The Wicked & The Divine: Villainy in Supernatural


Eariler this year, myself and fellow Scribe, the inimitable Shauna Granger, wagered on who could watch all of Buffy or all of Supernatural in the least amount of time. I made it to Season 5 of Supernatural by the time she finished Buffy. Tried. Really I did.

I loved Supernatural so much that, even though I lost the bet, I continued on and finished the series. And now. almost a year after I started, I’m happy to say I’m finally caught up.

Um wow.

What an absolutely wonderful ride it was.

There’s so much about Supernatural I’ve come to adore over the course of this year – the humor, the drama, the Cas Eating Stuff, the Racist Ghost Trucks, and so much more.

One thing I was consistently impressed with the during the entire run of Supernatural was the quality of the villains. I’ve always said a compelling antagonist is just as important to a story as compelling protagonist. One you can truly hate, but maybe at times also empathize with. I’ve tried to follow my own advice and have tired to write compelling villains in all of my stories.  So, now that I’ve seen all there is to see, I thought it appropriate to look back on the whole Supernatural series and reflect on some of the great villains the show has crafted.

And it seems only fitting that my final Supernatural vs. Buffy post be me first post on Spellbound Scribes.

SPOILERS below, so if you’re caught up with Supernatural – tread lightly.

So without further adieu, my Top Ten Supernatural Villains:

10. Eve


Eve, to me, was the perfect example of excellent concept, but terrible execution. The idea there was a Mother of All the different monsters the WinBros battled over the years is a really great one, and should have provided formidable foe for the boys in S6. Imagine, if you will, her leading an army of the creatures the Bros had vanquished in previous seasons – Vamps, Werewolves, and Dragons – on the march to extract revenge for there fallen brethren?

Well that’s not really what happened. Instead she killed some truckers, made some people murder each other and then was quickly dispatched by Sam and Dean well before the end of the season. I’m gonna be honest, I thought S6 was the worst on of all (though I did love Homebody Dean). It was a bit of a meandering mess – seemed to me like the new writers weren’t sure what to do after the wrap of the big Lucifer storyline in S5 and were just trying to find their feet.

A full season narravtive focused on Eve and the monsters of Purgatory, instead of muddling it up with Souless Sam and Crowley & Castiel fighting over whatever and the Raphael stuff, would have been much better, in my opinion.

9. Gordon Walker

Gordon Supernatural Crazy Gif

Gordon is another Hunter who appears throughout S2, most as a rival to the WinBros, but with methods much more severe than Dean and Sam, even killing humans . He even shows up in S3 as a vampire to further menace the Bros.

Admittedly he’s a fairly minor villain in the grand scheme of the Supernatural mythos. The reason he’s on the list is because I’ve always had a soft spot for the Hero’s Evil Mirror trope. Gordon might not have been the most threatening villain they faced, but he did provide a glimpse of what Sam and Dean might become if they became so obsessed with Hunting and lost sight of their own humanity. The episode in S2 where he challenges Sam to kill him, did well to show they would never cross that line, even so early in the series.

8. Dean Winchester

Supernatural Demon Dean gif

Okay, hear me out. I know there was only like three or four episodes in S10 with Demon Dean (though I’m not convinced, based on the last episode, that we’ve seen the last if him), but what we have seen is awesome.

I’ve been firmly #TeamDean since the beginning, but he’s always had this dudebro vibe about hie. Deanmon is that vibe turned up to eleven – he’s the ultimate arrogant douchebro villain. Drinking, carousing, just being an overall jerk to everyone around him. The way he dismantled Cole, taunting him about devoting his entire life killing Dean, only to have all of his dreams of vengeance crushed so definitively was just brutal.

Deanmon just does not give a single eff about anyone but himself. Not even Sam, who he abandoned, sold out to Cole and mocked mercilessly for lamenting their lost brotherly love. Some of it cut really deep too – like blaming Sam for the death of their mother – and even though it was the demon speaking and not Dean himself, you can tell it really hurt Sam in away that much of the physical injuries he suffered over the years did.

And how can you not love that Deanmon x Crowley Bromance?

7. Abaddon

Supernatural Abbadon GifThe would-be King of Hell in S8 and 9 after Crowley is incapacitated by Sam and Dean. Chosen by Lucifer himself to be one of the fabled Knights of Hell – who according to legend slew the other Archangels – she is much more than just another demon for the boys to slay.

