One HELL of a Book!

Can you hear that? That, my friend, is the sound of me tooting my own horn. The OOBERS release party was a phenomenal blast, and now that it is being read by people the reviews are beginning to trickle in. By the way, I just want you to know that whenever you read a book, the greatest compliment you can give the writer is to recommend it to someone else. I like the word-of-mouth method myself (or, in today’s world, binary code-to-binary code), but I also want you to actually taking the time to sit down and write your feelings about the book is the next best thing to shaking your friends by the shoulders and demanding they get a copy of it themselves. Look, if a novel grabs you by the balls and drags you to the end, you naturally want to share the experience with someone else. A review is your testimony. Even if you hated the story – especially if you hated the story – you still should crank out a review. If the writer has a personal website, try to share your impressions with him or her directly. Another great place to vent your opinion is to find the book’s Publisher on the internet and fire off your thoughts to them. Publishers are really good at passing along that sort of information. I recommend you hook up with Amazon, find the book’s page by typing it in their search engine, and then type out your review. If you go the Amazon route, scroll down to the bottom of the page and notice the ‘tags’ section that gives you the option to click on certain keywords, in essence agreeing that the tags do accurately depict the book’s content. This helps other folks who go looking for specific genre. If you read a vampire book, review and tag it on Amazon. Then if someone who loves vampires wants to pick out another novel of the same genre, your tags will help give them a more informed choice. Take a look at my OOBERS page on Amazon to really see what I’m talking about regarding reviews and tags.

I’ve always been the sort of guy who tells people I would rather read criticism than praise, just for the simple fact that I’m always looking for ways to improve my writing. That kind of desire can backfire in my face, though. What I really want is for a professional editor or serious and intelligent reader to point out specific areas in my prose that can be improved upon. I don’t want to be told my writing sucks and I should be taken out back and shot. If I heard that enough I’d probably give up reading reviews and comments altogether as I reevaluate the quality and style of my work. I mean, who wants to be satisfied with mediocrity? Yes, please give me constructive criticism! Don’t just say “I hated your book,” tell me what you hated about my book. I may have told this story before but if so forgive my senility: My mother was choir director at our church when I was a child, and I had to go with her early on Sundays so she could practice the day’s hymns with the choir before service. There was a man in the choir who always came with a huge smile on his face and a song in his heart. My mother told me he loved singing more than anything in the world. This man stood in the very back of the choir and sang louder than anyone else. The problem was that he was completely tone deaf and sounded like a bagful of cats. He knew one note and could sing the hell out of it. Of course, this made the rest of the choir want to sing even louder to drown out his monotone bass, so consequently, the choir would scream their practiced hymn at the top of their lungs, reminding me of a jet airplane getting ready to take off. No one had the heart or guts to tell him he sucked because that would have devastated him, I guess. That’s what my mother told me at least. I don’t know about you, but if I’m a terrible writer I would hope a friend would come up to me and say from the side of his mouth “Listen, man, um, you need to step away from the keyboard. Your writing is only good for stuffing the insides of cadavers.” I’d be destroyed emotionally, I’d be scarred psychologically for life, I’d cry and play hopscotch on the ledge of the nearest skyscraper, but I’d respect you in the morning. It wouldn’t take away my love for writing, though, but I’d keep my paltry words to myself from then on. Wow. Now I’m in a dark and lonely place. Let me read a couple of reviews of OOBERS to get my head out of the sub basement:

Mr. Edmund Finch wrote, “No book has ever affected me like OOBERS did.  I can’t say Jay Harding crossed the line, because I don’t think he has a line; The line isn’t even in his horizon. The warning on the cover is correct; there are many graphic descriptions of brutality, abuse, and murder, ect. I’d say it’s just for shock value, but Jay wrote it in such a way to illicit a certain response… and it worked. I absolutely hated, I mean HATED, the evil Entity that forced these horrifying events.  I had so much anger built up that I had to stop reading may times, but couldn’t stand not knowing what would happen next.  I’ll be honest; I had trouble sleeping for some time. Ultimately, I think the book is excellent, but you must be prepared for one hellish nightmare.  Once you open OOBERS, you make a deal with Jay Harding to lead you down a very dark path. So before you begin, ask yourself one question: Are you strong enough to stick with him until he pulls you back into the light?”

I’m starting to feel a little better.

A Mr. Jonah wrote, “This is a great book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, the warning label for this book is true if you like horror this is a must read.”

Maybe I won’t need that extra Prozac in the evening?

A Mrs. Dmchamberlain penned, “A novel that will blow your mind, make you wish there was more, and be discussed at the same time!!! I am in awe of OOBERS!! Joel’s story sucked me in and made me wish I was there fighting to help him save himself and humanity. This book is a nail biter that makes you think twice about going to sleep and makes you forget about about real life going on around you! Jay T Harding is an amazing author and I am looking forward to future novels! I am now a life long fan!! If your the kind that likes to be hanging on to every word and scared to boot, then OOBERS is a must read for you!!”

Ok, so there might be hope for me yet.

My dear friend and fellow Firefly Phyllis Seibert added, “What can I say about this novel other than it freaked the hell out of me? Jay Harding grabbed me by the throat from page one and started squeezing the life out of me only to let me think the sweet relief of death was in sight. He loosened his grip and I thought I could relax. Boy was I wrong! He tightened his grip again. This book is one terrifying twist after another. I could not figure out who to trust and who to fear. There were a couple of characters I was cheering for only to find out I have a really bad sense of who the good guy really is. I was afraid to go to sleep at night for fear they were going to come after me. Thank you, Jay Harding, for raising my blood pressure and giving one of the best scares I have had in a very long time. You are one twisted individual and I can’t wait for more stories from you.”

You like me! Either OOBERS is one HELL of a book, or the choir’s trying to sing over me.

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