones!)

Today I was regaled by tale of a man that had returned from the middle east war somewhat shaken by the experience, so his family decided to treat him to a world class deer hunt on some property that they owned up the Northwestern part of the United States even though he was reluctant to go since he had never been hunting in his life.

Well, the family finally convinced the young veteran to go on this hunt so he went out with his dad and bought the best outfit that he could buy, including a new Browning rifle. The hunt went even better than expected, and the young man shot a huge trophy buck just a few hours into the hunt. While the guide went to the vehicle to get a camera, the vet pulled the big deer’s head up level and placed his new rifle across the rack while he stood behind the head straddling the neck and holding the antlers steady.  Just as the guide started to take the hunting picture of a lifetime, the dead deer suddenly jumped up and ran off with the new rifle firmly lodged in the massive rack and was not seen again.

I’m certain that I would have been bummed out, to say the least, but all of us that hunt hard will lose some game every now and then, just not in such a spectacular manner. 🙂

Now don’t forget that starting on the 21st of July and lasting for 5 days until the 25th of July, I will be giving away for FREE eBook copies of COUGAR!” exclusively on Amazon .com. Now for those of you that are visiting this site from other countries, I’ve done a little homework to help you find the right Amazon link:








United Kingdom:




You know that you want to read it! 🙂