What I liked so much about Abaddon was the dichotomy between her and Crowley as rulers of Hell. Crowley abided by the traditional ways of soul collecting – contracts, coercion – still evil and deceitful stuff to be sure – but in a classy old school demonic way. Abaddon was all about gaining devotion through intimidation and violence. She had no repsect for the old ways and sought to take the Throne of Hell by any means possible. Anyone so power hungry they would break even Hell’s code of honor is truly a foe to be reckoned with. As vicious as Crowley is sly, even besting him in combat at the end of S8, Abaddon would have been been higher up on this list, were she not overshadowed by the other Big Bad in S9.

But we’ll get to him later.

6. Meg Masters

Supernatural Meg Shhhh GifSupernatural’s first Big Bad holds a special place in my heart. Even though she was the henchman of Ol’ Yellow Eyes, I thought Meg was a much more effective foil to the Winbros in S1. Mostly because he lingered in the background, while Meg did his dirty work. Plus she acutally had some personality, where I found Yellow Eyes to be a much more one-dimensional baddie. With a combination of cunning and cruelty, Meg provided a plapable and sustained threat to Sam and Dean beyond the Monster of the Week creatures that were so prevalent in the early seasons.

Supernatural Meg2Meg returns in S7 to be more of an ally to the WinBros than a foe – helping them out against Crowley, who she did not take too kindly to as the new King of Hell. I liked Meg Two, more then Meg One. Even though she wasn’t so much of a villain anymore, but more just a demon looking out for her own self interest. She was funny and snarky, and had some great chemistry with Dean. Meg is also one of the few villains in Supernatural that actual had some sort of redemption, sacficing herself so that the WinBros and Cas could escape with Angel Tablet.

She actually got a full character arch over the course of nine seasons, which in and of itself is pretty impressive.

5. Ruby

Supernatural_Ruby_One_gifAnother Mid-Boss type villain like Meg, Ruby was one of the main antagonists in S3 and 4. Also like Meg, we were treated to a Ruby One and a Ruby Two.

Supernatural_Ruby_Two_gifShe was very effective in fomenting distrust between the WinBros, Dean thinking that she was manipulating them for her own ends, and Sam convinced that she was going to help them destroy Lilith and keep Lucifer from being unleashed.

What made Ruby so great is that there was some real doubt as to whether she was on the same side as the WinBros or just pulling their strings for her demonic masters. Her character had depth, because while there was always a lingering doubt over her true intentions, for most of her time on the show she seemed to have a real kinship with Sam.

Of course, she did end up betraying Sam and Dean, but the fact she and Sam had such a close relationship made that betrayal all the more painful.

4. Lucifer

Supernatutal_lucifer_point_headtiltThe first four seasons of Supernatural built up to this, the Biggest of the Big Bads, Morningstar himself – Lucifer!

Played with a simmering, tempered evil by Mark Pelligrino, Lucifer was the Big Bad I had been hoping to see since episode one. Unfortunately, I thought he was a bit underused in Season 5, appearing only for what seemed like a quarter of the episodes. But when he was there, he was commanding and threatening presence.

So why then is he at #4, if his was actually in the show so little? The parts he was in were truly magnificent. When faced with a villain as powerfully as him, there was a real doubt as to how the WinBros could emerge victorious. He was supposed to be the endgame for the series and he carried the presence of a truly unstoppable force. He was also a well rounded character, sympathetic for the fact he was cast out of heaven for not revering mankind, no truly great sin as we were led to believe, but became wicked and embittered after so many years of imprisonment.

Also, each season required Sam and Dean to acquire some sort of McGuffin to beat the Big Bad, and having to defeat each of the Four Horsemen (Death, most notably) was easily the best of these fetch quests in the series.

3. Metatron

Supernatural Metatron Stupid Angels

It was a close call between the Number Two and Three slot.

If you told me Booger from Revenge of the Nerds would be cast perfectly as a vile, conniving and manipulative Angelic Scribe, I would have called you a crazy person. His resume is pretty solid – manipulated Cas and the WinBros the get the angels kicked out of Heaven, killed Kevin (by proxy, but still), convinced the world that he was a messianic figure. Not bad. But what puts Metaron over the top is how he’s played with such perfect, sniveling creepiness by Curtis Armstrong.

