Odd that the book fair begins tomorrow and yet I feel completely disconnected from it: from the industry, from publishers, agents, other authors - it's a parallel world running alongside my "real" world (nappies, jobs, the street), with no real connection between the two. I don't mix or meet other authors, I've never been to the Groucho, I rarely even get the chance to talk about books, yet I'm connected to this other world virtue of having published one novel.
Had a rather uncomfortable evening last night, at a family barbecue, when someone slagged off my novel. I felt the criticism was unfair, and unwarranted, and most of all uncalled-for; yet it still hurts, when someone tells you they don't like your book. Your novel is such a large part of you, it's not just a job you do; it's personal. But then, if I never listen to criticism, how can I improve? Whose opinions do I respect, if not those of my reader?