Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Paper prozac

It would be disingenuous of me to say I write for the pleasure of writing alone. I write in the hope that others will read my work with pleasure. I write to find the magic that filled the books I loved as a child. I write to replicate the happiness I find in the pages of a good read. Paper prozac. I want to read it, and write it. So it makes me feel very good when people say nice things about my books. Even more so when there is no tie of kin or friendship to temper their words. So yes I did do a little happy dance when I saw this review of The Half Life of Ryan Davis, 

"A disturbing story but compelling reading. Tightly told in short chapters which capture the teenage voice very well. Almost a detective/mystery novel but has more depth than that."

And this one of The House That Went to Sea.

"This beautifully produced book is a great little story, easy to read out loud and has that perfect combination of adventure and a little touch of sadness that makes the best kind of children’s books."

Do reviews influence readers and book buyers? I have asked this question before and there are no conclusive answers. I know I buy if I see a good review of the kind of book I like. But to me a review is a thumbs up for me as a writer. Someone enjoyed my book. People who read a lot and who know their apples have recommended my books to others. That is a significant reward in these tricky times. It is very encouraging. And it is a terrific antidote to rejections. Especially for the books in question.

If you have been wondering what I am up to now I confess I have become a total slack-arse. I have three novels to work on and instead I have been counting down to the release of the final Harry Potter movie on DVD (and am now preparing to watch it ad nauseum - yay), hanging with my children between their exams and trying to support and encourage them through their study (bless their little cotton socks). I have been reading a great quantity of other people's books which is a treat and an aid to my own writing and have been fascinated to find I have learnt more from the books I have read that weren't as well written as my faves were. It is easier to spot weaknesses than it is to point out the mechanics of great writing. And when the sum of all parts is greater than the individual parts, - fuggedaboutit. That's the magic.


Imogen said...

I know that if I had kids 9which to my great sorrow I don't), that review of "The House that Went to Sea" would be enough to make me buy it. It juts ticks all the boxes.

It sounds as though a good review is like selling a painting to a stranger; yahay, someone who doesn't know me wants to live with something I made!

Enjoy the reading and movie-watching...

Melinda Szymanik said...

Thank you Imogen :)

I don't know how much of an impact reviews have, but knowing someone has enjoyed my work is such a thrill. And I guess its not only true for all creatives but gives me a different perspective as the appreciator of a book or work of art too.