Monday, 21 April 2014

R is for reading, reviewing, reflecting and for remembering.

R is for reading, reviewing, reflecting and for remembering.

I wouldn’t be such a contented adult if I wasn't able to escape from reality in the pages of a book. Reading was encouraged from a very young age and the desire and need to read has never left me.

Today, since becoming a writer, I find my reading time for novels much diminished but I'm still reading almost all day long when scanning blog articles, or on other social media outlets.

As a teacher of 11-12 year olds, I was often extremely impressed by the quality of reading of some of my pupils, and I don’t refer to the mechanics of reading - I’m talking about their understanding of the subject matter. Of course, in the nature of my classes (unstreamed for ability with multiple educational levels within the class of on average 32 pupils) that also meant I was often very concerned at the poor reading skills of some pupils. Yet, I never ever had a totally non- reader, not even amongst those identified with special needs.

I really dread the thought that some children of today can grow up to be illiterate adults- yet sadly statistics show that it happens. Reading skills are like many others- they need regular reinforcement for proficiency to be maintained.

Reviews are the essence of improvements for an author and I don’t feel slighted at all if a reviewer mentions something they've found lacking in my work. I happily made maps for my 2nd & 3rd Celtic Fervour novels as a result of a reviewer feeling the need for some guidance for the geography of Roman Britain of AD 71. Being realistic, though, I also know that there are some things I can’t change to suit a particular reviewer. My Celtic Fervour Series is historical romantic adventure which means that some readers who are looking for the HEA endings and lots of sensual romance in every book may be slightly less satisfied at the end of Book 2 where the bias is, intentionally, on the adventure and the military situation my characters find themselves in. The lovers of history, on the other hand, want less of the romance. My writing across the series will cover both aspects but to greater and lesser degrees within the books. My series is not of a standard variety that fits neatly into big publisher pigeon holes- it’s different and I feel more versatile because of my choices.

Reflecting and remembering:
These two R’s for me can be follow-ons from me reviewing the work of other authors, which I do regularly. Writing a review means I can reflect on the great bits of the story I’ve just read, and the act of penning the review makes me remember it more easily since I read so many novels and generally don’t remember the fine details. (Unfortunately, I’ve a sieve like memory.)

Since I became a writer and have been posting reviews on Amazon I’ve stored most of the reviews which means if I come to read a second or subsequent book by an author, I’ve a reference point to remind me of what I liked or ‘less-liked’ about the author’s earlier work. In more than two years of reading to review for other authors, there have only been a handful of books for which I found I was unable to post a review. If I can't give a 3 * rating I don’t post a review. 

That said, I really really need some more reviews for my novels. So, if anyone reading this blog post has read my stories and have been reluctant to post a review on Amazon, or other places, as they've found something less than satisfying but don't wish to offend, please leave a comment in the box below; send me an email with your views; or just go ahead and post on Amazon etc.  

My books are available at:

Waterstones for all CC books

Barnes and Noble P/B


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