Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Yay Me - A Review from Val. And why reviewers help writers.

I am happy to link you to a really nice review that Val did of Ice Cream on the Side.  Please go to Obsidian Bookshelf to read it!

The cool thing about reading reviews of my writing is the insights I get.  Val writes:
    ...This gives us a gratifyingly realistic level of detail about Dylan's everyday work, more than we m/m romance readers usually receive, while not slowing the pace of the story.
Note that I am just too new at this writing thing to be aware of that "level of detail" thing (or I'm not that meta-cognitive) but gee, now that you mention it, yeah, I did that.  Mostly because I write what I would like to read.  And there's been many a time when I've read something and wished for more.  More details, description, information, story... just...more.

 Jenre, over at Well Read  Well Read, liked the book but noted a niggle:
    ...It was at this point that I began to find the tone a little jarring with the content.  Dylan is connected to the first murdered man, and the witty asides that had seemed so engaging in the first half of the book made Dylan seem a little cold-hearted and unfeeling when placed alongside murder.  As the bodies pile up, I began to lose a little sympathy for Dylan and his sarcastic comments.
Hmmm. Yeah, okay, I can see that.   I didn't take into consideration how these surprising events might alter Dylan's response to things, or I didn't make it clear just how thick his protective walls are.

At Reviews by Jessewave, Wave said:
    The character that I had the greatest difficulty with was Ian who changed drastically from the urbane, creative professional into a man who lost all control over his emotions, and his behaviour was so extreme that I wondered if this was the same man or if he was schizophrenic.
Ian did have problems and most of the time he just made me mad.  But I can see that I could've given him a little more underpinning, though.

Theresa at  E-Book Addict:

Everything was very believable—not farfetched as I sometimes find in stalking type stories.
How gratifying it was to read that! 'Cause I tried hard on that element and wasn't sure if I was entirely successful.

Rainbow Reviews' Lily:
I really enjoyed the mystery/suspense plot in this debut novel, especially the fact that I was surprised by who the culprit was. It's always nice when the author takes time to make the "baddie" not so obvious.

And again, this is because when I read books where I figure out the murderer in Chapter 1 I get cranky.

Tam of Tam's Reads:
Not necessarily laugh out loud but I really liked Dylan's voice. He was kind of a bit random with his brain always rattling around on seemingly wild tangents.
I'll have to try harder next time.  I'd really like to generate some laugh-out-loud goodness.  It is pretty hard to write.  But the scary thing?  Dylan's voice isn't far from my own.

Erotic Horizon:
I am not a lover of books with too many support cast – but I liked the fact that the author made use of every person she introduced me to and the circle of friend she surround the men with – were easy to love and hate in equal measure.
Not everybody felt this way about the secondaries, but I was hoping to make them a little more than stick figures.  I think if the book had been (a lot?) longer they would have been fleshed out even more.

I probably wouldn't be so glib if I'd received a bunch of negative reviews, but I still would have learned a few things.  I am grateful for the folks out there who do this work.  I'm pretty sure none of them get paid for it, so it's a labor of love that not only helps readers, but authors too. On top of that it forms the basis for a growing on-line community of people who would otherwise be wondering, "Is it just me....?"


  1. Lots of good information to grow with. Sometimes I prefer a bit more low-key humour, rolling in the aisles farce has it's place but I prefer most of the time to snort quietly to myself while smiling broadly. Yours fit the bill nicely. Now get back to work. :-)

  2. I'm pretty sure I laughed out loud at least once, if that helps. Of course, I'm a non-linear, tangential thinker, so.... (Which is why I'm a crap teacher, because I can't teach linearly and I sure as heck didn't learn whatever it was linearly. But that same thing also makes me a helluva problem solver and analyst.)

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  4. Chris, you lost me at non-linear.

    Tam - snorting quietly. Heh. That's good. *goes back to work*

  5. Congrats on the positive feedback on the book wren..

    And moee importantly your thoughts on the bits that was not so complimentary...

    I agree with Tam - Loads to sink your teeth into and WoW us next time...



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