Archive for November, 2009

What Keeps Readers Away

Monday, November 30th, 2009

I’ve been wondering recently just what it is that keeps some readers from wanting to look at No Going Back, prompted in part by several comments on a blog from people who said they’d seen descriptions of the book and decided they didn’t want to read it. One of them will now be reading the book and writing a review. I’ll be interested to find out what she thinks of it, and whether her fears/presuppositions turn out to be justified. (This was originally written several weeks ago. See below for the rest of the story.)

In the meantime… What is it about my book that pushes some people — natural members of the audience I’m trying to reach with the book (adults, readers, believing members of the LDS faith) — away from a choice to read?

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First Newspaper Review!

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

So I got back from Thanksgiving (spent with some friends in Iowa) to find the first newspaper review of my novel from the Ogden Standard-Examiner, a paper that will henceforth hold a fond spot in my heart.

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The Slow Pace of Things

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Yesterday I got an email from Chris Bigelow (my publisher) saying he’d been contacted by the University of Utah student newspaper asking for a review copy of No Going Back, plus my email address for a possible interview. I was pleased, of course — any publicity is good publicity, as they say, and this sounds like at least the possibility of publicity. It made me wonder, though, just what happened in the 6-weeks-plus since Chris sent the initial news release about the book. Has it been sitting in someone’s in-box all this time? Waiting for stacking, sorting, prioritizing? Or did someone at the newspaper find out about my novel in some other way entirely?

And then, of course, I realized that six weeks isn’t really that long after all, no matter how long it may seem to me as the author. Not at all unreasonable. (more…)

Grateful for Writing

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

I was walking outside earlier today — because, you know, sitting in front of a computer screen all day is not actually all that good for your mental health, particularly when it’s a computer screen that’s inside your own house, so that you can pass whole days without even glimpsing the outdoors if you don’t actually make the effort —

Where was I? Oh, yes, talking about walking around outdoors, because it’s still actually warm enough that you can walk around outdoors (unusually so, for Wisconsin in November). Not that I tend to walk that long anyway. But it helps to clear out the mental fumes, and does a better job at correcting unfortunate moods than just about anything I know. Taking walks — a key to sanity.

I started today’s walk more or less disgruntled about my writing: the lack of response, lack of sales, etc., and the part of me that wants to be disappointed about this and invest my emotional energy in something more potentially rewarding, such as, say, goldfish raising. In short, I was mentally whining about my lot in life as an unappreciated, unread, and (mostly) unpurchased writer, when I was smacked by the realization of just how ungrateful I was being, and how forgetful of the many wonderful things that have happened to me throughout this whole writing process — which the various accompanying disappointments don’t really subtract from in any meaningful way.

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On Writing a Realistic Novel

Friday, November 6th, 2009

It’s interesting being the author of a novel about a topic that matters so much to a lot of readers. Sex and religion are topics that people care about passionately (if you’ll pardon the double pun), and when they intersect, there’s little that’s more potentially volatile.

That’s all to the good when people like my book. I’ve gotten some amazing comments from people, not just about how the book affected them as a story but about the positive good they think it can do in the world. I’d like to believe those comments are all true. But it can be especially unpleasant when people don’t like my book — especially those who share my religious beliefs.

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Now Welcoming Reader Comments

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Ever since before No Going Back was published, I intended to make a space available for people to share their thoughts about the book — positive and negative, under their own names or anonymously, so long as what they were saying was relevant and respectful of me and others. After all, a big part of my reason for writing the book was to stimulate conversation about this topic in the LDS (Mormon) community. How can I do that if people don’t have somewhere to talk about it?

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