Reviews, I was taught in my crash course on authoring (which mainly reached me through quick emails on my Canadian Yahoo account), are the lifeblood of the writer. Everyone seems very tense about them. You need them (or so everyone says) so people know whether to buy your book or not, and when you do get them you want them to be good, but lots of people also don't seem very keen on writing them.
This April's Round Robin topic was suggested by Victoria Chatham: Reviews. Love 'em, hate 'em or totally ignore them. Amazon tells us the more (4 or 5 reviews) the merrier, but how to get them?
I really haven't gotten the hang of reviews yet. They're sort of like getting a written response from a message in a bottle you wrote and tossed into sea from a whaling vessel somewhere mid-Pacific. Usually, unless you've gotten your hands on some pretty hefty notoriety, you have to write to some websites who'll review your book, or else some family members/family friends will surprise you with a review on Amazon or Barnes&Nobles. For The Christmas Lights, I wrote to a lot of authors/websites who also moonlight as book reviewers.
These take a few weeks or months, but often give you a pretty solid and honest review. One made me twitch a little when the reviewer said she didn't 100% buy Louis's poor eyesight or something along those lines, and since I'm severely myopic (near-sighted), I was a little affronted that I apparently hadn't correctly explained a phenomenon I deal with every day.
Sometimes you get surprise reviews without even asking, which are almost as great as waking up to a free puppy. I've received a handful of incredibly nice reviews, especially on Amazon, where I have no clue who the person is or how they found my work, but they really liked it and weren't afraid to say so. I know Goodreads is a wonderful site for reviews, but I realize that many people who aren't bloggers or heavy readers have never even heard of Goodreads. So I highly recommend that site, but, otherwise? I usually have to go reviewer hunting, or sort of stare up at the sky with a quick little prayer. It's something I definitely need to work on. :)
As I will certainly do, follow along the list below to see how different authors deal with the sweat-inducing crux that is the book review process:
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Dr. Bob Rich https://bobrich18.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/how-to-get-reviews
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com
I decided to write this post because I am lazy when it's warm out, today it is warm out; therefore, today I am (inexcusably and irrefutably) lazy. That was a syllogism. I think. I was attempting to be Aristotelian. Anyway, I'm so sleepy and relaxed that all I want to do is lie on the floor and maybe watch the ceiling fan twirl, so I figured I should at least do something, and our Round Robin's topic was begging to be answered.
Topic: Have you noticed how weather is used in writing? How have you used weather in your writing? Drama? Mood? Revelation?
*this was a really cute weather quote I found. It made me want to write a cute rainy scene!
In truth, I kind of balked when I read this question. I'd never really thought about the weather in my books; maybe that's enough of an answer in itself.
I've often used weather, or, seasons in weather's broader form, to show the passage of time. In The Christmas Lights, the coming of winter is a warning for Louis to get his adventurous and sincere-hearted butt back home to America because his engagement is about to expire. In Monet Evanesce (a novel about Polish art forgers in Geneva, Switzerland hopefully coming out next year), weather plays a stronger role: downpour inconveniences characters and adds an air of desperation to conversations held at rural airplane runways; ice and snow keep forgers inside just as a Parisian spring makes them itchy to leave their apartment and explore the warmness outside.
Now that I think of it, I'd love to say that I've used the weather as a grand metaphor or wove a scene around a lightening storm--but I haven't. Shubiao's Girls, a soon-to-be-published paranormal novel, takes place during a crisp autumn, which I guess helps add spookiness to all the ghoulish things going on: freaky things take place around Halloween, and we equate fallen leaves and colder nights with Halloween. It would've been harder for me to push the ooky spooky factor if it was the blazing middle of July, for example.
In Serpents and Flame (wow, I'm naming a lot of projects that are signed but not out yet. Sorry 'bout that), some of the weather is manipulated by ancient enchantresses or even the gods themselves. Huh. Now I'm thinking maybe I should monkey around with the weather in my stories now--I guess maybe I haven't. I think I've kept the weather pretty realistic and natural for the places I'm writing about (I do research this, folks) because if--say I'm writing a story about pirates and there's a duel between two of them on a starlit shore in Haiti--if they were fighting, and the wind howled through the palms, wind lashed rain across their faces, nearly blinding them, and lightning crackled across the horizon, mimicking the sparks flashing off their dancing blades as they connected stroke and stroke again in a glorious dance of death: parry--feint--crash!...maybe it would be a bit of dramatic overkill? That, or it'd be a killer scene. I don't know.
When my next book comes, I'll decide. ;3
See how these author authors feel about literary weather!
Dr. Bob Rich