Guest Blog from Death Drop author Sean Allen

02 Sep

Writing, Criticism, and Honest Words

August 31, 2012 in The D-Evolution

As far back as I can remember I’ve always been one of those “I don’t care what you think about me” types. I did what I thought was cool and if folks didn’t like it, that was just too damn bad. Well, all that changed when I published Death Drop. Suddenly, I was reading critiques about my book from complete strangers, and I found myself on this weird emotional roller coaster that, as far as I was concerned, was not my style. Compliments about great action and well-developed characters had me grinning like a crazy person (and turning my wife into one of those bobble head dolls from continuous head shaking) one day, and quips about heavy-handed description had me slumping on the couch, eating buckets of chocolate ice cream and watching Lord of The Rings for the 600th time the next.

Why this sudden sensitivity to what others think? Because over the course of writing the book I became attached to the characters and their struggles. I’m not a parent, but I can imagine that publishing your first book and then hearing that it sucked is like sending your child off to school for the first time and then receiving a call from the principal saying that little Jonny is the spawn of satan and should never be allowed around other children. After a couple of consecutive low-rated reviews, instead of heading for Middle Earth via my remote, I Googled some of my favorite authors to see if I could glean some wisdom. It was kismet that led me to this little gem from one of the authors that I look up to most in the speculative fiction world.

“The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it the best you can. I’m not sure there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.”                      —Neil Gaiman

I love this. It appeals to my rebellious side, while providing comfort against poor opinions of my work (which I know is bound to happen, but I don’t think I’ll ever reach a point where it doesn’t bother me at all). I found myself asking, “Did you write your story honestly, and did you tell it the best you could at the time you wrote it?” And my answers were and always will be a resounding “YES!” This quote now resides in the little notebook I carry with me for writing down any authorial epiphanies that come to mind, and I’m sure I’ll be referring to it many times over the years to come, not just for writing but for everything I endeavor to accomplish. I don’t think you can really go wrong with doing everything honestly and the best you can. It’s simple advice, and I find that more often than not, that’s the best kind. Thanks, Mr. Gaiman!




Posted by on September 2, 2012 in Uncategorized


6 responses to “Guest Blog from Death Drop author Sean Allen

  1. daelekonwarrior

    September 4, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Thanks for allowing me to invade your blog for a post!

    • Mikko Azul

      September 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      My pleasure, Sean! Keep up the good work!

  2. Daniel Cuellar

    March 11, 2013 at 4:05 am

    I’ve been looking around quite a bit, but can’t seem to find a release date for book 2. What’s the deal?!?!

    • Mikko Azul

      March 11, 2013 at 4:21 am

      Hi Daniel,

      I asked Sean about that and will post his response. Looks like we’re in for a bit of a wait.


      From Sean Allen February 10, 2013
      I have come to a personal decision regarding my series of novels, and it might sound a little odd. But I’m going to pull “Death Drop” off of the market and close the book website and Facebook page, and possibly its Twitter account. Based on its performance and the criticisms it has received I feel like it has too many elements outside of the average spec-fic reader’s expectations. So I’m going to go back to an old idea: splitting the book into its two main story lines and rewriting them so they’re not so heavy-handed (and minus much of the onomatopoeia), as well giving them covers that are more consistent with a “mainstream” audience (not so much like a comic book, I guess).

      Anyway, the end of the plan entails not publishing anything until the series is completely finished, which, unfortunately, will take me several years (On a cool side note, I finished the first draft of the next book in the series, and I’ve started on the novel after that.)

      • Jarrod

        December 22, 2013 at 6:41 am

        I’ve been holding my breath for an audiobook version (eye problems) of Death Drop, the summary sounds amazing. Looks like that is out the window now. It sounds to me as if perhaps Mr. Allen lacks skin thick enough to be an author. There will always be scathing reviews and nay sayers, but overall the book’s ratings are good. It makes me sick to think about how much longer I’ll have to wait for an audiobook of the “mainstream” (blagh) version.

      • Mikko Azul

        December 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm

        You’re right Jarrod – there will always be haters in the world. We authors have to learn to deal with it. I am glad to hear that Sean still has fans out there who will support his writing, which is fabulous! Authors are always honing our craft, so I’m sure that the end result will be worth the wait. In the meantime, here we all sit with baited breath waiting for the next iteration of Death Drop!


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