He has the self-righteous smugness of a powerless man given finally the power he always desired, but gained through the most deceitful ways. He’s like a Super Angel Internet troll. But here’s the thing – he’s not entirely wrong. Heaven was a mess, abandoned by God, consumed by civil war – all good reason for someone to step up in a void of leadership to take control. His intentions would not be so bad were it not for his methods being so despicable.

Some of my love for him also come from being a writer and of course, one of my favorite episodes of the series was ‘Meta Fiction’. The way Metatron talks about the nature of stories, how he believed he was the hero of this story, not the WinBros and Co, showed a real depth to the character and he was not just another one note villain. And this one quote is just perfect:

What writer doesn’t love a good twist? My job is to set up interesting characters and see where they lead me. The byproduct of having well-drawn characters is they may surprise you. But I know something they don’t know – the ending. How I get there doesn’t matter as long as everybody plays their part.

2. Dick Roman

Supernatural Dick RomanWhen I first started watching, everyone warned me about S7. Everyone said S7 was the worst, that the show went off the rails before getting back on track for S8.


I thought the Leviathan storyline was a nice breather from all of the Angel/Demon stuff in the previous six seasons before delving back into it for S8. It wasn’t earth-shatteringly great or anything, but I enjoyed it. Much more than I thought I would based on the dire warnings I got about it.

The highlight was, of course, the main villain for the season – Mister Richard Roman. The personification of the evils of capitalism, Dick Roman was a ruthless businessman possessed by an ancient malevolence. Much more subtle in his wickedness than many of the other WinFoes, Roman plotted to take over the world by subjugating the populace through his company’s products and making mankind a renewable food source for the Leviathans.

Smart. Subtle. Sinister.

The meta-commentary associated with his character about the nature of business in America and the slavish devotion to consumer products people been trained to trust was just excellent,too. Roman had the perfect combination of arrogance and intelligence to be the figurehead for this particular brand of evil.

And he killed Bobby, so yeah.

1. Crowley

Supernatural Crowley King gifThe gif says it all.

Snarky. Clever. British.

As much an adversary as he is an ally to the WinBros, Crowley is one of the most complex and well crafted characters in the entire show. Malicious and deceptive when he needs to be, but also flawed and surprisingly human when you least expect it.

He’s everything a good villain should be.

He’s a legitimate threat to the heroes, still an empathetic figure at times.

He’s hateable as he is lovable.

He’s just a great character, and end of the day, hero, villain, whatever, being a great character, one that the reader or viewer actually cares about, it what’s most important.

When NaNoWriMo Eats Your Soul

Since it seems like several of us Scribes are participating in NaNoWriMo, and hopefully by now we’ve all crossed the halfway point and entered the OH NO WHAT COMES NEXT danger zone, I thought I’d take a minute to talk about what happens when the words turn on you and NOTHING comes next.

You know that feeling. You’re staring at the blank white page and suddenly it starts staring back at you. Maybe you have an outline, maybe you don’t, but you find yourself wondering how on earth to get your character from doom and gloom to heroic cat-saving antics. Maybe you’re wondering why you thought anyone would ever find this protagonist funny or sexy or impressive. Every sentence you’ve ever written seems like crap, and you realize you have absolutely no idea how to word any more.

You, my friend, have had your soul eaten by NaNoWriMo.

Hey, it happens. And sometimes there are legitimate reasons for the implosion: you got sick, you got busy, life got in the way. But other times, it’s just the fear talking, the gaping hole where your sanity used to be leering up at you like an oozing, sulfurous hellmouth that leads only to self-doubt and despair.

Whoa. Maybe NaNoWriMo ate MY soul.

So how do you get past it?

Clearly Buffy failed NaNoWriMo.
Clearly Buffy failed NaNoWriMo.

If you want to win NaNo and pave over that terrible stress-ripped maw in your psyche with shiny new feelings of confidence and glorious creativity, you have to learn to grapple the formless, ever-expanding fear that eats away at your ability to write. While there are loads of ways to do it and not everything works for everyone—and this particular writer has fallen victim to the soul-eating fear and doubt more than once—a few simple tricks seem to help most people.

1. Pursue another creative endeavor. Draw, paint, sculpt, knit, create papier mache dolls and sew little outfits for them, do what you need to do. Hell, grab a coloring book and some crayons and just color out your feelings, man. Sometimes occupying the lower (higher?) functions of your brain with a creative hands-on task can free up your mind to work out plot kinks or even just rest. It’s like yoga for your brain. I knit like a madwoman, and every time I pick up my needles, I feel like each stitch sews a piece of my exhausted mind back into place. Try it.

