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Saturday, May 14, 2011

I'll Allow Myself A Happy Dance!

I know of exactly three people who have read Justified: My Mother, my lovely editor and Barbara Bretton.

Mom knew more about the story than anyone else, because I used her to bounce off ideas and she even suggested story ideas when I was stuck. I admit, that as she read through it when I finished, I loved that sometimes she gasped and sometimes she’d just laugh – big laughs, little chuckles, guilty giggles that were so wrong but could not be stopped.

My editor saw a few things coming and was shocked nonetheless and she got it, she really got it.

But then, these are my people. The grammar, we all knew, would not need too much fixing – especially because I usually write the way I speak. And they both know me well enough that some of what they saw on the page was not exactly predictable but oddly familiar. They knew what to expect and were not disappointed and I managed to surprise as well.

The question remained, how would others perceive the work?

Of course, the ones reading it now are predominantly friends and acquaintances because they received the message first-hand. But other than the few details I wrote about at the Temple of Doom blog and whatever I told them in the press release, they're going in blind.

They know how it starts and some of the journey the hero undertakes, but none of the details and not the end of the tale.

Then Barbara began to read and I waited with bated breath. Of all my friends, she is the successful, published writer with over 40 books under her belt. Of course, because she has been a good friend for well over a decade her opinion means the world to me. Her professional opinion also carries much weight with me because this is her bread and butter and I defer to her wisdom.

«««« In the interest of full disclosure, author Kali Amanda Browne is a good friend but trust me, friendship doesn't mean much at all when it comes to novels. In fact, knowing the author often makes the reading experience an exercise in pain and anxiety. Trust me when I say, nothing is harder than reading a novel written by a friend. It's very difficult to separate the friend you know and love from the work of fiction in your hand. With JUSTIFIED, Kali Amanda Browne did the impossible: before the first chapter ended I was so deeply immersed in her fictional world that I forgot she had written it and settled in for a great read. 
And JUSTIFIED is a great read. Murder, betrayal, sly humor, witty dialogue, laugh-out-loud moments interspersed with real emotion. The characters are real, the dialogue crackles, the ending surprises. What more can a reader ask for? Well, maybe one thing: a sequel featuring Carmen and Sean. Highly recommended. 
That is the review she wrote at the Amazon site. I fully admit that I was swelling with pride. Then the lapsed Catholic that lives inside my head like a demented monk in a cave warned me to keep it down. But I still love that this is my first official review.

It doesn’t get any cooler than this!

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