Starred Reviews: A Writer's Whine

A good review comes in, and I'm thrilled. In fact, I've been so fortunate that I can't remember a single horrible review of any of my books. Oh, sure, a line or two (or three) have made me wince and even gasp in dismay, but on the whole, reviewers (in print and on the web) have liked my novels. But it seems the gatekeepers have never ADORED anything I've written, because I've got no stars on my writer's belt. None. Zilch. I tell myself, "It doesn't matter. What really counts is the reader who connects with your characters." Or, more pragmatically, "Who cares about stars? What really matters is sales."

At ALA, I heard other sparkle-free writers murmuring wistfully about how starry authors are wined and dined by publishers and driven here and there in hired cars. I can't complain much because nowadays Charlesbridge spoils me rotten. My big worry about being constellationally challenged is that it might keep libraries from buying my books. Which means a kid who might have connected with Jazz, or Sunni, or Naima, or Sparrow won't know they even exist. Anyone else have a take on stars in this crazy business?