Any time I hear those words, I tense up. I've never had anyone tell me to my face they hated the book, but I'd almost prefer it to the false compliments I've had served up to me since it came out. If you don't like my story, tell me straight. Or don't talk to me about it at all. If you thought it was mediocre, keep you mouth shut. But if you sincerely liked it, then you may proceed with compliments.
My neighbor took me off guard by not saying anything I was expecting. "So, did you know that Pete is basically my husband?"
Considering I didn't even know my neighbors until the book was under contract, I think it's safe to say I had no idea.
She continued. "If I'd let him get away with not talking for years at a time, he totally would. He's the kind that will just do things he thinks you want him to do. He works hard. He's patient. He's Pete."
"That's great!" I said. "Because I've had one or two readers say they'd like me to give them Pete's number. I'll give them yours."
She laughed. I wasn't kidding.