|As apples go, I like 'em.|
To my great delight, I found a review of my mid-grade / YA book, Superhero Club. And it got me thinking about how, without a social media presence, writers are missing out on a valuable opportunity to gain feedback from their readers.
As Robert Burns put it:
O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It's one thing to ask your nearest and dearest or your writing group to give you an opinion, but another entirely to see what the paying public think. And while it is undoubtedly true that many early reviews may be from ardent supporters, over time you should get a range of opinions.
All the reviews below are independent and there may be others at the same link. Oh, and another point, before I go. It's just as important for writers to own their successes as well as their failures.
Each link is to the review location.
Superhero Club - Amazon
Over the past few months I've come to the conclusion that some of the better books being written are in the YA category. Either that or I'm entering my dotage. It seems that YA authors are more precise in their definitions and much more up to date and savvy than the authors of some other genres. Well, they'd have to be, huh?
Derek Thompson's Superhero Club is a story about misfits, and pings all the notes a lost YA hears as he struggles with growing up. Okay, some of the ploys are a little obvious to a cynical older person e.g. calling a discussion group The Superhero Club to appeal to the present interest in superheroes, thereby uplifting downhearted YAers to the level of above the norm.
But on the whole, this short novel (just the right length for the YA genre) will have readers of either sex nodding as they recognize personality types and older people's habits as well as classroom behavior.
Congratulations to Derek Thomspon for writing a down-to-earth book that will appeal to its target readers.
The Silent Hills - Amazon.com
I really enjoyed this short story. The author skillfully weaves a tale that, while leaving you wondering what is really happening, captures your attention to such a point that you're at the end before you even realize you turned page two. I loved the old-timey feel that the author paints the story into. The details were so vivid that I actually felt like I was there, right alongside the characters. I absolutely loved the ending...if you want to know what I'm talking about, you'll have to read it for yourself ;)
The Silent Hills - Amazon.co.uk
The Silent Hills is a short story that follows one of my favourite themes - an outsider drawn into a remote, country village and its secrets.
The protagonist, Peter Marlow is thrown into the centre of village politics when he accidentally witnesses a violent scene by the side of a lake. This goes on to shape his relationship with the village and its inhabitants.
The tale has some very sinister moments and although I don't always entirely agree with the characters' actions, Thompson does a great job of conveying the motivations for them.
The cover note, "dedicated to the stranger on the train who shared his secrets" adds a lovely touch, leaving you wondering to what extent the chilling tale is based on a true story.
I've read other work by Derek Thompson, for example his sketch showreel, and I think his writing style lends itself well to writing prose and I hope he will do more of it.
All in all, an intriguing little read, and excellent value for money. I will definitely keep a look out for further titles by this author.
The Silent Hills - Amazon.co.uk
The Silent Hills draws the reader in to its quiet, unassuming and rural setting. Then, Hitchcock-like, it stuns you by the savagery of the central act. This is an excellent, well-written short story, which stimulates all the reader's senses and emotions. A truly thrilling read.
The Silent Hills - Musa website
Just finished this - absolutely wonderful! Glued to the page. I loved the journey and the final destination. Wonderful work! You really do NOT know where it is going; each page is a little nerve-wracking mystery. Stayed up too late to finish it... highly recommended.