As the Christmas season ramps up, there are more reviews and reactions coming in for My Christmas Number One. All reviews (yes, even bad ones) are important to a new author. Internet algorithms (particularly from one retailer with a jungly name) are influenced by the number of reviews, as well as sales, so books can get lost in the noise unless readers leave their feedback.
My favourite reviews are the ones that show how readers reacted to my characters. In my mind, I’ve started classifying the reviews into ‘#TeamCara’ and ‘#TeamJavi’, depending on which character they had the deepest reaction to.
Some reviewers mentioned identifying with Cara, as I think a lot of us can, even if we haven’t had the grief and mental health journey she has had. She experiences imposter syndrome now her music is starting to be successful. She’s out of her comfort zone. But she still allows herself the sensitivity to react to artistic stimuli.
But I’ll tell you a secret. I’m #TeamJavi. His character arc was so much fun to write and I enjoyed creating a character who was definitely flawed at the beginning, but who had the kernels of someone you might really want to know (and love?).
The best feedback I could ever have is that readers miss my characters, because I know that feeling well from my own reading. So, some of my favourite feedback came from an email this week:
“I miss Javi already but I’ve still got Ricky Martin on loop in my head.”