OK, So I Got That Review for The Bell Witch on Ain’t It Cool News…

The Bell Witch 4 (small)

So, about a month or so ago, the uber-geek site Ain’t It Cool News hosted a giveaway contest for my novel The Bell Witch.  It was pretty exciting because AICN is such a huge site that attracts a great deal of traffic.  They also promised a review of the book.

Now, this all came about because I pursued it.  I sent a query to the horror editor of AICN to see if he’d be interested.  They review practically no books, so it was a complete crapshoot even approaching them.  But he was interested, I sent the book, and the wheels started turning.

I approached all this with a smidge of trepidation because of the tone of the book.  The Bell Witch is being represented as a horror book…but it really isn’t.  It’s more of a ghost story, and even then it’s not quite the kind of ghost story 21st-century Americans expect.  It’s a gentle story, really almost a 19th-century spiritualist story.  And that’s deliberate.  As I’ve said a few times here, the idea of a chain-rattling, boo-shrieking ghost story bores me. That’s not the story I wanted to tell.

I knew that positioning the book as horror would be problematic, in that many would buy it, read it and get something quite different from what they were expecting.  And at least one review has taken issue with this already.  I was afraid that AICN would have the same problem…and the reviewer did.

So, go take a look at the review.  I’ll wait…

OK, back?  Great.  So, not the greatest review in the world, but most of that’s because the reviewer was confronted with a story (or at least a tone) he wasn’t expecting; i.e., not horror. He liked the beginning, however, and liked certain scenes.  But he mentions several times that it wasn’t a “horror” book.  I agree.

I share this with the six of you who actually read this blog in my attempt to be honest about how my work does out there in the great unknown.  You’re not always going to get good reviews…you’re not always going to get bad reviews.  Sometimes, you’re going to get muddy, so-so reviews.  Oh well…

I carried three things away from this review.  First, he ultimately (if a tad grudgingly) recommends the book.  Second, he makes the usual direct Twilight Zone comparison my writing almost always garners, so that’s nice.  And third…




About John F.D. Taff

John F.D. Taff is a writer, published author, raconteur and wrangler of angry stoats. He has more than 80 short stories and 7 novels published. He lives in the great, unspoiled vastness of the Midwest. He has a tremendous wife named Debbie, three pugs, Sadie, Tovah and Muriel, and three great kids--Harry, Sam and Molly. View all posts by John F.D. Taff

4 responses to “OK, So I Got That Review for The Bell Witch on Ain’t It Cool News…

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