2. Give yourself an actual day off. This means actually taking mental time off from writing: don’t think about how you’re not writing, don’t recalculate how many words per day you’ll need to finish. Go do something completely different, and let yourself feel no guilt about taking some personal time. You’ll feel rested and refreshed when you return to the keys the next day, and I promise that will help you leap across the hellmouth of doubt.

3. Read something you love. Read something new. Read anything with a plot and characters. Read poetry! Read. Read. Read. Genius inspires genius, and there’s no scenario in which reading someone else’s words doesn’t help. Go read.

4. If you absolutely must write, try something completely different in your work: change your angle of approach. What’s the worst thing that could happen to your characters? Figure that out, and make it happen. What’s hanging you up about where you’re currently at? Can you skip it, and go on to another scene? Sometimes we just get into a rut, especially when working on a long, intensive project like a novel. Shake up your creative process by making things happen. (Bonus: if you’re bored, there’s a good chance your readers would be bored, too. Explosions are always an acceptable plot device.)

5. Change your scenery. Some of my most productive days happen when I go write at my library or a coffee shop. Taking your work out into the world means the world gets to influence it. Maybe that cute girl with the nose ring will be an extra in your next scene. Maybe the gorgeous old building across the street will be the scene of a crime. Maybe staring blankly at a different wall will inspire you in ways the walls in your house can’t. Be a part of the world, and let the world be a part of your work.

So there you have it: tips for fighting your soul-eating, word-blocking demons. What do you do when the great black hole of doubt threatens to consume your creative existence?

November…the busiest month of the year!

No really, it is. At least for me this year. Why? Let me count the ways! It’s NaNo time. Are you writing away? Setting and meeting goals. I should be…but I find myself lagging this year. Each year it gets harder and harder for me to win at NaNo. Mostly, its procrastination on my part, but there’s a little bit of not having enough time to pull my head up from water too.

November also signals the start of the holiday season for many, myself included. This means Thanksgiving, early Christmas celebrations (yeah, we get a headstart lol). Shopping. Crowds. And of course, by multiple requests, our very own Elf on the Shelf. Because the kid can’t wait to see her friend Rosey come back for another year. Which means I have to break out my creativity hat and come up with a bunch of off-the-wall things for this little elf to do for fun.


And so it begins…the trek into the end of the year. Busy. Stressful. And full of memories. While November may be MY busiest month of the year it’s also one I tend to remember for longer than any other. The memories are my favorite.

How to Survive the Query Trenches

After completing my latest novel this past summer and being lucky enough to get chosen as an alternate for PitchWars, I am finally ready to descend into query hell. For those of you unfamiliar with the publishing industry, querying is the process by which a writer boils down their full length novel into a three- or four-paragraph summary designed to make a literary agent do something along the lines of this:

Good luck with that!

As you might be picking up on at this point, querying is not the most enjoyable aspect of getting a book traditionally published. First of all, writing a query letter itself is extremely difficult–some writers feel it’s quite possibly more difficult than writing the book itself. Secondly, there’s a lot of waiting involved. Literary agents receive anywhere from tens to hundreds of queries per day, meaning it can take them weeks to even read your query, let alone respond to it. And finally, there is a ton of rejection involved. “No” is a word you have to get used to, because you’ll be hearing it a lot.

Pretty much this.

As I begin this grueling process for the third time, I thought I’d put together a list of ways to keep sane while mired in the query trenches!

Don’t take it personally. You will be rejected. Not just once. Probably more than twice. Actually, just face it–most of the responses to your query will be rejections. And that’s okay. The publishing industry is a deeply subjective business and what doesn’t work for one agent might work for another. Accept the rejections and move on–they don’t reflect on you as a human being, or even a writer.

It’s gonna feel like this.

Do your homework. Want to minimize that flood of rejection? Then do your due diligence. (Doo-doo, hur hur). Every agent represents a different genre and is looking for something specific in their inbox. In other words, don’t send your middle-grade superhero graphic novel-in-verse to an agent who only represents hardboiled detective novels. It’s not hard to find out what an agent is looking for–look up their Publisher’s Marketplace profile, find their interviews or blog posts, or simply follow them on Twitter.

