Over the weekend I got some cheering news. First, a reader posted a 5 Star Review of ‘Eugenica’, which is always uplifting. As I wrote recently, this is my most personal book and it means an awful lot to me. I have struggled to find a readership for it, however. Despite the lack of uptake everyone who has read the novel has had only positive things to say about it. This reader was no exception.
I do a lot of research when writing. Eugenica was no different. As it involved the subject of eugenics there was a lot of reading to be done to make sure that I got the facts right. I found the subject matter quite disturbing even in its more positive vein, when it descended into the dysgenics promoted by the Nazis (they were not exclusive in this either) then it became harrowing. I wanted to capture something of that in my book, I think that I succeeded as the reviewer refers to my ‘chilling research’. This kind of observation makes all the work worthwhile.
The full review can be read here: Review Link
From a very different source came some more kind words, a reader contacted from my website. They were prompted after buying a copy of ‘The War Wolf’, the first part of my Sorrow Song Trilogy that recounts the events of 1066. Again, my depth of research was praised. In particular, this reader really liked the back-story that explains why the Norman invasion of England even happened. I have to admit that when I was researching the story I found many accounts not only treated the Norman Conquest as inevitable but also went into very little detail as to why Guillaume of Normandy even undertook this dangerous military expedition. The same applies to King Harald Hardrada of Norway, who was the first to invade, choosing the north of the country instead of the south. Indeed, Hardrada’s incursion is often just used to justify King Harold and his Saxons failure at Hastings, a long-held theory that is not supported by the facts.
As a reader I enjoy books that have some depth to them. Although I enjoy dipping into the adventure genre I get bored of books that are either too lightweight or poorly researched. I think that is why I am willing to do the work for my own stories. Even ‘Mesozoic’, very much an adventure book itself, has some grounding in science. I worked hard to present a plausible account of possible time-travel. I could have merely written that the characters got into a time-machine and went back to the time of the dinosaurs. It would have been very easy to do. It would also have lacked a degree of authenticity too. The accounts of the animals, that is mostly the dinosaurs, are based on scientific facts that were accurate at the time of the writing of the book. I like to think that that gives Mesozoic a degree of gravitas.
I think that everyone knows that feedback is valuable. As a writer the posting of a review or receiving an email from an appreciative reader is the only real evaluation of your work that you get. Even though Amazon and other vendors make it relatively easy to post a review very few people, in my experience, have gone to the bother of doing so. I wish that this was not the case. It is not as if a full book report is required, as you can see from the review linked above. It is very succinct and to the point. I appreciate it just as it is.
If you have read any of my books and intended to leave a review but never got around to doing so can I just say that it is never too late. Just a few kinds word really do go a long way.