My #First Novel's First Review is In. #Librarians of the World Unite!
Last week, I got the very first review of my novel, which, you will recall, is due out on November 11th. (Mark your little mice-like calendars please.) The kindly review was from Kirkus; you know, the journal for librarians. The thing is I LOVE librarians, and I want every last one of them to read my book and lovingly put it on the shelf and dust it occasionally with tender affection. Kirkus, as you all probably know, can be very tough. Usually, they give you a plot summary and an insult, which is just how they are. Apparently, they have to cut to the chase in service to all the librarians, whom probably everybody loves and has hopes for some kind of sweet treatment on their shelves. That said, the reviewer called my book a "polished debut novel," which is cool. The reviewer then gave a very complex and accurate summation of the book: not exactly plot point by plot point, since amazingly none of the big surprises were revealed, but enough of the little surprises were described to make it meaty. Even I read the review and thought, "Oh, there's a book I'd like to read." And then, gentle anonymouse readers, a gift was delivered to my doorstep in the very last sentence of the review: a complimentary line that can be lifted whole out of the review in praise of my writing. It is not just a good quote, but it is interesting too. I think of all the fine editors and agents over the years who have called my book "too dark" to publish. Seems this Kirkus reviewer had only something good to say about the darkness of my novel, and maybe, just maybe, saw the light shining through all that darkness, which is exactly how I write and live my life. Even if it is just one reader who "gets" my novel, and sees the light in it, then I will feel good about it, especially if the one reader is a reviewer. (I'll take others, too, please.) Goodness knows that the bad reviews will get here too; they always do. But today, micycles, I am happy, and it seems to me all this has well been worth the struggle. I thank you for being in the trenches with me, and I encourage you to keep on with your own work, and never give up. Yo. Yo. Yo. (Notice above how close "hope" is to "nope.")