Tag Archives: Stephen King

#Bookreview The Fireman by Joe Hill Fire (@joe_hill), Apocalypse and Pop-culture with a spoonful of sugar. Who are the really sick ones?

REVIEWS FOR LITERARY WORLD REVIEWS

The Fireman by Joe Hill
The Fireman by Joe Hill

Title:   The Fireman
Author:   Joe Hill
ISBN13:  978-0062200648
ASIN:  B016P01YCQ
Published:  May 17th 2016
Pages:  768
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction/ Science-Fiction/ Action-Adventure

Sorry  for being a bit scarce on the posts, but we’ve had some health problems in the family and although hopefully things are better, I’m still trying to catch up with everything. But I’ve managed to do a bit of reading and I thought I’d try and share some of those with you all.

Today’s novel is by an author I’m keeping watch for. I’ve mentioned before that I love horror (although I don’t read it all that often these days) and I’m a big fan of Stephen King. Well, if you haven’t met him yet, let me introduce you to the latest book by one of his sons, Joe Hill.

First, the description:

From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Boxcomes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.

The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

Now, my review.

Thanks to Orion Publishing Group Gollancz and to Net Galley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

I have read three books by Joe Hill before, enjoyed them and I was excited when I saw his new novel on offer at Net Galley. In short, the book offers a post-apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by a fungus with a lyrical name, Draco incendia trychophyton (or Dragonscale for friends), that turns human beings into torches, and the adventures of a particular group of sufferers.

Joe Hill thanks both J. K. Rowling and his father, Stephen King, for the inspiration, and indeed that’s quite evident throughout the book, together with many references to a variety of pop-culture items: songs from musicals, songs from pop and rock groups (yes, there’s a fair amount of singing), hymns, foodstuffs, cars, TV cult series and books, many books. Those will, no doubt, enhance the reading experience of people in the know, although should not affect the understanding or enjoyment of the story for those who might not be fully conversant with all of them.

The story is told (mostly, apart from a few brief chapters) in third person from the point of view of Harper, a school nurse who volunteers to work in a hospital treating those affected when the school she worked at closes doors due to the spread of the infection and its terrible effects (the fungus makes people ignite, and with them, the things and beings around them. And it can set off a chain reaction of burners too). Unfortunately, she becomes infected and shortly after discovers that she’s pregnant. She also discovers that her perfect marriage to Jakob is anything but, and she ends up taking refuge at an old campsite where a group of affected individuals have discovered a way to control the illness. They welcome her into their congregation/community and although she finds it difficult to fit in at first, she becomes a member of the group, joining in the Bright (you need to read it to know what this means, but let’s say it’s a way of sharing and communicating that the younger generation refers to as social networking) and comes to love many of the residents. She also discovers things about herself she didn’t know, and of course, she meets the Fireman, John, and Englishman who seems to have learnt to control the Dragonscale much better than anybody else, and goes around driving an old fire truck and dressed in a fireman’s uniform. In a nod to Ray Bradbury, this Fireman controls fire and sets things alight, rather than putting fires out. He is a larger than life character, although we discover later in the books that he’s all too human.

As is the case in all crises, they seem to bring both the best and the worst in people, and if the point of view we follow puts readers in a sympathetic frame of mind towards Dragonscale sufferers, we gradually see that things are not black and white and not all is harmony. The congregation seems happy and a haven for people infected at first (indeed for a while it’s a case of those infected —at least the members of the group— appearing to be more humane and morally right than healthy individuals), but over time we discover that whilst the fungus seems to enjoy people’s connectedness and happy emotions, there are risks involved in channelling such power and following blindly what ends up looking scarily like a cult. There are thefts, accusations and resentments, and when two prisoners are rescued, terrible things happen and ugly behaviours rear their heads. There are many secrets, and although we might have our suspicions, by being inside of Harper’s head we only have access to her opinions and thoughts. She is curious and finds out some interesting first-hand information that helps us understand the illness (I loved some of the theories behind its spread, however fanciful they were), but she is also a human being with feelings and emotions. She doesn’t always make rational decisions and she is often wrong. And she wrongfoots us.

