What’s on my mind

I’m thinking about reviews. It seems to be a very important part of building a fan base for the author. However, reviews are so subjective. I’m still waiting for the second set of proofs and therefore I’m not to the point of standing in the sandblaster of comments positive or negative ready to take my share.

I do have some experience with critical reviews. I had several chapters of three separate stories uploaded to a website where the stories were read and reviewed and in turn I read and reviewed others. Some comments were helpful, some were unsubstantiated, and others were taken with a grain of salt. One reader loved the story while another was quite critical. I have to go on faith that the criticisms were sincere.

I recently downloaded an audio book Florence Grace by Tracy Rees. I always refer to the comments, for who wants to start a book you just can’t finish. Of  the five comments four were positive and one was scathing. To be honest, it put me off the book for awhile. Finally, I decided to ignore the negative comment and read the book. Although, I haven’t finished the book I wonder about the negative, subjective, and wrong conclusion (according to me of course) about this wonderful story.

What’s my point? I know how important reviews, comments, and critiques are. I’m also aware of the damage that is done by negative comments. It is part of the game I suppose. There are so many variables; not an avid reader of a particular genre, basing the opinion on limited knowledge of the subject, and the inability to refrain from lashing out for no good reason. I know, I know it’s good to hear both sides; devil’s advocate and all, and sometimes negative publicity is as good as positive, for I wouldn’t be passionately writing on this very subject in this blog if it wasn’t. The book title and author would have gone down into the vast reservoir of filed away titles of all the books I have read.

Currently, I do have a book I’m having difficulty getting through. I planned to write a review (a practice I very rarely take advantage of). The first two chapters were good, but the third seemed redundant and I found two typos. I stopped there. So, what good would it do for me to write a negative review, mention the book’s title and author? I think it’s better to say nothing at all in this particular case.

For instance, the first set of proofs for my novel The Summer Palace had many typo’s that were caught by the proofreader. Some so glaring that I wonder where the heck my head was when I combed over it for the fourth time. Thank you proofreader for saving me from the embarrassment of spelling juggler instead of jugular. However, in my review of the MS I found more errors that were missed. So now, the second round which I’m told will take as long if not longer than the first set since it is the final frontier and once the words are in print there is no going back. That was over two months ago. Any correspondence by me is now met with an auto-reply. Am I really being that annoying? As I’ve mentioned before I didn’t get where I am by being passive. As the days wear on all that I learned about the importance of preparing for the publication of my book has filled my head with cement and the material is now hardening. I say this only to impress upon the reader the continuing frustration of getting a book to print. I can’t do much until the book is in my hand or is ready for release. So, I wait.

Moving on, I’m waiting but not immobilized. I am seriously leaning toward a fourth book in The Summer Palace series. The wonderful characters from the first book are now spread throughout Europe. Book three is so jam packed with adventure that I fear tying it all up in the last few chapters would be counterproductive to the ending I have settled upon.

There are two books I anxiously await. Book 2 of the Age of Swords Series by Michael J. Sullivan and Book 4 of the Bernicia Chronicles by Matthew Harffy both due out this summer. Well, it’s Memorial Day weekend and I hope everyone takes the time to enjoy family and friends and honor those who have served this great country and sacrificed their lives so we could be free.

Entertaining Thoughts

I’m wondering when the other shoe is going to drop. I haven’t received the second set of proofs. I sent them back to the publisher on March 20, 2017. I’m in a partnership with my publisher and suspect that my work is on hold until the final invoice is reconciled. I wait with my ducks in a row in a stalemate on the checker board waiting to say ‘king me.’ This is like a dog on a leash in a dog park; straining the arm of one while trying to get at the other.

In the meantime, I’m researching, writing, reading, and trying to stay current with my media outlets. I have plans but unfortunately cannot do a thing until a date is set for the launch of my book The Summer Palace. I have been making connections in my community with local authors, book clubs, and attending meetings. The third novel in The Summer Palace series now has an ending, the scenes have been gone over, and scrutinized. I found timeline problems, changed my mind about a few characters, and I’m doing research. I’m also considering a fourth book for the series. That is a battle in itself. The decision, in the beginning, to go from a short story to a novel was easy. The second book in the series The White Towers (not a definite title) was a no-brainer, either was the third book, Kende Castle (not a definite title)  for that matter. I’m struggling with a fourth. I need to find the catalyst that seemed to come forth for the others quite automatically.

I have an epic fantasy saga in the works (Woven In Time). It is more in line with my other book Places You Will Be From and I’m not sure if a genre change would be the best course of action from here. I do have The Tea Room in the wings along with The White Towers to present to the publisher as soon as The Summer Palace hits the book shelves.

I’m now looking at a mid to late June launch. The delay is putting my life on hold I’m literally in the dog park looking for a space under the fence big enough to get my big carcass through—it’s going to take a little more digging.

I’ve been reading a great series The Serpent Sword by Matthew Harffy. I started the third book Blood and Blade and I’m reading it ravenously. It’s 7th Century Brittan, dark, graphic, but well written and narrated (an audio book). I highly recommend these books if you are a fan of Historical Fiction. The protagonist Beobrand is a troubled, reluctant, and likable hero. I recently found out that there is a fourth book to be released this summer, so if you start now perhaps you’ll be ready for the fourth when it comes out (I love when that happens).

My take on this entire process? Feast or famine. The long wait for the first set of proofs and the frantic days that followed ended in another span of wait-lessness. An author that writes a book, manages to get it published, and ready to take on the challenge of marketing is not faint of heart. It takes aggressive action, self-confidence, and persistence. So, the waiting and inability to take the bull by the horns is a balloon-deflating experience. Thereby, if you don’t channel your creative fire hose elsewhere during these times, well I can’t imagine the outcome. For me, rabid refocusing was an alternative. Again, this is my experience and perhaps this is not the way it will be for someone else that takes on a partnership with a publisher. I’m told as soon as I get the second set of proofs, review, and return them I will be contacted by the marketing team and my book will be printed within the month. Everything I have read says to be prepared. Therefore, have that hole under the dog park fence dug and make sure your collar doesn’t get caught on those little prongy things.