Leave a comment

Being Read by Total Strangers

I stumbled onto my first book review a week ago (in CM Magazine). What a strangely thrilling experience. It’s what prompted me to start a blog and web page (http://www.catherineausten.com/ — built from a template and about as gripping as this blog). It is just slightly possible that a total stranger might like my book and want to know more about my writing.

Right now, strangers do know more than friends about my first children’s novel, Walking Backward (to be released next month by Orca Book Publishers). My teenage son proofread the manuscript before I sent it to the publishing house. He is so far the only person I know personally who has read it. (My writing group heard the first chapter only; I usually bring picture book texts to our monthly meetings.) 

I don’t share much unpublished work outside my writing group, and what I do share doesn’t get far beyond my husband and children. It’s not that I don’t feel supported by my friends and family — I do. They pick me up when I’m down. They tell me wonderful things about myself. And they always say it’s great that I’m writing. But they usually have no idea what exactly I am writing about. I don’t ask them to read 40,000-word manuscripts, or even 400-word manuscripts. Maybe that’s why they’re so supportive of me.

Many of my acquaintances don’t even know that I write fiction. This has made it awkward to build a guest list for my upcoming launch party. I’ve been approaching people I’ve known for years with a hesitant, “Um, so, I wrote this book….” They are always surprised to hear it, and they are without exception supportive. (Having a book published is undeniably cool. Sadly, so different from having a book unpublished.)

The best thing about friends, relations, and acquaintances reading a book only after it’s published is that it’s too late for their advice, and we both know it. Loved it? I’m so pleased. Hated it? Might as well keep it to yourself. Friends don’t have to drum up constructive criticism and I don’t have to pretend their suggestions help me with my craft. I like that give and take with writers and editors (or at least I like it after my hurt feelings subside and I think clearly about their suggestions) but friends don’t need that burden. Friends just need me to sign their copy with something heartfelt. 

Fortunately, my first book review was awesome. It was thorough and praising, and ended with those beautiful words, “Highly recommended.” 

So now that I’ve had that experience, I’m not going to read any more.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

I am Buddy

It's a dogs life

Roxie Munro

Children's books, kid's apps...

The Wilden Marsh Blog

A blog about Wilden Marsh. Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest

golnaranart.wordpress.com/

Original New Stories about Musical Notations by "Golnaran", The musical cube maker

Jan L. Coates - "What if...?"

life as a kids' writer

TurtleAndRobot.com

Children's Book Reviews

Gotta Find a Home

Conversations with Street People

booktrailers4kidsandYA

This site is about encouraging reading throughout the school years. By watching book trailers it is hoped that you will be inspired to read the book.

(Lost in) Believing in Books

A Young Adult & New Adult Book Blog

The Sweet Sixteens

2016 Young Adult and Middle Grade Debut Authors

Young Adult Book Madness

YA & NA Book Reviews

YA Book Reviews

Reviews for Young Adults or just Adults.

2015 YA & MG Debut Authors

Leaping to your bookshelves in 2015!

Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

YA Crush

Pass a note to your favorite YA book

AUTHOR ALLSORTS

A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.

The Whole Megillah

The Writer's Resource for Jewish-themed Story: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

Cheryl Willis Hudson's Blog

Children's Book Author/Editor/Publisher

PASS IT ON

the networking e-zine for children's writers & illustrators

Julia Lee Author

A blog about reading and writing children's books

Tracey Baptiste

author/editor/teacher

Random Acts of Reading

reviews, raves and a random assortment of book buzz

Children's Literature Crossroads

children's literature meets teaching, reading, talking, writing, and thinking

Books Around The Table

A potluck of ideas from five children's book authors and illustrators

Chapter Book Chat

A Writer Reviews Chapter Books, by Marty Mokler Banks

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

booksellersnz.wordpress.com/

Booksellers New Zealand's blog

Flowering Minds

Children's Book Review Site

Lauri Fortino's Frog On A (B)log

Sharing and Celebrating Picture Books Since 2009

Bobs Books Blog

Childrens and Young Adult Book Reviews by Bob Docherty

Pretty Books

Fiction, Young Adult and Children's Books & Reviews

1001 Children's Books

I must read before I grow up (too much)

Writing and Illustrating

Sharing Information About Writing and Illustrating for Children

Lucybird's Book Blog

Book reviews and discussion

%d bloggers like this: