It's a good thing I need my pain, because I got the mother of all bad reviews today. "Bad" meaning pretty much dismissing The Glass Character. I was totally spoiled by my first two novels, which were widely (and with two exceptions, positively) reviewed. This included two in the Globe and Mail that compared my work to that of Anne-Marie MacDonald, Alice Munro and even Stephen Leacock. Excuse me while I blow my nose.
The gods made me pay for all that. Obviously. I got very little coverage this time, no newspaper reviews that I could find, a little bit on the internet here and there. Newspaper review sections have dwindled, faded or disappeared entirely, a setup that isn't so good for novelists. I set up Amazon and Google author pages, this blog, a web site, a Facebook page as well as a special page for the book. But it didn't help much. When this sort of thing happens, a writer feels very alone.
It didn't ruin my day or anything - in fact I had a quite pleasant day for the most part, and I plan to have another one tomorrow. No boo-hooing or petulant foot-stamping or head-tossing or point-by-point counter-evisceration - that's childish. I did however find out who the guy was. He's a poet of the competitive "slam" variety, standup comedian and performance artist working out of Winnipeg. I'll quote in its entirety an autobiographical piece he wrote for the Globe and Mail, the "little essay" that runs on the back of the first section every day and is coveted by writers everywhere because it's one of the few paid freelance gigs left in the country. (I did a few of them myself, back in the day.) Illustrations are of course never literal or one-to-one on this blog, but arise directly from the subconscious, where Gumby reigns supreme.
Send the jerk a live scorpion.