Tuesday, April 3, 2012

In Praise of Reviewers

Until recently, I found it difficult to grasp for words when asked, "What is your story, Apart From Love, about?" just as if I were asked, "What is your life about?" The question, I thought with a tinge of resentment, was too vague, too big, too something, and really, why don't you read it yourself and tell me! I'm afraid that the ways I stumbled in an effort to come up with some semblance of a description managed to convince my listeners that I may have some talents, but for sure, putting words together is not one of them.

And perhaps it was not words I needed--but distance. When you craft each piece of a story, you often find yourself too close to it. Perhaps you can describe that piece--the string of thoughts around a particular event, teased up from the yarn you are spinning--but what you lack is an overall perspective. What does it all add up to? What kind of a fabric is it in the end?

Luckily, this was when my reviewers started coming in to the rescue. I was truly amazed how easily they reflect on a story. They provide a great service, most of all to the readers, but also to me, polishing that mirror, so now I can see myself.  

I am so grateful to Grady Harp, an Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer for the years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 (not an easy feat, considering the constant, fierce competition between the top reviewers to achieve that disticntion); Vine Voice Amazon reviewer James L. Woolridge, Kathy Parsons, a Top 1000 Amazon Reviewer and an independent piano teacher since 1981Vine Voice Amazon reviewer Valerie Matteson, and other readers. 
Please take a look at their great reviews and, if you find them helpful, please reward them! (Hint: You'll know what to do when you see the YES button under each review.)


  1. I've found reviewing other people's books helps me see my own differently and maybe find some of that necessary distance. Nice post. I'll have to look up those reviewers.

  2. Yes, I figure that reviewing is somewhat akin to judging: in both, one strives for some measure of objectivity.