On Brand New Babies, and Books, and Awful, Ugly, One Star Reviews…

So my brand-new, precious baby is just one week old today. She was formed inside me a long, long time ago.

As soon as that seed began to take shape and develop, I watched over her like any proud parent would. I nurtured her growth at every single stage. Sometimes I would get tiny, tantalizing peeks into what she would be like, and anticipation would build.

And then, the glorious day came when I welcomed her into the world! She arrived! I got to hold her for the first time, turn her over, and examine every minute and marvelous detail.

As crazy as it may seem, when an author welcomes a brand-new book into the world, it feels as though that book is borne from your being; those pages are part of who you are; every sentence that you painstakingly penned and prayed over are ones that somehow spilled out from the center of your soul.

Which is why, as author Alison Hodgson alluded to so humorously and hauntingly at the Breathe Writers Conference, when someone writes a review such as the one that I’m about to share, it’s tantamount to announcing to the author that your precious, brand-new baby is UGLY…

This, ladies and gentlemen, was the very first review of ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas that I had the misfortune to see on Goodreads

Nope. Illustrations were beautifully done, but the story… better nativity tales are out there. The ending just left me speechless before bursting out into laughter. It’s not even a good piggyback of the Twas the Night Before Christmas. Nice try, but no …. sorry.

Take a deep breath, the Goodreads team sensibly suggested. We strongly advise you not to respond to a critical review. 

So I didn’t, even though every fiber of my being wanted to. Like every good, protective mama, my instinct was to defend my baby. But I didn’t.

Instead, I tried to focus on all the other five-star reviews which quickly followed that awful one, and found joy in the sweet encouragement they gave:

I adored the intimacy between Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in this clever re-imagination of the Christmas story…

What a beautiful story with brilliant illustrations…

A skillfully composed text…

A new spin on a classic tale…

Another poignant, beautiful book…

And perhaps, in a strange way, that negative review will actually turn into something positive. I mean, don’t you want to buy that book now, just to SEE what’s on the last page?

That one-star review wasn’t my first, and I’m sure it won’t be my last. They hurt.

But when God gives you words to share with the world, you share your words with the world.

And whether the reader loves them, or hates them, I can’t stop writing about God.



Enter the second giveaway in the ‘Twas Blog Hop here, read the encouraging words, and check out some wonderful photos of a little boy holding my brand-new, lovely baby. 🙂

14 thoughts on “On Brand New Babies, and Books, and Awful, Ugly, One Star Reviews…

  1. Peggy Manrose

    Glenys, you have touched SO many with your beautiful books. There will be critics. Focus on the blessings. ❤

  2. Lauralee Hensley

    Sometimes there are trolls out their that are just going to be pretty negative on anything that isn’t theirs, so glad you just waited for the 5 stars to roll in to show you that one review is not a consensus.

  3. Suzi Pratt

    I sometimes wonder about the people who write these kind of reviews, when the next reviews are 5’s. I love your books and you have a 5 from me. My great granddaughter is receiving one for her birthday. Please keep on writing your beautiful books, and don’t let one persons negativity negate all of the beauty you create. God Bless You!

    1. Glenys Post author

      Oh, Pauline, only a minister could think the way you do. And those four words, ‘don’t ever stop writing’ …that’s what that teacher said to me all those years ago when I left Lamberhead Green Junior School when I was 11. God is good.

  4. Kelly

    Oh bah humbug…so sorry to hear this. I am just finishing up my review for your beautiful book and I can’t wait to share it with my readers. My son and I just love it, and read practically everyday! What a wonderful addition to our collection of Christmas books!


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