sickening. Simply sickening.

Oh… my… God!

This year I entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition and unlike past years I made it into the second round. It was in that round that I fell to the wayside.

I imagine that all the contestants that were eliminated in the second round received two critiques. One was favorable and pointed out the good and bad in my writing. That was great. Useful criticism is a staple in writing. The other couldn’t make it past the scene where the protagonist becomes infected with The Pelican Flu.

Now I’ve done a copy and paste of what was said, and nothing was changed. I hope you enjoy.

The Not-So-Big Book of Sickness

ABNA Expert Reviewer

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

This excerpt was all about disgusting bodily fluids, vomit, sickness and misery. I think it will stick in my mind for hours after I finish this excerpt. The visual imigages were awful and nauseating. I don’t think I will ever forget it although I’d like to.

What aspect needs the most work?

I would like to see some part of this book not want to make me vomit. I wish the author could write about something else than bodily excretions, sickness and disease. Yes, I know it’s about him being a ghost but there is no way I would want to continue reading after such gross images.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

sickening. Simply sickening. That is not to say that the author is not a good writer. Indeed, he managed to capture the essence of disgustingness. For that I must credit him. But I don’t know who would want to read this book and willingly put themselves in a world full of vomit.

So the truth is out. I can write and I can do it well. I’ve given out more copies of Memoirs of the Walking Dead than I could keep up with and more than a dozen people, that I know of, are unable to make it past the initial infection or the sickness that follows. Without giving anything away I wanted to do a unique infection scene, inspired by The 40 Year Old Virgin, and a sickness scene unlike anything anyone has ever read or witnessed on a screen. It appears I have succeeded and I take no small amount of pride in that. In fact, I take a lot of pride in that fact. If you want to learn more you should really pick up a copy and find out. It’s guaranteed to make you squirm.

Edit: I forgot to point out that the “expert reviewer” also believed the story was about a ghost when in fact the title is Memoirs of the Walking Dead: A story from the zombie’s point of view. Obviously he or she wasn’t a zombie/horror/comedy fan.


About Jason McKinney

I'm a word slinging, werewolf loving, zombie wrangling, scare master author, husband and father of three. When I'm not writing, I'm blathering nonsense to the world or taking orders from the family. You have my thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the madness and mayhem! Stay delicious, my living peeps!
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13 Responses to sickening. Simply sickening.

  1. I don’t even know what to say!!
    If you woud have asked me 5 minutes ago if I ever wanted to read a book that will make me sick–I would have said “Of course not.”
    Now I HAVE to read it.
    Not sure I want to–but this is now something I have to do.
    Not easy to make an impression like that.
    Wish me luck Jason!

    • My mother always told me that I should go forth and leave a good impression on people. I’m not sure that’s what mama had in mind though. lol

      I wish you nothing but the best and super luck, Penelope. Though truth be told, your work is phenomenal! Francine & the Super Pet Spy Bunny is a treasured book with the girls. And don’t get me started on The Moon is No Place for a Ghost. 🙂

  2. Obviously you did your job very well if the reviewer was so sickened they couldn’t get past that portion of the book and give it a fair chance. Perhaps this is not the genre for that reviewer to be reading if it was so effective that it stopped them from reading further into the book. You should be (and are, by your admission) proud you so effectively conveyed what you set out to do! And congrats on making round two ;}

    • Thank you, Nina. The funny thing is this; for those two months of the contest I sold over 100 copies each month. My normal selling is 25 to 30. No coincidence I say. I’ve always lived by the mantra that says, “Be effective in what ever you do.” I’d like to think that I’m a very effective author. 😉

  3. I would agree with Nina.. Obviously not her genre and I think you got really unlucky with that reviewer.. To be honest I don’t think she took a very professional approach at all..xx

    • Thank you for replying, Rosie! I agree. I drew someone not into the horror or, dare I say, comedy genre. Memoirs is a zombie comedy at its heart. I agree. It was unprofessional, but the reviewers didn’t have to attach their name to the ABNA Expert Reviewer review so I suppose that afforded them a little “critquing freedom”. Regardless I found it humorous, plus I’ve been meaning to blog about this for the past month and now seemed a perfect time.

  4. it made me want to read it. Job done. Much luck

  5. Larry Kollar says:

    Congrats on making the first cut, anyway!

    I had a #FridayFlash story get dinged pretty hard for a similar (but less nauseating) reason: I did too good a job making the readers feel what the characters were feeling. Unfortunately, what they were feeling was sensory overload.

    I’m hoping to have something to enter next year…

    • Thanks for commenting, reading, and the congratulations, Larry. Memoirs is not for the faint of heart. The goal of writing is to be remembered and I think you and I both did that. 🙂