That's the last line of Jerry Wheeler's review of Detours over at Out in Print. Full disclosure: having met Jerry at the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival and contributed a couple stories to anthologies he's edited, I consider him a friend. So, it was a relief to find out he liked the book.
I don't like reading reviews. Sure, I guess the good ones are nice and all, and the pans that I've read have usually not been very substantive—I'm all for criticism, but not broad generalities. Jerry makes a good point in that respect, and it's one that makes me think of ways I could have done the book differently. In the end, it was a trade-off that allowed me to focus on other aspects of the story that I found compelling. Still, it gives me some ideas for possible future writing projects. Maybe a story, maybe another book.
Here's a thing I've noticed: I don't get worked up quite so much over reviews from strangers. Yes, I know the general wisdom is that your friends won't give you their unvarnished opinion, but seriously, have you met my friends? They're the equivalent of a tough room. (And don't even get me started on my family. After all, where do you think I get it from?)
The other thing about reviews (and this doesn't mean I'm any less grateful for the positive ones that come my way) is that for me it's the equivalent of looking in the rearview mirror while I'm trying to get further down the road. If you don't start looking ahead, eventually you're going to run into something.
In this case, the place I'm trying to get to is the end of book #2. And since I have today off, that's what I'm getting back to, right now.