Reviews: two more for “Lieutenant Samuel Blackwood (deceased)” / About Reviewers

28 February, 2008 at 11:01 pm Leave a comment

From the blog of Emma Collingwood:

Lieutenant Samuel Blackwood (deceased) has been reviewed by two more online rec sites, and hey, they liked my book! Both raised some points of criticism which are well justified, and it’s great they took the time to give constructive criticism. My hints about the sexual orientation of Daniel were probably really too subtle for some – just because I know that, in my work, the captain always ends up with the lieutenant, I can’t expect everybody else to know. :)

Gifted reviewers are as rare as gifted authors. But even the best among them hardly ever get the recognition they deserve. The reviewers. Not the authors. Ok, the authors as well, but we’re talking about reviewers now.

If my writing should be repetitive, full of cliches and cringworthy, I want to know. If I use anachronisms, I want to know that as well. And I also want to know if something in my book doesn’t work for the reader. Sometimes it’s a matter of different perceptions, and there’s not much I can do about it, but more often than not, the readers do have a point. And then it’s my job to roll up my sleeves and have a critical look at my writing. That’s how I learn. That’s how I grow as a writer, and it’s important to me. So I can’t thank those readers and reviewers enough who let me know what they liked and didn’t like about my work.

But now on to the reviews! I’ll be honest, I had no idea how my book would do on DEAR AUTHOR. But looking at the website I found that the reviewers were giving their honest opinions, and so I knocked on their door and asked if they might want to give my book a try. They did. :)

About the book in general:

“(…) In summation, I wouldn’t suggest this to fans simply looking for a MxM romance, as the speed with which romance was introduced and the little face-time it was given made it unconvincing. As an old-fashioned ghost story set at sea however this excels, and anyone who likes those would enjoy the booklet for that alone. If the physical copy lives up to its pictures, it would only add to the enjoyment. Grade: B. (…)”

And about the illustrations by Mlle Amandine de Villeneuve:

“(…) The illustrations are marvelous and Amandine de Villeneuve is to be commended. (…)”

DEAR AUTHOR
FULL REVIEW BY JAN

Val Kovalin of THE OBSIDIAN BOOKSHELF is one of my favourite reviewers. Not only because she liked my book (which makes me happy, of course!) but because it’s so obvious she puts as much love and dedication into her reviews as the authors she reviews put in their work. Her reviews are insightful, detailed, fair, and I’ve learned to rely on her judgement. Currently there are two of her recommendations on my shopping list, and I know I won’t be disappointed!

Two short excerpts from her review – first about the book in general:

“(…) Readers might also desire more emphasis on the romance itself. But that would be missing the point: the book wants to keep its plot elements in balance and achieve closure while attempting this short and challenging literary form (kind of like writing a sonnet). I’m impressed at what a good job the author does while keeping it fun for the readers. The book does have one brief sex scene that is tasteful but hot! (…)”

And about the illustrations by Mlle Amandine de Villeneuve:

“(…) She does fingers extremely well, showing each one distinct and shaped with realistic tension. The four interior drawings highlight important moments in the narrative. I almost screamed with delight when I saw that one shows the first kiss between Daniel and his captain: it’s one hot and romantic drawing! (…)”

THE OBSIDIAN BOOKSHELF
FULL REVIEW BY VAL KOVALIN

The Obsidian Bookshelf is definitely a website you should bookmark; it’s a treasure trove!

A word about the “high price”, because it’s been brought up in various discussions:

I live, unfortunately, in a very expensive country. Still, I’ve kept the price of the book as low as possible. Once all expenses are covered (which will hopefully be the case in the year 2017) I make about 20 – 30 pence off each copy. Fortunes! Riches! World domination!

Living on a very tight budget myself, I have all sympathy in the world for those who find a price of £ 4.90 / $ 9.90 too high for a book with 80 pages. But at the risk of sounding like I was suffering from a bad case of megalomania: I think my writing is worth it. I think Mlle de Villeneuve’s illustrations and cover art are worth it. If I wouldn’t believe in our abilities, that book would have never been published in the first place.

Yes, e-books are a less costly alternative. E-books are great. All power to e-books. But no e-book could transfer our intention behind this book: paying homage to the “Penny Dreadfuls” of ye olden days. You have to hold it in your hands, feel the pages and see Miss de Villeneuve’s wonderful illustrations right in front of your eyes, not pixelised online. If a reader tells me that s/he read the book in bed, with a mug of hot chocolate while it was raining outside, I’m one happy Emma.

I want cocoa stains on your copies, darn it! I want them to have dog ears! All the signs of repeated reading! Yes, an e-book would be cheaper. But we’re not working for Wal-Mart. We’re working for Penny, Dreadful & Tarbottom.

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Entry filed under: books, emma collingwood. Tags: , .

Books / resource: “Boys at Sea” by Professor B. R. Burg Amazon: “Search Inside”!

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