Focus on the close calls. Not all rejections are created equal. A form rejection doesn’t do much in the way of helping you improve or revise your query and sample materials, but sometimes an agent will go out of their way to give you some feedback in a personalized rejection. This means you’re doing something right–the agent cared enough to let you know why they’re passing on your project. Take their advice and make your query letter and pages stronger, and you’ll be that much closer to getting a “yes” somewhere down the line.

Well done!

Read a good book. Well, this is general advice for life, but it applies here too. Sometimes the best thing to do is take a break from your computer and stop staring at your empty inbox. Pick up that book all your friends have been raving about and bury your nose in it. It will take your mind off your query letters winging through the void. Plus, reading makes you a better writer!

Start a new project. I know you want to lie in bed all day in your pajamas. Trust me, I do too. But the only thing that will prevent you from really diving off the deep-end into Howard Hughes-level psychosis and paranoia is doing what got you into this mess in the first place: writing! Open your notebook to a blank page and let that ink flow. Kindling that visceral flame of creativity is the best way to avoid obsessing over things you can’t control and to keep moving forward. There will be another book, and, eventually, another query letter. After all, you’re a writer, aren’t you?

Suuuuure I am.

And finally, don’t give up! The only way to fail in your dreams is to abandon them. If you keep working and writing and putting yourself out there, someone someday will want to represent your work!

How do you survive the query trenches? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

I Get No Respect…

keep-calm-and-respect-others-10Today’s blog post isn’t so much about writing – although it does cross over – as it about our culture in general.

When did we become a culture of no respect? And I don’t mean the Rodney Dangerfield type, either.

I’ll give you an example. Last week I had to go to traffic court because of a fender-bender I was in. (Nothing major, never fear.) Out of the thirty or so people there, only two were dressed nicely, one being me. I realize it’s not a criminal court, but come on, people, it’s still a court of law. I was raised that you dress up for business, anything to do with the law, and to go to the theatre. I won’t go so far as to dress up for air travel (if you’re going through hell, you may as well be comfortable), but at least show you look like you know you’re not in your living room.

One woman was downright belligerent to the judge and several talked back to him. When did that become permissible? I kept waiting for someone to throw their butts in jail. I’ve known people who talk back to cops, too. Why would you do that? What part of “yes, sir,” and “no, your honor,” do you not get? You may not be happy about your situation, but at least show these authority figures the respect that goes with their station.

Another example comes from my day job, where our CEO, like so many others, has an internal blog. We allow comments on this blog so that it’s a two-way dialogue. A fair number of our co-workers don’t seem to understand this does not mean say what you would say on your personal Facebook account. They just say whatever they want, however they want, even though their picture and contact information are tied to their account. I want to shake them and say, “Do you not realize this is the CEO of the entire organization you’re talking to and you could get fired over this?” There have even been a few occasions of profanity, which had to be addressed with the person who wrote it. (Glad that’s not my job…)

This all crosses over into writing with the Internet. I’m not sure whether or not to blame it (and its anonymity) for people feeling like respect is no longer owed to anyone else (but don’t you dare disrespect them because they deserve respect and they’ll make sure you know it).  Or is it a parenting thing? A larger cultural issue? All of the above? But do I know that when we regularly have things like writers stalking/flaming reviewers, or threats against authors because a series didn’t end the way someone thought it should, it’s clear we’ve thrown respect out the window.

One of my relatives has long been an advocate of mandatory military service at age 18 to help kids mature and learn to respect authority. God knows I would make the worst soldier ever (I’m small, have no stamina and I don’t like being yelled at, plus I’m a weenie), but I think she may be right. Perhaps such a drastic measure isn’t the answer, but we need to do something to put respect for others back into people.

I don’t want us to turn into some weird totalitarian society with blind faith and required allegiance, but we can’t go on this way. When we’ve lost the basic tenants of respect for authority and for one another, there’s not much left. What goes next, dignity? Or is that already gone, too? I prefer to see this as a blip in our culture’s history, rather than a sign of its crumbling. But sometimes it’s hard to have hope.

As for me, all I can do is try my best to act like a civilized human being.

What do you think? Have you seen evidence of lack of respect in our culture? What do you think is the reason? What are your solutions?


It’s November, a time of turkeys, thanks, and unseasonably early Christmas decorations. And if you happen to be a writer it’s also means National Novel Writing Month.


For those who don’t know National Novel Writing Month is a time of year when writers across the world try to write 50,000 words in a novel. (For reference, 50,000 words is approximately 2/3 the length of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.) To reach that goal amount, a person has to write an average of 1,667 words per day.

