Sam Hawken Posts

Make Them Sorry (UK)Over the years, The Sunday Times has been good to my books, and while some other papers don’t find Camaro Espinoza (link) highbrow enough to earn their praise, I’m glad to say over at the Times, they get it.  Sometimes books are good when they’re grim and unrelenting.  Sometimes books are good when they’re action-packed and full of twists.  Books don’t have to be one or the other.

With that in mind, it was nice to see Crime Club at the Sunday Times say complimentary things about Make Them Sorry (link):

She can take anyone on for a shots-drinking contest, a bout of cage-fighting or anything else that demands strength, courage and a touch of crazy. Camaro is the kind of gal that trouble seems to find, but she’ll hang on and not let go if it looks like the bad guys are going to get away with it. Fast, furious, funny.

Readers in the UK were the first to warm to my writing, and I will forever be grateful to them for making me so much one of their own that I was repeatedly nominated for the Crime Writers’ Association Daggers.  While the nominations are international, membership in the CWA is for the UK only.  I’m thankful for the recognition, even if I am a filthy Yank.

If you’re still on the fence about Make Them Sorry, maybe the Crime Club has given you the nudge you need?

Be sure to get your copy of Make Them Sorry, the latest Camaro Espinoza thriller, available right now from your favorite bookseller. (link)

Camaro

Make Them Sorry, by Sam HawkenAnd so August comes to a close.  This was the release month for Make Them Sorry (link), as you may recall.  The latest and best Camaro Espinoza adventure.  If you don’t believe me about the “best” part, be sure to check out pretty much every review that’s come down the pike.  My publisher makes a point of passing these things on to me, because they know I dont read reviews as a general rule (link), and I’m happy to say they’ve all been top-notch.

I’ve also heard from more readers than ever about how much they love Camaro as a character, which is something I find gratifying in a real way.  Critics are nice to hear from, at least sometimes, but it’s when I hear from readers about how they connected with Camaro that I feel like I’ve genuinely succeeded.  I’ve been writing about Camaro for six years at this point, and I have yet to grow tired of her.  She has a few more stories left to tell — the next book is of critical importance, he said teasingly — and isn’t going anywhere just yet.  If you’re one of those folks out there who really likes what you’ve read, keep watching this space.

My thanks go out to everyone who bought a copy of the book, who told other people they should read it, and for all your support over the years I’ve been on this journey with Camaro.  It truly does mean the world to me.  Without you, I could not spend so much time with such a cool woman, though occasionally I think my wife gets jealous.

Be sure to get your copy of Make Them Sorry, the latest Camaro Espinoza thriller, available right now from your favorite bookseller. (link)

Camaro

Postive and negative ratingsThis could be the shortest post ever, because my point is perfectly encapsulated in the title of the entry.  I do not read Amazon reviews.  I used to, but I stopped years ago.  Similarly, I stopped reading reviews on Goodreads and so forth.  The only time I ever see them is when my publisher or readers send them to me directly.  I post them here, and move on.

Criticism is a real thing and can be incredibly useful.  By and large, however, what one finds on sites like Amazon isn’t criticism, but complaining.  Why isn’t the book like this other book?  Why did so-and-so have to die?  Why so many F-words?  Why is this so long?  Why is this so short?  The packaging on my shipment was lousy and my book got damaged!  And yes, you can find stuff like that last all over Amazon, because people apparently don’t know there’s a way to contact Amazon customer service about damaged or lost orders, and the author has nothing to do with that process.

I love hearing from readers, and have provided a way for them to get in touch with me via this site, but I won’t read what they have to say on Amazon, or anywhere like Amazon.  Because there’s a converse element to this which can’t be ignored: if one considers compliments valid, one has to consider complaints valid.  And, as I said, complaints are useless.  A well-reasoned critique is invaluable.  Grousing is not.

By all means, if you feel strongly about my books one way or another, post those thoughts wherever you like.  At the same time, don’t expect me to see them.  It’s not that I don’t care about getting better as an author, or continuing to do whatever it is I do well, but public reviews are more harmful than helpful.  And this goes for both writers and readers alike.  Everyone has an opinion, after all.  And what do we know about those?

Writing