Whenever there’s a new review of Chronicles of the Tree, I tend to get very excited and share it with friends and family. I’m still a freshly minted novelist, after all: the first book has been out less than a year, the second barely six months, and I’m still pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. A while ago, after sharing yet another online blurb with long suffering friends, it occurred to me, rather belatedly, that I may be boring them. I imagined them thinking, “Ok, ok, someone liked your book, you’re thrilled, I’m thrilled, now can we talk about something else for a change?” I worried I was blowing my own trumpet; I thought that maybe I should stop.
Luckily, when I voiced this concern to a friend whose advice I trust, she told me to quit worrying so much, relax and enjoy the ride. She told me that other people would enjoy the reviews, and enjoy my enthusiasm for them, too. (I rather suspect they might enjoy it as one enjoys watching a puppy jump up and down for a treat, with a sort of amused tolerance.) Anyway, with that proviso in mind, I’d like to share another review for ‘Tymon’s Flight’ with you, this time from Crickhollow Books.
I was wondering why it was that this particular review appealed so much to me. It’s not only the fact that the reader liked the book and gave it five stars. Of course that makes me very happy – just as when people don’t like the book for whatever reason, it make me sad, for about a day. I can’t help it! I’m human. But all that is part and parcel of the writing process – you have to accept the ups along with the downs, the loves with the hates, the people who think you’re akin to sliced bread and the ones who really, really don’t. That’s the way the cookie crumbles – if you’ll permit a second baking metaphor.
But there is something else that happens, on occasion, over and above a simple reaction to the work, a ‘yay’ or ‘nay’. Sometimes, a reader ‘gets it’. I suddenly feel like I’m talking directly to that person – really talking, through the pages of the book. And the reader is responding, critiquing, adding immeasurably to the experience. There’s a whole conversation taking place. And the amalgam, the sum of book and reader, makes a larger creation, something I could never have accomplished on my own.
I can’t tell you how important that is to me. It’s like the air I breathe.
Anyway, that’s how I felt with this one. Thank you, Crickhollow Books!