Fire Away!

In less than a year over 16,000 people have purchased Last Exit In New Jersey. It was slow in the beginning — most of these readers have come along within the last few months. Occasionally, people who love my book are kind enough to take the time to write me personally. I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it is as I sit here alone working away on the next book, to hear just how much someone enjoyed the last one and how they can’t wait to read the sequel. Fan letters like those are even better than caffeine for keeping me up and working late into the night! Overall I’ve been thrilled by how well my quirky tale has been received, though it doesn’t surprise me that on occasion a reader has left a less than glowing review on Amazon.

There’s no such thing as a book every reader will enjoy. Unfavorable reviews go with the territory and as authors we should expect and accept all feedback, not just the positive. Every review has its validity; it is that reader’s honest opinion and among them have been some constructive points. I’ll admit good reviews make my day, but fair, critical reviews help me to see what I can work on for the next book. The only reviews that truly bother me are ones that reveal spoilers.

So, for those who have already posted reviews, I would like to say thank you. For everyone who has told a friend how much you enjoyed my story, you have my sincere gratitude. And to those of you who have read my book but haven’t posted a review on Amazon, why not let other readers know what you think. Did you find my book absolutely awful, meh, or enjoyable? What did you like or hate, and why? And please, feel free to speak up: what one reader can’t stand might be what others prefer. Many readers chose books based upon the opinions of others, and as an author I value hearing your impressions of my writing. So fire away! I’m from Jersey… I can take it!


  1. As I have said before, I thoroughly enjoyed LAST EXIT IN NEW JERSEY. I admire and enjoy new young authors and look forward to C. E. Grundler’s growth as she hits her stride. It is anticipated and accepted that with her first novel(s) there will be areas of minor weaknesses in plot and character development. All in all I find her remarkably fearless. And, that is both exciting and inspiring in its own right. I think she has “a bone in her teeth,”so to speak.

  2. And again, Gordon, thank you! This is precisely the thing I love to hear. I was remarking to another author earlier today how much easier it is writing my second book, and how much harder as well. I do feel as though I’m at least developing a stride, (I’m not entirely sure I’ve actually ‘hit’ it just yet,) but that’s part of the challenge. Yet I find it more difficult because I find I’m pushing myself further, and part of that comes from the echos of reader comments. With Last Exit, the only questions I had were my own — would readers like this or wouldn’t they. With No Wake Zone the bar has been raised, and I’m putting thought into things I’d never even imagined the first time around. This book can’t be as good as Last Exit — it must be better.

    When I read through the collections of my favorite authors, I’m fascinated to follow their growth and development through their careers. Donald Westlake, John D. MacDonald, J.K. Rowling and so many others, their early books are very enjoyable, though there is no denying over the years their styles and techniques evolved into something greater. It’s a bit intimidating and exciting to stand here looking forward, and to wonder what I’ll think in five, ten, and twenty years, looking back.

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