In defense of Oz

Open at the risk of warping your child

A few years ago a mother gave The Pure a one star review on Amazon because she said all my books were evil.  Actually, rather than me explaining what the review said, I’ll just post it here for your viewing pleasure.

Terrible………My teen boys love to read so I am always looking for a good series. I typed in teen fiction and this series popped so I bought all of them. After they were almost done with the series, I asked them what it was about. By the time their description was over I felt like I wanted to throw up. What had I subjected them to? I couldn’t believe the gore details they described. Sure that I had not subjected my

Sons to this type of disgusting reading, I had them read aloud. I made them stop and took the books away. I cannot believe that these were in the teen section. Gross, Gore, Evil, Blood, Guts……….I’m so full of regret that I had ever bought these. The series should not be listed anywhere near teens. In fact, it should be labelled with a parental advisory. I think I’ll burn the books. I will use much more discretion with my selections from now on!

I haven’t thought about the review for a while.  The woman is entitled to her opinion.  In a way, I take it as a compliment that she was driven to want to burn the books.   Some of my favorite books have been burned.Slamming her has never been an interest of mine and that’s not what this post about.  This post is about what I discovered about her review today.  I was on The Pure’s detail page and saw the review again and noticed something sweet. Five people came to the books defense.  They left comments on the mother’s review that more or less told her that she’s overreacting just a tad, and that horror books tend to be on the dark side, even horror books written for teenagers. She’s probably better served to read the descriptions before buying them.  It’s really kind of cool having people you don’t know defend your work. What’s cooler is that each of the five people weren’t disrespectful to the mother at all.

Thanks to my defenders and here’s hoping I didn’t warp the woman’s sons too badly.

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Bad Review Monday (Reprint)

One bad review don't spoil the whole bunch, now!

 

 

(Originally posted on June 5, 2008) I  just popped on over to Amazon and noticed I got a new review for The Pure. I was excited to see that it is a one star review. I haven’t gotten one yet, and I wondered how I would react. I’m actually very encouraged by the review. The review didn’t just “not like” The Pure. She hated it. She was offended by it. She wants to burn my books because they so corrupted her children. I have never felt more honored. Some uncorrected pre-publication editions made it out into the public bins, so I was afraid of seeing some negative reviews in regards to that, but this is actually a cool negative review. I’ve struck a nerve! Here’s the review:

Terrible………My teen boys love to read so I am always looking for a good series. I typed in teen fiction and this series popped so I bought all of them. After they were almost done with the series, I asked them what it was about. By the time their description was over I felt like I wanted to throw up. What had I subjected them to? I couldn’t believe the gore details they described. Sure that I had not subjected my Sons to this type of disgusting reading, I had them read aloud. I made them stop and took the books away. I cannot believe that these were in the teen section. Gross, Gore, Evil, Blood, Guts……….I’m so full of regret that I had ever bought these. The series should not be listed anywhere near teens. In fact, it should be labelled with a parental advisory. I think I’ll burn the books. I will use much more discretion with my selections from now on!

In case you’re wondering, the Oz Chronicles is about the power of forgiveness. There is a lot of gore and blood and guts and good old fashion creepy crap. I wrote what I like, and what I feel is engaging. This mother apparently did not agree with my storytelling technique. She has the right to raise her children as she sees fit and in the spirit of the message of the book, I won’t hold her opinion against her.

But I have to tell you, when someone wants to burn your book because of the nature of the content… well, you couldn’t ask for better publicity. I hope she spreads the word.

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Burning Books

I’ve been obsessing a bit about the subject of banning books ever since the mother on Amazon said she wanted to burn my book because she was so offended by the “Gross, Gore, Evil, Blood, Guts…” We all see the world differently, and I can’t fault her for her opinion. As I said, she can raise her children as she sees fit, but I am a bit mystified. The Oz Chronicles is about the cost of intolerance and the power of forgiveness. It is about a 13-year-old boy who brought about the end of the world because of the horrible way he treated a classmate with Down syndrome. The series reflects his journey as he tries to redeem himself and bring back the world. Yes, there is “Gross, Gore, Evil, Blood, Guts…,” but I’m pretty sure you could say the same of the Bible. Don’t get me wrong, The Oz Chronicles is not a religious or Christian series. It’s a just a story where good battles evil. The good guys don’t always do the right thing, and the bad guys sometimes do good things.

I realize my books aren’t the first to be misunderstood. And I’m not too terribly upset about this woman’s opinion. As I said before, I hope she spreads the word. I could use the publicity, but I do wonder how she reached the conclusion that she did. Oz is just a poor kid who’s fighting to get back home to see his parents.

I’m not sure when teaching kids the cost of intolerance and the power of forgiveness became a bad thing.

Wow! My First Bad Review – Mother Wants To Burn My Book!

I just popped on over to Amazon and noticed I got a new review for The Pure. I was excited to see that it is a one star review. I haven’t gotten one yet, and I wondered how I would react. I’m actually very encouraged by the review. The review didn’t just “not like” The Pure. She hated it. She was offended by it. She wants to burn my books because they so corrupted her children. I have never felt more honored. Some uncorrected pre-publication editions made it out into the public bins, so I was afraid of seeing some negative reviews in regards to that, but this is actually a cool negative review. I’ve struck a nerve! Here’s the review:

Terrible………My teen boys love to read so I am always looking for a good series. I typed in teen fiction and this series popped so I bought all of them. After they were almost done with the series, I asked them what it was about. By the time their description was over I felt like I wanted to throw up. What had I subjected them to? I couldn’t believe the gore details they described. Sure that I had not subjected my Sons to this type of disgusting reading, I had them read aloud. I made them stop and took the books away. I cannot believe that these were in the teen section. Gross, Gore, Evil, Blood, Guts……….I’m so full of regret that I had ever bought these. The series should not be listed anywhere near teens. In fact, it should be labelled with a parental advisory. I think I’ll burn the books. I will use much more discretion with my selections from now on!

In case you’re wondering, the Oz Chronicles is about the power of forgiveness. There is a lot of gore and blood and guts and good old fashion creepy crap. I wrote what I like, and what I feel is engaging. This mother apparently did not agree with my storytelling technique. She has the right to raise her children as she sees fit and in the spirit of the message of the book, I won’t hold her opinion against her.

But I have to tell you, when someone wants to burn your book because of the nature of the content… well, you couldn’t ask for better publicity. I hope she spreads the word.