Bizarro Bedtime reading of COTTON CANDY by Sauda Namir

Several months ago, the beautiful performance artist, (and girlfriend of bizarro author Michael Allen Rose) Sauda Namir approached me to do a sexy reading of a Kevin Strange story for her new feature, “Bizarro Bedtime Stories”. If you’re gonna go, go all out, right? So I sent her an excerpt from one of my weirdest, sexiest stories to date, my novella COTTON CANDY from the original STRANGE SEX anthology! What follows is a drop-dread gorgeous woman reading some of the weirdest smut you’ll ever read. And on Valentine’s week, no less! Enjoy, gang! This is a REAL treat! Make sure you watch both parts linked below!


Click here for part 1

Click here for part 2

How to get Bad Reviews (and Why You Need Them)

Let’s talkkevinthestrangelogo4 about reviews. Bad ones. In the day and age of self publishing, a lot of authors’ books end up with three or four 5 star reviews from their friends, and nothing else. That doesn’t mean you’ve got a great book. That means nobody’s reading your book. The best sign that your book has become widely circulated and is being consumed by many readers is a wide variety of 4, 3 and 2 star reviews. Savvy readers are ignoring your friends’ (or in really cheesy cases, your publishers’) 5 star reviews.

On the same token, 1 star reviews are generally from emotionally fucked up people, and aren’t well written or articulated properly, anyway. Readers don’t care about that. They’re looking for what people DIDN’T like about your book, to see if that conflicts with their reading tastes. Strangers don’t give a fuck about you or your book, they’re consumers, rating their entertainment honestly. As a writer, it’s your job to not give a fuck either way. It’s human nature to agonize over those reviews, but as a professional, you should choose a small group of people whom you trust, whose opinions help shape your (always subjective) opinion of your own work. NOT random readers.

Your job is not to please every single person who reads your book. If your book is leaving an average 3 star ho-hum, not so bad, not so good impression with most readers, you’ve FAILED. Reading fiction should be an emotional experience. That means some people will react positively to your work, and some negatively. That’s perfect. That’s what you’re looking for, a reaction. I know authors who have been hit with one or two negative reviews and completely seized up, not releasing a substantive work for YEARS because a few reviews hit home on their fears of inadequacy because a couple of strangers didn’t like what they were selling.

That’s why keeping your honest few readers close is absolutely necessary. If you’ve fucked up and really shit the bed, you want to hear it before you go to press, from honest, loving people, not a silver tongued reviewer who jabs you right in the feelings. Your feelings should have been long since hurt by your circle of “first readers” or “pre readers” as some call them.

By the time your work hits the public, you should be fully confident in its positive qualities, and ready for the people who aren’t going to enjoy fiction about giant praying mantises fucking like people. If a book like THAT doesn’t get some 1 and 2 star reviews, then nobody’s reading it. And that’s worse than anything for an author, if you ask me.