One of my closest friends has been in Europe doing a workshop at the Art Factory (which is a really cool idea). In preparation for the trip, she finally bought an e-reader, and a copy of Everybody Lies. Karen Spears Zacharias is a wonderful writer, leaning more toward memoir — After the Flag is Folded — and Christian commentary — Where is Your Jesus Now? Her most recent book is Silence of the Mockingbirds about child abuse. Her first novel Mother Rain will be out this fall. I admire them all.
So you can imagine I was holding my breath about her reaction. Would it be critical? Even worse, kind? Or the worst of all, deafening silent. But here’s what she said:
So I’ve been reading Everyone Lies and here’s the thing — you know I have zero interest in Alaska so the fact that I’m still reading says a TON about your writing. You have done a terrific job of pacing and description. Your characters are real, and I’m a tough judge about that. There are some format issues with the e-reader but the thing I keep thinking as I read it is Damn that Lois. She can do everything well. You make writing look effortless and that’s always the sign of a good writer. You did good girl.
And in my head is this little refrain: she likes my book, she likes it. She thinks I did good. She likes my book.
Of course, I’m that way about all my reviewers. As a journalist the feedback is immediate. Even as a professor, the feedback from students comes every three months. But fiction novels are different. Takes a long time to produce, and then you put it out there and wait. Wait for sales, for reviews, for anything. That’s hard on a person.
Reviews are the life blood of this new era in publishing — digital word of mouth. That’s why my new email signature says: Read books. Write reviews. Buy more books.
That’s the plan.