The characters are distinct and unique, the good, the bad, and the truly human. I liked and cared for Harper, who is a pretty special individual who comes into her own as the book advances and who indeed is one of the people who grow. She matures and becomes a hero. If her husband tells her he had expected her to be his inspiration, she finds a real family and a calling during her adventures. The Fireman is a fantastic character and I enjoyed the mystery around him at first, and also getting to know more of his circumstances. Many of the secondary characters are also memorable. Nick, the deaf boy who steals everybody’s heart; Allie, his sister, a totally believable teenager who deserves a book of her own; fantastic Renée with her love for books and her courage…

The books is beautifully written, the descriptions not overbearing but vivid and lyrical at times, the story moves along at good rhythm, with chapters that are more contemplative and share information (like the diary Harper reads), and others packed with intrigue, action and a healthy dose of fright. I thoroughly enjoyed it, although I did not find it truly scary (but that’s not necessarily a recommendation for general readers, as I love horror and don’t scare easy). With regards to its genre, I’ve read a few post-apocalyptic stories but I’m not a real buff. To give you some idea based on my previous reading, I’d say that Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is more contemplative, challenging, philosophical, and made me think more. The Dead Lands by Dylan Morgan (that is more sci-fi) is scarier and grittier but more interested in action and weaponry.

I had a look at the reviews and comments about the book to see if I could shed light or at least my own opinion on the matter. I saw that many people compared it negatively to King’s The Stand, but although I love Stephen King’s books, I have not read all of them and that one has escaped me so far, so I can’t comment on that (although the reviews made me want to read it. The Fireman is much shorter, though). So if you’ve read The Stand and loved it you might want to read the comments first. Of course, you might want to make your own mind up.

Some others didn’t find Harper’s romantic relationship (I’m trying not to reveal any spoilers here) realistic and they think it seems very sudden and as if come out of nowhere. On that subject I agree that there does not seem to be a big build-up or many hints as to the interest between the two, but there are some subtle indications that they are matching souls, and it’s true that at times of emotional turmoil when life might come to an end at any minute one might hold on to the little moments of joy (that without taking into account the interesting effects of the Dragonscale). The novel would have worked without the relationship, but for me it rounds it up.

I enjoyed it as a great yarn, with strong characters easy to root for (and others easy to hate) and great quality writing. I’m not sure it will beat all other post-apocalyptic stories for those who love the genre, but it’s a good read. I look forward to Joe Hill’s next book.

Author Joe Hill
Author Joe Hill

I mention in the review that I’ve read three of his books. These was before I started publishing my own books and I didn’t write detailed reviews, although I wholeheartedly recommend Heart-Shaped Box and 20th Century Ghosts (if you love ghosts and short-stories, some of them are masterpieces). I also read Horns that is a very quirky book (I prefer the other two but this one is perhaps more mainstream. I haven’t watched the movie with Daniel Radcliffe and can’t comment on how good or bad it is).

Biography:

He’s written many more things and some of his stories appear in collections, so you might want to check his Amazon page where I got this from:

The author of the critically acclaimed Heart-Shaped Box and 20th Century Ghosts, Joe Hill is a two-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award, and a past recipient of the Ray Bradbury Fellowship. His stories have appeared in a variety of journals and Year’s Best collections. He calls New England home.

By the way, when I checked his Twitter account it seems he’s in England with the Fireman, so you might want to keep an eye open for him.

 

Ratings:

Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5
Readability: 4.5/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
 

Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $12.39 

Kindle: $12.22 

Audiobook: $ 31.84 

Hardcover: $15.94 

 Thanks to NetGalley, Orion and of course Joe Hill for the book, thanks to all of you for reading, and do like, share, comment and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

Stephen King on WritingOne of the books just about every big writer, agent, publisher, or whatever in the industry says you should read as an author is Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. So what if it’s been nearly 17 years since it came out.

King covers everything from his childhood and a very bad case of poison ivy to his being hit by a driver that almost killed him. And from his first earnings as a writer from his mother paying for his childhood stories to his latest works around the year 2000. Mixing the two strings of discussion in such a way that you learn just as much about writing from reading the book as you do from what he says about writing in the book.

One thing I realize from Stephen King is, that no one is right all the time. Even King admits there isn’t a hard fast rule about writing. There are rules about writing, but not about writing.  Did that make sense to you? Welcome to an example of how King sometimes gets his point across although it was my point in this instance.

Great things can be said by great people and garbage by even greater ones, but if you want to learn anything, listen to those who do things rather than talk about them. There is a reason you don’t see dozens of books about writing from King. He didn’t want to say anything unless he had something to say. It had to be different and it had to be useful information.

He succeeds on all counts. His examples are excellent and the encouragement one can get from following his path to success is inspiring. Even King had his moments of doubt but he never gave up. He hated one of the books that he is most identified with. He worked harder than most of us ever has, while continuing to write, write, and write some more.

