Sunday, 22 June 2014
FEEDBACK & FLOATINESS
I've had enormous freedom last week and this. Having no Penguin deadline is now my version of freedom. I do have an article to write. And a review. I've an interview to compose and a conference and a couple of festivals to prep for but, with no immediate Penguin deadline, I feel FREE!
So I have been reading. Some research bits for Novel #4, but mostly for pleasure. I am grazing between Mary O'Donnell's tense and insightful novel Where They Lie, a fabulous Daniel Woodrell collection, Dubliners 100 from Tramp Press and my friend Billie Travalini's memoir Blood Sisters. And I feel floaty and positive because there is no insane urgency to anything. I am reading more, walking more, thinking more, and just being more than I have in ages.
And I am managing to feel floaty despite the tension that review-waiting causes. Yes, Closet has had some reviews and they've been good, but I have been told there are more to come so I buy the papers at the weekend and hold my breath until I see whether there is one or not. And though there has been a paucity of reviews in the last few weeks, I have been getting reader feedback. Enthused, warm-hearted feedback from friends, real and virtual. And it makes me think, Who needs reviews when you get long texts and emails that detail tears shed over the book, characters loved, appreciation for language/style/setting etc? There is little better than that direct connection with readers.
People may think that writers receive feedback and/or praise all the time, or that we don't value it. They may think that we understand our own work deeply and know how it will affect readers. Let me tell you, we don't. And we rarely hear genuine feedback and we always appreciate when people take the time to offer it. ALWAYS.
So thanks, lovely readers, for buying the book in the first place, and for reading it and for taking the time to think about it and for letting me know your thoughts. Thanks for the Facebook pics of you reading it in exotic locations and for equating it with your experiences in ways that were beyond me as I wrote the story. A million thank yous - I am humbled and honoured by your effort and commitment.