Hi and welcome to my stop on Anita Waller’s Malignant blog blitz with Bloodhound Books 🙂

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Many thanks to Emma at Bloodhound Books

I have a brilliant guest post by Anita Waller to share with you all…..

The Importance of Reviews

by

Anita Waller

I review everything, whether it be books, lawn mowers or a pair of knickers. If I’ve bought it, I review it. On a holiday to Crete in 2016 I read thirteen books (purely because my husband was too ill to go anywhere so I sun lounged and read), but after every book was finished, I wrote a review in my notebook, ready for typing when I got home. These included Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers and End of Watch; I know Stephen King doesn’t need reviews, but I wasn’t going to miss him out, was I?

Reviews are an author’s life blood. A long, intricate 5-star review which shows clearly how much the reader has embraced the novel you’ve just spent six months dragging from your soul, is like manna from heaven. You begin to think that just maybe you got it right, that this reader shows wisdom way beyond her/his years whether she/he be ten or ninety.

And then you get the 1-star that simply says, ‘No thank you.’

But even the 1-stars fade away from your memory eventually (clearly that one didn’t), and let’s face it, even a 1-star counts in the great Amazon race to get to the magic number of fifty reviews. That is the point that Amazon concedes your book may be beginning to look like a winner, and maybe they’ll give it some help along the way and advertise it a little via email.

I love getting the email that advises me to buy my own book. I know then that I’ve arrived!

So, the reviews themselves. Readers don’t need to fear doing this! I once had a private message from someone waxing lyrical about 34 Days. She told me exactly what she loved about it, what I had done wrong that she didn’t agree with (I killed off a character that she had grown to love), and she couldn’t wait for the next one. I replied and asked her to remember to leave a review. She went into complete meltdown, saying she didn’t know how to review and she didn’t know what to put. I pointed out that all she had to put was ‘I loved this book’, give it as many stars as she felt it merited, and submit it. I also told her she had already written a review in her message to me!

Every night, ten minutes before I go to bed, I visit the Amazon website. I keep a daily diary of how many reviews I have against every book, and, with newly released books, their position in the charts. When I go on to the site I can see at a glance if I have received any recent reviews during the day; if I have, I read the new ones. I also do this for Amazon.com, the US site. I have a big following in the US, and surprisingly 34 Days has 286 reviews in the US, compared to 203 in the UK.

When Captor was launched the reviews came in very quickly, and now, one month after launch, I have 72 reviews, 96% of which are 4 and 5-star reviews. There is one 2-star review that totally takes my breath away. If you have read Captor, I think you will have realised it bears no resemblance to a Mills and Boon novel, but it is the last sentence that causes me more concern.

To protect her privacy, I have left out her name. It is on the review on Amazon. This is what she wrote.

She writes fluidly enough, but this is cliched formulaic writing of the Mills & Boon variety. I read the prologue, that was enough.

She read 852 words of a 72,897-word novel, meaning that she didn’t read 72,045 words. I will make no further comment on this review but leave it to you to judge.

To even things up, let’s look at the US site, again with Captor. This site has two 1-star reviews. One just defies comprehension.

it say .99 but when you get to Kindle it’s 2.99 what’s up with that?

The second 1-star was so wrong on so many levels. I am only showing the first few lines of this one because her reasons for giving me a 1-star review are explained very clearly. The rest of the review made the biggest mistake of all, it told everybody the entire story.

I do not like to read books about cheating spouses. Nowhere in the blurb is this mentioned. Call me old fashioned, puritanical or whatever, but I have no respect for cheating spouses. Therefore it is unlikely I am going to like characters who embody this trait. I nearly stopped reading as soon as I saw this. Wish I had.

This review came with a SPOILER alert. When you do an author the honour of leaving a review, please don’t spoil it for other readers by revealing key points of the book.

You may think it’s okay to put SPOILER ALERT, but it isn’t. Just don’t do it!

So, Malignant will have been out in the big wide world for a few days by the time you read this. If you have read the book that was so painful to write, please leave me a review, and, if you’ve time, drop me a private message to let me know. I love my fan-mail, whether it is electronic or actual letters and cards.

This is why I take time every day to read my reviews, to interact with fans who enjoy my work; writing is my life, and to know that people appreciate the work I do is reward enough.

Just so that you know I don’t only get 1 and 2-star reviews, here’s a glorious 5-star one for Captor.

By David Liscio on February 22, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition |Verified Purchase

Anita Waller is a masterful storyteller and her latest novel, Captor, filled with mystery and suspense, is a pleasure to read.
More than three-quarters the way through the book I still wasn’t sure who the killer might be. I had my suspicions, but that’s what a good mystery does to its readers before spinning them in a new direction.
Captor is a potent cocktail fashioned from marital secrets, infidelity, deceit, jealousy, ruthlessness, vengeance, family bonds, parental love, and mental illness. The story moves along at a quick pace, the dialogue is crisp and relevant, the characters memorable. What else can a reader ask for? Five well-deserved stars for Captor.

Please – when you read a book, get those fingers tapping and reward the author with a review. They are so important.

Anita Waller - Malignant_cover_high res.jpg

Discover a suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller from an international best-selling author

What if a death sentence meant you could get away with murder?

Claudia and Heather have been friends and neighbours for many years and both women decide it is the right time for them to leave their husbands. Together they get a flat but their peace is short-lived when Claudia is diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Being a good friend, Heather takes on caring for Claudia but a lethal meeting with James, Claudia’s ex-husband, results in someone dying.

As life for Claudia and Heather begins to unravel, the answer to their problems becomes clear… it’s murder.

Anita Waller is the best-selling author of multiple psychological thrillers including 34 Days, Captor and Beautiful. Malignant is a suspenseful and twisty thriller which will appeal to fans of authors like S.E. Lynes, Cara Hunter and K.L. Slater.

 

Anita Waller

Anita Waller was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1946. She married Dave in 1967 and they have three adult children.
She began writing when she was around 8 years of age, writing ‘compositions’ at junior school that became books with chapters. She wrote several novels in the romance genre and then realised she wanted to add murders to the romances, so she morphed into a psychological thriller author. Beautiful was her first completed novel in this genre.
The manuscript was submitted to Bloodhound Books who, within three days of reading it, offered her a contract. 31 August 2015 it was released as an ebook, to be followed a couple of days later by the paperback version.
Following the outstanding success of Beautiful, she began a sequel on 27 December 2015, finishing it on 19 March 2016. The new novel, Angel, was launched on 7 May 2016.
Her third novel, 34 Days, followed Angel and was launched on 3 October 2016 to outstanding success; at its highest level, it was #26 in Amazon charts. It is selling equally as well in the US and Australia and has sold over 15,000 copies in the first eight weeks following publication.
She then took time out to temporarily change genre; Winterscroft, a supernatural novel, was launched on 7 February 2017. While she was writing Winterscroft it became clear that fans of 34 Days wanted a sequel, and on 10 August 2017, Strategy was launched.
She is now working on her sixth novel, A Legal Issue, once again set in Sheffield, and once again a psychological thriller.
In addition to writing, she also teaches patchwork and quilting – a little reference to this is likely to surface in every book!
She is a lifelong Sheffield Wednesday supporter with blue blood in her veins! More than a little reference to this is likely to surface – see 34 Days!

Her genre is murder – necessary murder.

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