Author Matthew W Harrill

Honest is a good word


Honest. Let’s use it honestly

I had an experience the other day that made me stop and think. To what end do we use and abuse social media?

A person on my Facebook friends list, who I have never spoken with before, asks me to review their taxi firm on google. Fair enough. But I have never even had a ‘hi how are you’, just the assumption that since we have a thousand friends in common, that I will jump. Note about this writer. I hate cold callers.

The taxi firm is in Iowa. I have never been to Iowa. I will probably never get to go to Iowa. The fact that I live on a totally different continent means that I am unlikely to ever need to use this particular taxi firm, no matter how honest the endeavour is. I would aid anybody whose intentions are honest. To give a company even a one star rating (that’s what I was told I could do) just for an algorithm to pick them up, for a complete stranger doesn’t cut it for me.

I am Jack’s sense of outrage….


It reminds me a lot of a blog I wrote earlier in the year, and which you can find here

In that, I talk about how you want the world to see you as an author. Friendly? Aloof? Mysterious? Antagonistic? You want to be giving off positive vibes. But does that then mean that you only attribute that one aspect of your life with that type of personality? As David Farland points out very well here there are less than honest people in every aspect of writing.

All you can do is be the best that you can be as a person. Another good example is as a reviewer. A good reviewer is like gold dust. You will know them – they are inundated with books and have a to-read list s long as your arm. I have two in particular who I rate. Let’s call them Jules and Claire. They are busy readers, but they are totally honest, and very adept at critiquing a book. Yes it helps my cause that they both liked Hellbounce but if they didn’t, I as an author would have to accept that I asked for an honest review and I got one.


If it is honest, and if they don’t like a book, they would present reasons why they don’t like it. This is the crux of the matter: being honest because it is the right thing to do. If you go down the reviews on my books, you will see that occasionally, a review is nothing more than a garbled version of the blurb on the back cover. That person hasn’t read a single word in the book. That is lazy reviewing. At least have the forthrightness to admit you never read it, rather than leave a review that doesn’t mean anything. How can an author learn from their mistakes, how can we grow, if our words are just repeated?

At the end of the day, how do you want to be remembered? Me, well I’m not exactly a paragon of virtue (we all have our moments), but in this endeavour, whether I succeed or fail (hopefully the former), at least I will know that I have been trying to do the right thing, trying to be honest.


If you read this, why not tweet #Releasethebeast @matt_harrill once done? Hellbeast is out, and it’s a ‘damned fine tale’ even if I do say so myself. You can win a copy at my upcoming Release event here.

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