It’s hard for me to believe I’d ever say that a book about writing is a page turner, but here I am saying exactly that.On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is a page turner. You want to know what example he’ll use next; what nugget of wisdom he will share. You want to see if you are already doing things King mentions and give yourself kudos for it, while telling King he’s wrong about the things you disagree with, but know he’s correct all the same.

King is the antithesis of what so many point to in regards to classic writing, but he’s not really. He still tells tales in that big epic manner while doing so in a modern fast paced way that holds attention. How can you read his books in one sitting? People do it.

Every book is a classroom. You either learn how to write or how not to write. King is the classic read-as-much-as-possible writer. He’s read more books than I’ve heard scanned the titles of and that’s something that needs to change, and I’m doing so.

I recommend Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft to anyone who is or wants to be a writer. The sooner you read it in your career the better. Why waste time doing things the wrong way when we have help out there telling us the right way?Writing the breakout novel by Donald Maass

My next book on writing to speak about will be Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. I started it quite some time ago, but it’s not quite the page turner like King’s. It’s not meant to be, but it does have its merits and I’ve used what Maass said in my debut novel that has pretty good ratings so far. Until next time;

“Read Great to Write Greater.”-Ronovan


by Ronovan Hester

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HONESTY: The Best Policy?

Stephen King on Writing“As with all other aspects of fiction, the key to writing good dialogue is honesty. And if you are honest about the words coming out of your characters’ mouth, you’ll find that you’ve let yourself in for a fair amount of criticism.” Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft, Page 217

Stephen King’s book On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft is considered a must by many in the profession. The quote above continues on about how King receives mail at least once a week calling him all sorts of names because of what his characters say. A lot of people confuse what a character believes with what an author believes.

Believe me when I say, that if I have a character murder someone, I don’t believe in people murdering people. I want that on the record. Oddly, I imagine King has rarely been called a murderer.

The dialogue he’s referring to are defamatory, degrading, and profanity filled. I agree that authors need to have their characters speak honestly. Here comes the hard part. Through which pair of eyes and ears are we listening with?

King believes, or at least notes that even the good little Christians will say the expletives when faced with things such as that smashing of the thumb with the hammer scenario, unless it’s an old maid aunt. I’ve never been called an old maid aunt before. Then again I was only hit in the eye with a fast ball by my son. The only thing I said was “Ow!” and “Gosh!”.

You see, my habits of life are to not use certain words in thoughts and conversation. What this in turn creates is a creative environment of ‘clean’ dialogue. Strangely, the no profanity doesn’t seem to come out as dishonest to people.

How can this be? If you create the setting, the world, and use the proper sentence structure, you don’t need certain words to convey certain emotions. I’m not saying a writer shouldn’t use profanity or whatever else they want to, but I wanted to point out that King doesn’t have it perfectly right, and he would probably be the first one to tell you that. His book is very good and he doesn’t profess to be the end all be all of writing. I think that, and his own honesty of life and experience is what makes this book one of the Top 5 books on writing people recommend.

Honesty is what every book must have in order to be an honest success. Have you read a book and then suddenly there is this scene that makes no sense? It’s an obvious insert. Someone decided the book needed that scene. Hopefully the rest of the book is strong enough to overcome an obvious veering away from a character’s portrayal to that point.

If you are an organic writer, like I am, your characters write your books. You tell them that you want them to arrive in the Bahamas by the winter of 1705-06 but you leave it to them how to get there. Along the way the characters you wanted as good guys end up being less than likeable and some even end up dead. That’s honesty.

I know sometimes you read a book that’s a success and it is so dishonest you want your money back although it was a free download for three days only. It makes you wonder if you are doing it all wrong. The question is, do you want to live with yourself, hold that book up to the world and say you wrote it?

Profanity or not, honesty or not, and what honesty of dialogue means is up to you. My advice is to be honest, whatever that means to you.

Honsety: The Best Policy? Image


Ronovan Hester


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Can You Call Yourself Stephen King? by @JoRobinson176

Apparently. But should you? There’s an author who publishes on Amazon called Stephen King. He isn’t the Stephen King who we know and love though. The four short books of his that I noticed all have two and a half, or two star average ratings overall. One of them has over two hundred reviews. All four of them are being lambasted, but all of their rankings are high, so they’re consistently selling well and have been for quite some time. This writer is obviously quite happy to take the flack while making money.

Many of the outraged reviews sharing that this isn’t the “real” Stephen King would make you wonder why people would keep on buying it. I nearly bought it though. Certain authors like King and Terry Pratchett I always just grab when I see one that I don’t have in my collection. It was only because the cover was so bad that I scrolled down to the reviews. I also don’t read these books as soon as I buy them. Generally they hang about for months in my Kindle – I’ve got some that have been lurking unopened in there for years, so returning them wouldn’t be an option. I could see where such a deception could lead to me posting my first ever one star review.