Some people use NaNoWriMo to write their very first novel. Others use NaNoWriMo to start new novels or to refocus their work habits, sort of like a New Year’s Resolution for writers. Personally I enjoy NaNoWriMo for the sense of community it builds. It’s the time of year when I can drag my friends to coffee shops and diners for write-ins.

This is my third year participating in NaNoWriMo (and non-coincidentally my third November out of grad school). While I may not make 50,000 words every year, I do tend to write more in the month of November than I do in the average month. And I do find it immensely refocusing. While I tend to write every day, and do take my craft seriously, sometimes writing can get lost in the hub-bub of life–family stress, the day job, and social commitments. November is a time when I have an excuse to prioritize my writing and be the hermit-like introvert I am at heart. And it’s wonderNaNo_cful.

So this November you will find me with my nose to the grindstone, lurking in the corners of coffee shops, chatting about fictional characters, and writing during lunch breaks. For every 500 words I put a sticker on my handy-dandy chart, (I find there are few things more gratifying than a shiny sticker in reward for a task, but your mileage may vary on that methodology), and I expect by the end of the month to see close to 100 stars on it.

Anyone else out there doing NaNo? Do you find it helpful and refocusing or stressful and distracting? Do you use the website, charts, or some other method to keep track of your success?

Should writers write reviews?

I’m going to start with a disclaimer, because about a week ago I did something funky to my shoulder, so in addition to having worked last night – and missed my prep time for this post – I took pain meds before writing it. Lord only knows how this is going to come out…

This is a post about book reviews, the golden currency of publishing, though I’m not touching the current dust-up over authors behaving badly toward reviewers. My post is on a much smaller scale.


I recently joined Netgalley, which is a service used by publishers where they’ll give free copies of selected books in return for reviews. That simplifies things quite a bit, but my logic for joining went something like this: I have a blog. I often struggle for blog content. I read lots of books and love to tell people about them. Sometimes I post reviews on Goodreads & Amazon.

Therefore, if I publish reviews on my blog, I’ll have a new source of content and build an audience.

And free is good.

For example, my last post for the Spellbound Scribes was a book review. Jump HERE if you want to see what I thought of “Prosperity”, a fantastic new Steampunk novel by Alexis Hall that I obtained through Netgalley. In addition to my blog post, I published the review on Amazon and Goodreads. I would have shouted this one from the mountaintops, because it’s a great read, but what happens when I don’t absolutely love a book?

My friend Amanda writes book reviews for her blog (jump HERE for today’s post), for Netgalley, and for the Vampire Book Club. They’re sharp, insightful, and often cost me money because she makes the books sound so good. Every now and then I’ll be reading a book and send her a snarky comment about it, and she always calls me on the carpet when I give said snarky-commented-book a 4-star rating on Goodreads. She has no problem calling a dog a dog, while I tend to abide by the kindergarten rule of, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”


I happened to be sitting next to Amanda at a master class given by Kristen Lamb. She’s a great (hysterically funny!) teacher, with some very wise things to say about establishing your author brand through blogging. And you know what KLamb said?

Authors shouldn’t put book reviews on their blog.

Kristen’s rationale goes something like this:

  • If an author says something nice in a book review, no one will believe them because they’re, well, TeamAuthor.
  • Conversely, if the author says something harsh in a review, that’s bad form because members of TeamAuthor shouldn’t tear each other down. We get enough of that from TeamEveryoneElse.

Those are good points, and I have to say there’s a solid chance my “Prosperity” review will be the last one I post to a blog – though I’ll still put reviews on Amazon & Goodreads.

Taking things from a slightly different perspective, I recently saw a Goodreads review written by KJ Charles, a fabulous author who I tend to get a little crazyfangirl over. Ms. Charles gave a book 3 stars, and just because of that, I won’t likely read it.  My reaction suggests that whether you’re influencing one person or 100,000, you need to pay attention to how you wield your clout.


When it comes right down to it, I’d much rather beta-read someone’s work than write them a book review after it’s published. Beta reading is fun, because things are still malleable and you can balance your criticisms by calling out the good stuff.  What do you think? Are you an author, and if so, do you write reviews? Where do you publish them? Do you ever give one-star reviews? I don’t, because I worry I’ll end up on a conference panel with the recipient of my negative energy. Leave me a comment, because I’d love to know what you think.