The Writer

What a BAD REVIEW can teach you

When I tell people how many novels I’ve published, I always leave out one, my third novel out of 12, the ugly stepchild called Jealousies, a disaster that ruined my career for a year and that I’ve disowned all these years.

Until now.

Before Jealousies, there was my first novel, Meeting Rozzy Halfway, which, to my shock, was a sensation. A short story I had written was lifted from a slush pile to win a young writers contest, and suddenly literary agents and publishers came courting. I got a book deal for two novels! My first novel, based on that short story, was reviewed everywhere, on the radio and on TV, and I was feted. I was in my 20s and so naïve that I was sure that this would happen for me every year, that none of it was a big deal. But then my second novel, though it garnered some great reviews, didn’t sell as well, and the publisher – I swear not because of me – went out of business, and my then-agent got me signed with another publisher that said it had plans for me.

Plans. Beware of plans.

“We are going

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