I’m pretty sure that Amazon wouldn’t let anyone use Stephen King as a pen name, so I’m assuming that this writer really does own that moniker. It must be a fairly common name. He’s not doing anything illegitimate if that really is his name, but I wonder why anyone would want to purposely sell his books knowing full well that readers think that they were written by someone else. And then just carry on doing that after hundreds of complaints. I don’t see any glory in that. When the other Jo Robinson’s books occasionally get added to my lists, I always request that Amazon remove them. I don’t want to reach readers by hanging on to the coat tails of an already very successful author. Slow and steady is good enough for me.

The minute there’s a breakout success, thousands of writers latch on and try to emulate the bestseller. The thing about breakouts is that they are in some way unique. They challenge, inspire, are relatable, or in some way emotionally moving or funny. Carbon copies of them might possibly give a reader some pleasure, but it will never be the same as the original. We need to be our own breakouts. If we believe in our work there is no need to think for a moment that tricking readers into thinking that we’re the real Danielle Steele will lead to anything but rage, just because we have the same name. E L James did manage to luck out by piggy backing Twilight, but that’s a one in a million kind of thing, and a whole other can of worms. Write what you write, follow your own star, and be proud and brave enough to make sure that readers see the real you.

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How I learned to Kill My Darlings.

You’ve heard the expression in writing that you may come to a point where you must “kill your darlings.” Some will even say kill every last one of the son of a—oops. I was channeling someone else for a moment. Some darlings are okay to keep, but some should be killed. But how to know which and who came up with the idea of the da—yeah, channeling again.

There once was a man named Q, who didn’t know what to do, then one day, decided to say, all your darlings do slay.

In 1912 Arthur Quiller-Couch became a professor at Cambridge. In his first series of lectures he coined a phrase, or at least it is our earliest noted use of said phrase and in the portion of that lecture it went like this:

Arthur Quiller-Couch“[If] you here require a practical rule of me, I will present you with this: ‘Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it—whole-heartedly—and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.”~Arthur Quiller-Couch from On the Art of Writing Lectures delivered in the University of Cambridge 1913-1914.-Page 146

 

If this be much too much for some to grasp and too ancient I shall refer you to a more god like being in the eyes of us mere mortallaic scribes.Stephen King

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” ~Stephen King from his On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

Perhaps even that is a little too old school for some. How about this?

Neil Gaiman“I absolutely believe in taking out things that make the story better if they aren’t there. Just as I believe in writing scenes you didn’t want to write, when you’re doing the second draft, because it makes the story work better if they are there.

Other than that, I think you’re God when you write, and you get to make the universe the way you want it. If you’ve written something really good, why would you get rid of it? Normally the bits that I really like are the bits that my readers really like too.”~Neil Gaiman , his Tumblr,com page March 18, 2012 (This link will open in this page.)

kill the darlingsIf you are still with me then you are wondering what my advice is on how to kill your darlings. What one piece of advice can I give that you may not have heard before?

Write and draft and draft until you loath, you despise, you literally wish to KILL your novel. The darlings will then leap from the page and sacrifice themselves. Until this point your darlings are in disguise.

I speak from experience. Recently I’ve been working on draft after draft of a book I began back in 2012 or earlier. 300 pages of words, non-stop for days on end have been my life. I know all of you reading can feel me on this one. I am now in stage 25 of writer draft coma and am hooked up to an IV of coffee—I only started drinking coffee a few weeks ago. I think there may be a correlation, and yes that’s how bad it’s been. No, not the story, but how dedicated I am to getting this one exactly how I want it.

In stage 25 it happened. I. Killed. A. Darling. Then. Another. I began to read and see the saccharine everywhere. Those cheesy bits of one-liners in the interior monologue of the narrator that is supposed to be cool because he represents ME! I had reached hatred level. The more I read, the more it became obvious that I, the narrator would NOT say these things. No one in their right mind would read these words and say, “Oh yes, I’ve thought those very same things myself.”

Some of you are saying at this time, “I will never loath my novel.” By loathing your novel I am in effect stating you are loathing the process of continuously laboring over the need to draft and draft. Your mind will eventually have mercy on you.

But how can you do this? I realized somethings.

One is as I said before there are things people just don’t say. They draw attention to the writing. They pull me out of the story, even my own story.

