I really should have kept the android sex
by Sharon Ashwood on April 28th, 2009

barefeetYou know those anxiety dreams where you show up for a final exam that you haven’t studied for and you’re naked and on prime time TV with an audience of millions? That’s what publishing a book feels like. Your inner self is out there for all to see and criticize and—guess what—for good or ill, feedback happens.

I’ve been fortunate. With few exceptions, the response to RAVENOUS has been very supportive. Still, I get that “erk” feeling whenever someone darkens my in-box with a “check out your review here” link. Now I know what a partridge feels like in the shooting season. You’re game, baby, and someone has a rifle pointed at your butt.

Don’t get me wrong. An author (or anyone who puts their work before the public) rarely objects to constructive criticism or balanced reviews. No one is perfect. It helps to know where, as an artist, one is missing the mark. Beyond that, not everyone is going to like every book. That’s why there are 7,164 sub-genres of romance.

My only complaint about having the metaphorical gun pointed at my metaphorical tail feathers is that the intrinsic anonymity of the Internet does not enhance civilized dialogue. Which is a nice way of saying some folks are just plain off their meds some days.

Worst comment? Someone said RAVENOUS was so boring they quit reading halfway through. Unfortunately, they didn’t bother to say what they thought was missing. More dead bodies? Polyandrous android sex? Ghouls doing the can-can? Who knows?

Best comments? Well, here are some nice ones I grabbed off my website:

I urge anyone who is a fan of urban fantasy and paranormal romance to put Sharon Ashwood at the top of their list! – Night Owl Romance, Reviewer Top Pick

With its splendidly original heroine and dangerously sexy hero, surfeit of sizzling sexual chemistry and sharp writing seasoned with a generous dash of wicked wit, “Ravenous” is simply superb. – Chicago Tribune

Intriguing and darkly entertaining — not to mention sexy. Ashwood is definitely making herself right at home in this genre - Romantic Times Book Reviews

Nice, but I really like the ones from private individuals who drop an email to say, “Hey, I stayed up all night to finish this. Good work!” Those are the folks who keep me going in the cold, still hours at the keyboard.

The best, though, came when I was talking to a friend (who is also one of my beta readers) about the plot for book three. I was saying something about the heroine and she turned around and said, “No, you can’t write that. That’s wrong. Ashe wouldn’t do that.”

Oh, the proud mother moment. My characters have lives and worlds of their own and are negotiating with my readers behind my back. Alive! They’re alive!

However, I’m checking my credit card statements carefully.

I gave a few of them expensive taste.

7 comments to “I really should have kept the android sex”

  1. 1

    Oh, yes, I can see the proud mother moment in that, Sharon! May I suggest that you also make sure Ashe has a cell phone of his own? With a limited plan? You never know with kids these days… :)

  2. 2

    You’ve gotten some terrific responses to your book, Sharon, and you deserve them. Fabulous story (and you don’t need android sex to dress it up, believe me).

    I would love to know someone stayed up all night to finish my book. As readers, we’ve all done it, even when we know we’ve got stuff to do the next day–it’s such a great compliment to the author! Congrats!

  3. 3

    I particularly like the Chigago Tribune’s superlative use of “S” words in their rave review. Hey, since it is a rave review, shouldn’t they have used “R” words? Something like “A really rollicking, raunchy romp through Ravenous’ rockin’ urban fantasy landscape.” HuRRah for ShaRon! :giggle: Ya know, that’s pretty good. I should post that over on Amazon!


  4. 4

    Sharon, enjoy the good reviews, learn from the intelligent criticism and forget the rest.

    Zita, I think you missed your calling. You should definitely be a reviewer!

  5. 5

    Given Ashe’s aggressive habits, Linda, I think I should also make it a disposable phone. Good advice!

    Gee, Zita, I think you get the alliterative prize for the week! But you can definitely review my books anytime!

  6. 6

    Okay, let’s run with the android sex thing. Since we’ve already wondered if android dream of electric sheep, the next reasonable question — considering we write romance — is what relationship an android would have with its battery-powered sex toy…

    “Open the pod bay doors, H.A.L.” takes on a whoooole new meaning.

    Does. Not. Compute.

    Sorry. It’s not even that late yet.

  7. 7


    I can certainly agree with your beta reader — your characters came alive for me when I read RAVENOUS! That is, indeed, the ultimate compliment.


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