Join Wanda Ernstberger for some hot advice on reviews!

Today I have a special guest, fellow Etopia Press author Wanda Ernstberger, talking a bit about reviews…


How to Handle Bad Reviews

Your novel, your baby, is out there being judged, and some reviewer has just torn it to shreds. A thousand reactions rage through your mind:  eat an entire cheesecake, start a campfire with remaining review copies, use the reviewer’s picture for target practice. But, before you take your anger out on anyone (including yourself), just keep in mind:

A bad review doesn’t mean you suck:  Let’s face it, not everyone is going to be a fan. If everyone liked the same thing, there’d only be one book in the whole world. A bad review only means your story isn’t to that person’s taste. So, don’t start a bonfire, send out those review copies. Garbage men deal with garbage, store clerks deal with the public, and writers deal with negative reviews. That’s just part of the industry, a crummy, un-fun part of the industry, but it’s there, and all the wishing (and cursing) won’t make it go away.

Since writing is a business, and you want to remain in the business, also consider this:

A bad review doesn’t mean the reviewer sucks:  Before you send off an e-mail, “How could you not see the brilliance of my work, you poopie-head,” take a breath, calm down, and have a slice of cheesecake. Then, thank the reviewer for his/her time and move on. Even if the reviewer slams your work, take the high road and let cosmic justice deal with the twit. Remember, this is part of the profession, so always be professional.

One last note:

When Wuthering Heights was first released in 1847, this was what came across Emily Brontë’s desk:

Wuthering Heights is a strange, inartistic story. There are evidences in every chapter of a sort of rugged power–an unconscious strength–which the possessor seems never to think of turning to the best advantage. The general effect is inexpressibly painful. We know nothing in the whole range of our fictitious literature which presents such shocking pictures of the worst forms of humanity….” (Atlas, January 22, 1848)

I wonder what Heathcliff would have to say about that?

Wanda Ernstberger is a YA writer whose story, “The Next Shakespeare” is published by Etopia Press. She’s also had short stories published by the Spilling Ink Review, Aphelion, and The Aroostook Review. She loves to travel, cook, read, and watch anime. Stop by and visit her at



It’s Writer’s Crack, People

No other word for it. When someone sends you a message and says they’re loving your book… and they’re not even related to you… it’s gotta be the best feeling in the world.

This is why we do this. This is why we stay up to late making that last page of the scene perfect, why we put ourselves out there to collect impersonal and often hurtful rejection letters, and why we give up sunny days at the beach and nights hanging out with friends or family like normal people. This is our addiction–creating and telling stories. And there’s nothing like the rush of having a reader say you you made their day at the beach, or their night in with a book, fun.

Hayden Braeburn posted a really cool mention of Loose Cannon on her blog, here:

Thanks, Hayden! 🙂

It’s Summer… and I’m still writing…

I’ve been holed up working on the sequel to Loose Cannon and I almost missed the fact that it’s summer! I think I missed the spring entirely. In fact, I might have missed winter too. But that’s ok, because it was a nasty one, from what they tell me.

Writing has been slow going, between work and family and all the rest. I can’t tell if I’m a morning person, or a night person, or a crazy person who never gets any sleep. And I started thinking… how and when does everyone else fit their writing in?

Then I was messing with the blog toys and found this nifty little poll tool (yeah, I know… small things amuse small minds. You should have seen how excited I got when I found out I could do sudoku on my phone). Anyway, I decided to take a poll and see what everyone else thinks is the best way to balance what I WANT to be full time writing with a pre-existing full time life.


Cover Candy for Loose Cannon

How Cool is This?!

Etopia Press revealed my cover on their Web site today, so now I can show it off, too! I almost fell over a few months ago when they accepted my book and I was suddenly a “real” author. Then I couldn’t sleep for days when my editor, Georgia Woods, sent me my edits back and said she loved my book. Then a few days ago, I nearly choked on my own tongue when I opened my email to find my cover draft. It just looks so… real…

*drooling again…*

I think I might just wet my pants on release day.

I got my cover!

It’s SO awesome. I can’t wait to show it to you… but it’s being reveled on the Etopia Press Website soon so I have to sit on my hands. Good thing I have handcuffs… I’m *itching to post it!*

More soon!

Loose Cannon

I’m very excited to announce my romantic suspense Loose Cannon has been contracted by Etopia Press! (

This book has been a labor of love for a long time, and I’m thrilled to soon be able to share it with all the wonderful readers out there.

I don’t have a cover yet, but I’ll be posting it as soon as I do. But I do have a blurb to hook you!

Loose Cannon by Kendal Flynn

When Raeanne Springfield’s son is kidnapped by Dmitryi Petrov, a ruthless enemy from the past, Raeanne finds herself thrown back into the dark world of covert operations she thought she left behind. But when Alex Dante, her former superior at the CODA, the Counterintelligence Defense Agency, shows up to take her into protective custody, Raeanne’s backed into a corner. Should she obey orders from an agency that already betrayed her once, or slip back into the covert life and do whatever it takes to bring her boy home safely—even if it means endangering her heart?

Harder still–how to tell Alex Dante that Ryan’s his son?

Between Petrov’s demands, the agency’s evasiveness, and Alex’s whirlwind reentry into her life, Raeanne can trust no one but herself, and only after she gets Ryan back will she worry about fixing past mistakes. If she lives long enough to fix anything…