Monday, June 01, 2009

Review of Safe House by Christine Duncan

Reviewer's Choice

Reviewers do a service to writers that I think needs to be more appreciated. They help us get feedback on our work. And what more can anyone want?

I stopped by CrimeSpace the other day to see what other mystery writers are doing.

I was struck by a discussion started by Patrick Balester--"101 Things to do Before You Die (for Crime Writers)." Some of the list was applicable to all writers ("number 7: This year, query three agents a week until you snag one.") some of the list was an inside joke aimed at mystery writers by taking swipes at a couple of famous mystery folks (shake literary agent Janet Reid's tentacle???) Although the list didn't actually make it to 101, it did mention getting a review in your local paper, but that was it. For me, the review itself matters. I want a review where the reviewer gets it.

Oh, my books have had some nice reviews along the way, don't get me wrong. I love when that happens. But if I were doing the 101 list, it would be item 10 and item 21 and maybe item 33 and... See, there is a deal that we writers forget often as we pound out our work. We're writing for an audience. I love it when the audience likes my work.

I've done a lot of the things on Patrick's list. I've gotten books published, spoken at conferences, attended the famed Bouchercon, given talks about my books at the library, been on panels at writer's cons and taught fellow writers some of the little I know. Frankly, except for being published, none of it was on my to-do list before I die. (Don't get me started on speaking in public--but really why would ANYONE want that?) Again, with the exception of being published, none of it measured up to getting a review (either from a reader or from a published reviewer) where they "got" the books. Isn't that really why we write?


Linda J. Hutchinson said...

We're painting the new siding, replaced thanks to Hurricane Ike, but I'll be popping in all day.

Welcome, Christine Duncan!

Christine Duncan said...

Thanks, Linda, I'm excited to be here.

Linda J. Hutchinson said...

Good to see you! It's been quiet today. I didn't get as many posts done as I should have re invitations. Glad to have had your books and review up, though.

Picks By Pat said...

You're right, it's the review that really matters.

At the risk of spoiling the inside joke, check out Janet Reid's blog...when she posts photos of herself, it inevitably features a stuffed octopus (hence the reference).

Sam Palmer said...

I am personally looking forward to when my work is complete enough to be presented to reviewers.

Say, how do I follow your blog? I don't see a "followers" widget.

Sam Palmer

Written in Gray, The Shadow Inscription

Linda J. Hutchinson said...

Hey Sam!

Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. Somehow the live feed got "lost". It is now at the bottom of the page. If, for whatever reason, it doesn't work, please let me know and I'll figure something else out.