For the past week, I’ve thought about giving it up.Â Quitting the writing biz and taking up, oh, winemaking instead.Â I’m serious about this.Â I’ve been depressed and whining to my husband that I’ve lost my writer’s instincts and no longer know what the hell I’m doing.Â I questionÂ my ability to ever write another book.Â Most of all, I’m tired of pouring my heart and soul into a story, just to have it ripped to shreds by complete strangers.Â
The reason for my angst is this:Â BONE GARDENÂ got a lousy review from Publishers Weekly.Â
I tried to cheer myself up by rememberingÂ that back in 1996,Â PW said my debut novelÂ HARVESTÂ would surpriseÂ “only readers who move their lips.”Â In other words, I’m the writer that only a moron could appreciate.Â Through the years, P.W. has gone on to call my booksÂ formulaic and disappointing.Â Yet through all those bad reviews, my sales and readership continued to grow, which must have infuriated the literary geniuses who hate me over at P.W.Â
This time though their review really hurt, because I believed so strongly in THE BONE GARDEN.Â I love this book.Â The fact that PW didn’t love it made me question my own judgment.Â It made me lose all confidence in my writing.Â It made me decide that, as much as I love telling stories, I would be emotionally happier and healthier just writing books for my own pleasure, and never letting them see the light of day.Â
Then today, in one of those weirdlyÂ typical twists in the publishing biz, everything changed.Â I’ve just heard that THE BONE GARDEN got a rare and much-coveted starred review from Kirkus:
“Readers with delicate stomachs may find Gerritsen’s graphic descriptions of corpse dissection hard to take, but the story, which digs up a dark Boston of times long past, entices readers to keep turning pages long after their bedtimes.”
Kirkus loves the book.Â Maybe I’m not washed up.
I guess I won’t be retiring after all.