I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way. I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.
In light of all the recent posts about authors behaving badly in response to constructive criticism or negative reviews, I've decided to highlight some authors who have responded gracefully and have embraced suggestions and constructive criticism of their books. Some of these authors have even gone on to fix specific things in their final copies (when I have received an ARC) or incorporate suggestions into their sequels.
Firstly, Taona Duminsani the author of The Hangman's Replacement. Taona reached out to me on Goodreads after I reviewed his book (which I enjoyed, but thought was a little complicated and lost sight of his wonderful main character for a bit). Taona messaged me
"Thank you for your generous review of my book, The Hangman's Replacement: Sprout of Disruption. I am really glad to hear that you enjoyed the book.
I am currently working on Book 2. I would be honoured if you could be one of my beta readers. I will keep you updated on the progress of the next book. Also, if you have time, I would appreciate your answers to the following questions:..."
I answered his questions honestly, included criticisms and he replied: "Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Your responses have confirmed the goals that I had for the book. The comment about interspersing Abel throughout the story is a common theme which will certainly be reflected in the sequels. Once the manuscript is ready for a beta read, I will send it to you. thank you for agreeing to assist."
Next, Laura Morelli author of the Gondola Maker. I enjoyed this book also, but had some issues with things and in my review stated "Luca's character is hard for me to describe. While this story is about him finding his destiny, I did not feel like I knew many of his motives surrounding women and would like to know what happened with his love interest." Since this book was received as an ARC, Laura took many of the suggestions from readers and re-worked her book. She sent an e-mail with a copy of the improved book and this message :
"I sincerely appreciate your taking the time and effort to read and review the book. Thank you!
I've gotten so much great feedback from my early readers that I decided to rework the book somewhat in order to incorporate their suggestions. I wanted to send you the latest PDF of the book in case you have time to take a look (please see attached).
In a nutshell, I've:
-Reworked the plot to introduce the characters of Giuliana Zanchi and the artist Trevisan earlier in the story
-Stripped out some of the more descriptive segments throughout that some readers found tedious
-Added several scenes from the perspective of The Councillor (formerly His Eminence, which some readers mistook for a religious figure), in order to provide more information about the dangerous stakes that Luca faces if caught in a gondola with a noblewoman
-Added more scenes toward the end in order to reveal what becomes of the supporting characters, including Giuliana and Trevisan, and how Luca resolves the two disparate parts of his life."
I know that this does not make up for the crazy and awful behavior of some other authors that are threatening people and getting into petty fights online, but I did want to point out that not all author interaction is negative and that the review process can work when done thoughtfully and by mature reviewers and authors alike.