Purveyor of fine fantasy adventures

Tag: feedback

Same again?

Waiter with bottle of wineSecond books are tricksy things, as I’m sure any writer will agree.

No longer can you meander along at your own pace, letting your story take shape as it will; you’re on a contract now, and you have deadlines – you know, those things that Douglas Adams loved for the whooshing noise they made as they flew by. People are Counting On You.

So you deliver the script, and in due course a book happens and is launched upon the world, and feedback starts to come in. This is not nearly so daunting as it was for your precious-baby debut, but is oftentimes more perplexing.

For instance, you get the reader who adored your first book, but is lukewarm about the second one. It isn’t anything to do with the prose, they say, or the plot, or even middle-book-in-a-series-itis. It’s more that you took their beloved characters and put them through the wringer, and they came out the other side a different shape. You broadened the scope of the story, so it wasn’t so tightly focused on one individual, and these other characters are now perceived as some kind of distraction from the main event. Even though the reader doesn’t actually say it in so many words, you can’t help but feel that they’re not so keen on Book 2 because it wasn’t the first book all over again. Continue reading

Fan mail

From time to time, I get emails out of the blue from people – complete strangers – who’ve read Songs of the Earth. So far, none of them have been complaints. Shocker, I know.

In fact they’ve been highly complimentary. Some of them have subject lines of “Thank you”. One chap told me he’d bought the book at lunchtime and read it straight through in one sitting. The fellow yesterday said he’d devoured it like a good Sunday roast, and was aghast to learn that the sequel, Trinity Moon, won’t be available in his country until next spring.

This blows my mind.

These people took a punt on a brand-new author, handed over their hard-earned cash, and not only enjoyed the ride but enjoyed it enough that they felt moved seek me out in the dark and vasty interwebs and tell me so.

Mind. Blown.

This is what brings it home to me that yeah, actually, I can write a bit. This makes up for twenty years spent convinced that I wasn’t good enough to be published, so it wasn’t worth trying. It thrills me beyond words to know that you want to come along on this journey with me, and find out What Happens Next.

I’ll do my best not to let you down.

 

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