Oh, Holy Moment, wait--It's Reb! Don't you remember me?
I don't often shout out loud in the middle of a Starbucks. But I had to make an exception because:
It had been a good long while since I'd met any holy Mo'...and two five-pound scales had just dropped from my eyes. I'd done some shocking Googling with hopes of finding some usable quotes from my Kelley Wilde books to help promote my ebooks. I knew I'd had a few good ones, especially from Fangoria ('Kelley Wilde is the most original stylist working in the genre today'), the Atlanta Constitution, etc. But I didn't have any copies of those dear dead novels on hand. Mementos of the Glory Days, lost in a cross-country move. Therefore, I Googled and--
Well, blow me down. And shoot me for a billy goat if I hadn't received some of the worst reviews ever committed to paper. I hadn't been aware of them, caught up in the award I'd won and my hot sense of destiny. My stomach lurched--
not because the slams were vicious. But rather because, for the most part, the reviewers were right on the money: I'd developed certain tics--the worst of them being comic book-sound effects to spare me the need for description: SWOOSH! KABLAM! And then, to help me write more quickly while working a couple of jobs--in the midst of a post-divorce breakdown--I surrendered to James Pattersonitis: one sentence paragraphs, two-page chapters, etc.
But I cried out to the Holy Mo' because I had been freed at last: from any sense of my past work as being a lost Eden. The four books were my apprenticeship and, like most apprenticeships, they were filled with pratfalls. I'd said goodbye to those books in my head. Now, suddenly, in a sunburst of pain, I said goodbye to them all in my heart.
Do I regret my past work? Not at all. I look forward to taking what I learned on to higher ground.