Then I determined things I had in the story were things people skipped. You know those passages in a book you will likely skip as you go along. You get to certain parts and you want to know this, not that. “That” is a darling. “This” is what you need. I found a way to get out of the way of the story. I want my stories read. Is my story the same story without “That”? If the answer is yes, then son long to “That”. Yes, I know I am using quotation marks too often but I am doing it for emphasis.

Going through my novel again I have made great cuts and slashes. Phrasing is improving left and right, pace has improved, the voices of the characters are becoming more distinct. It has taken a long time to get to this point and a lot of pain, in the literal sense. I would not change a moment of it. What I discovered is something that will help me for the remainder of my writing career.

Will this be the piece of advice that helps you get to that goal you have? I don’t know, but every tip is worth at least reading about. I’ve found I gain something each time, or I lose brain cells from the sheer duh duh duh of the person who thought they should be giving advice. Yes, go ahead and say it as you finish reading this about me. All together now. DUH DUH DUH.

But one last bit of advice. Make certain to save that previous draft. When it comes time for your Beta-Readers to read, you may find you need to Frankenstein some Darlings.

@RonovanWrites

 

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Publishing Single Short Stories

There are lots and lots of people who buy and read mainly stand alone short stories. Probably because of the speed of life these days. This came as a big surprise to me when I published my first one. There are short story connoisseurs who follow authors who only publish short, and are considered masters of the art. I thought it was a cop out to be honest – a way of publishing something a lot easier than a novel length book, because I thought that anyone can bang out a short story. There’s an art to creating a good short though, so that’s not entirely true. I’ve always enjoyed reading them and have piles of anthologies and singles on my Kindle, written by authors from debuts to Stephen King. A short story must still be a complete tale, with good flow, plot, structure and ending. In some ways getting a great short written can be more of a challenge than when you have much more space and time when writing fifty thousand words or so.

I have quite a few lurking on my computer waiting for polishing and publishing, and for me personally, because there’s so much less time invested in them than my longer books, I allow myself to play with the way I write them. The story I wrote for the Save the Rhino anthology, Nkoninkoni, inspired me to write a whole lot of short tales of Africa and its legends. Other stories I’ve started with the purpose of trying to write in different styles and genres, and then just follow where they choose to go. Writing a bad short story is going to be less heartbreaking than writing a bad book, although you might just surprise yourself when you’re just going with the flow. Writing shorts is good practice, but it has other advantages too.

I’ve always thought that as an Indie, the best way to get a feel for the process is to publish a short story before that novel you’ve been slaving over for a year or two. If you publish your novel green, there will be all sorts of learning curves that you’ll wish you knew before, and without any ideas about marketing it you could end up really disappointed when it just sits there and nobody buys it. There is no shame in publishing a single short story, as long as you put the same effort into its creation that you would a full length book. You’ll be in excellent company, because most bestselling authors publish them too. And if you enrol it in Amazon’s Kindle Select programme you can use it as a free marketing tool when you publish your big boy.

Doing this will take some of the terror away when you do publish your novel – not all of it – I don’t think that ever goes away no matter how many books you put out there. Make a great cover for it, edit it and make sure it’s nicely formatted. Make it the best little book that you can, and then let it loose. Have a marketing campaign on all of your online sites. Have a couple of free days in the hopes of some nice reviews. Set up your Amazon Author page. Join Twitter if you haven’t already, and see how it works. Even if you don’t have many sales to begin with, you’ll have learned a great deal, and your systems and sites will all be in place and ready for you when the time comes to publish your labour of love.

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What about those Reviews – The Good, The Bad, and the Confusing @JoRobinson176

LitWorldInterviews very own Jo Robinson,

Jo Robinson
Jo Robinson

shared something on her personal author blog that I thought was absolutely amazing, helpful, and something I have thought for so long.
Jump over and check it out. It’s a quick read that will help every aspiring author and established author as well to handle reviews we get of our work.

You get to see just one of the reasons I went after Jo so hard to be part of the LWI Team. Her experience is just a wealth for all of us to pull from.
Much Respect
Ronovan

Jo Robinson

If you publish with Amazon, you can be pretty certain that at some point or another you’re going to get a review that will make you scratch your head in confusion. The thing I like the most about these odd reviews is that it’s considered very bad form to ever answer one – I would hate to ever have to answer a rotten review. It’s not a good idea to answer any review for your book whether good or bad actually. Amazon reviews are a free forum type thing, and anyone who has read your book should be free to say what they thought about it without any fear of either a rant or a lot of fawning gratitude from the author.

Poor old Hannah. One of the first reviews that my Fly Birdie got was a two sentence one star clonker, where the reviewer said, “I was disgusted by…

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