Sunday, September 18, 2011

Will they want to take it home?...

I have had some more nice reviews for The House That Went to Sea, in the Magpies Magazine (volume 26) and the Sunday Herald (18th September issue).

An excerpt from the Magpies review by Rosemary Tisdall, - "Melinda tells a delightful story of subtle and clever manipulation by Granny Gale, as she tempts Michael to try new things. One can well imagine Michael's determination to resist her methods. Gabriella's full-page evocative illustrations create the perfect matching moods and excitement beyond the windows. The sparsely furnished cottage is balanced well with the busy-ness of the mermaids and pirate scenes. I like the way the story develops and I can see young readers wishing it were them on the floating house."

And from the review by Crissi Blair in the Sunday Herald which provides a lovely summary of the story - "A quirky adventure with a delightfully odd grandmother."

And in further developments, The House That Went to Sea may be broadcast on Radio New Zealand - if and when, I will let you know.

Reviews are nerve wracking things for writers and illustrators. Its better to be talked about then not talked about. Its better to get good reviews than bad reviews. Do book buyers read reviews and act upon them? I must say I do, but I am a lonely sample size of one so its hard to extrapolate from this.

And as I did with The House That Went to Sea, I am now reaching that unpleasant phase in the process of publication with my new book The Half Life of Ryan Davis where I know I love my story and I know the publisher has loved it enough to get behind it but now its poised on the edge, ready to throw itself at the public. What will reviewers say? Will they even review it? No matter what you have poured in to your book: the love, the sweat, the tears, the agonies, you cannot tell anyone what they should think of it. You cannot tell them how to read it and how it should be interpreted. They won't know which are your favourite bits, or your proudest. You have to let it go and hope they feel the same way reading it, that you felt writing it. Yikes, I am nervous for my new baby. Will they think its handsome? Will they want to take it home? So you other writers/illustrators/book makers - do you feel like this when your book is released out into the world?

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