The Power of Positive Reviews on an Author’s Spirits

Reposted from my blog on

So, there I was just minding my own business killing time on Facebook and I saw a wonderful and enthusiastic review of my novel Resurrecting Cybele that a former student of mine had left on iTunes and then reposted on Facebook. Right now, in Winnipeg, it is cold and raining, and it seems like spring will never come. Despite my best efforts to look on the bright side that at least there was no snow left on the ground, I was feeling a little down. Then I saw this review and it was like rays of sunshine pierced the clouds and brightened my day.

Below is the review exactly as Laura Soriano posted it on iTunes and then on Facebook.

“Hey! I read this cool book and felt like posting this! Must read if you want to keep being my friend haha jk!

Resurrecting Cybele will definitely lower your mental inhibitions. I think the way the story was developed is brilliant. A lot of unexpected things happen. I really enjoyed the female empowerment. Matriarchy definitely felt sweet whenever she spoke in the rituals and loved the symbolisms. You can actually feel empowered.

I related to almost ALL the characters,

I really loved Cassie since the moment she decided to stay out of trouble. I wish I had been Cassie many times in life! Cassie seems to be a really good friend. Although she doubted a little bit too much by believing Cyb was delusional. I would love to have a friend like Cybele. I liked hearing Cybele expressing herself when she was feeling concerned.

“You are the most wildly romantic person I know. Idealism seeps through every pore of your body” That’s how Cassie described Cyb.

Janus! What a smart guy! I wish I was as good as Janus playing his games. He has like super powers. Unfortunately I really suck at that and you always end up hurt. Better not to attempt it, Janus was a good reminder of that. His emotional detachment was thrilling in the story

I also felt identified with Achates, a successful lawyer. Not sure why but I was actually happy when he broke up with Janus at the very beginning. As opposed to Achates I would love to be surrounded by Cybele’s kind in my professional and personal life.

And finally Cybele! Cybele is a such a sweetheart!! Although she denies being a good person at the beginning, as if she was ashamed to admit it, she actually is. Very unique, smart, talkative and wise. She is has an awesome sense of humor and the best of all is that she loves wine! I relate myself in her attempts to defend her moral code.

Gabe… He’s too good. I couldn’t avoid feeling jealous of Gabe. That Gabe doesn’t leave any vacancies open haha. But what can you do!.

Oh and not to forget the mindless minions hahaha. They played a very important role throughout the story. It is a good reminder to beware of brain-washers.
This book gives a lot to talk about and certainly revived me.

I got my money’s worth” – Laura Soriano.

Although I try hard not to take reviews personally as everyone’s reading tastes are different, it’s still wonderful to realize that I created something which had a positive impact on and empowered another person. To return the favour, let me say, thank-you, Laura, for lifting my spirits as well with your enthusiasm for my book.

Happy Star Wars Day to all my fans who are also avid viewers of The Big Bang Theory. As it is May 4, all I can say is, “May the fourth be with you.”  😉

Making the Time to Be a Creative Writer – One Day at a Time

I have recently published my first indie eBook Resurrecting Cybele and have spent the last few months trying to promote it to other potential readers. What I realized is that it’s hard enough trying to balance teaching and creative writing but 100 times more difficult trying to balance teaching, writing, and promoting one’s book all at the same time. What has happened is that the energy and time for creative writing gets sapped by all the other demands on one’s time.

I finally decided that I needed to take a break from trying to actively promote my book to potential readers and also do a little less teaching every term so that I have the mental space I need to reconnect with the creative writer deep inside me just yearning to come out. I’ll have to see how it goes but I also decided to put a little more self-discipline in my writing life and try to write something every week or so to try and engage my creative juices again. I don’t want to put pressure on myself to write another book right away so I will try to do some journaling in hopes of sparking my imagination that is just so tired from what seems like a never-ending workload.

I also hope the journaling will provide fodder for potential books – my first book, a satire called Resurrecting Cybele, was inspired by a passing thought I had one day while watching a news report about cults. I wondered why all the cult leaders that were reported on were male. After all, I knew many charismatic female leaders and couldn’t imagine why no  women had ever been charismatic enough to have their own cults. I decided the problem was that the major world religions were patriarchal and therefore any woman who created a cult based on those religions would necessarily find herself in a subordinate position within her own cult. Therefore, the only solution was to have a woman create a matriarchal religion that would allow herself to be the leader not a follower. That led me to the fertility religions of ancient times and the idea of resurrecting the cult of a pagan goddess Cybele – hence the title of my book and female character.

As a fan of Pixar movies, I have prepared a Pixar pitch of my novel below:

Once upon a time there was a female graduate student named Cybele who was extremely frustrated because she had not found her true passion in life. Every day, she thought of fun and interesting ways to make money and have a more exciting life. One day, she decided to resurrect an ancient Mother Goddess cult with herself as the High Priestess of her own religion. Because of that, she got suspected of being an eco-terrorist and being investigated by the Winnipeg Police Service. Because of that, her best friend decided to re-enact an apocalyptic ending to her cult in order to get rid of any evidence tying the cult to eco-terrorism. Until finally, Cybele was forced to confront her best friend and betray him too in order to save herself.

If you do decide to read it, I would love to know what you think of it.