Congratulations, you have written a great book.
Phil: Yes dear reader, we have had our first review. Unfortunately Steve isn’t an influential writer for the Times or some other important literary publisher. In fact he writes computer code for a living and it’s in that capacity that I met him years ago. We both worked for a vegetable research organisation and that, combined with the fact he’s on my Faceybook friends list, made him an ideal test reader or crash test dummy. I reckoned that he would be able to tell me if we’d got the scientists wrong. More importantly we are distant enough friends for him to be brutally honest.
As it was, he enjoyed the book. Twice. Or at least one more read through than I was expecting. Very decent chap that Walton.
Needless to say there were comments. Several typos (typical programmer, always with the details) and a feeling that we hadn’t handled the main character transition quite as well as we might. That’s interesting as of course we know her very well but some of the transition she undergoes through the story is obviously too subtle and needs another look at. Mind you, Steve said “The beginning of the book had a bit of chick-lit feel to it, for me.” which is what we were aiming for and as you can probably tell from his name and that fact I refer to him as “he”, Steve is no a chick.
Ever perceptive, he did make one point that made me really happy: “I liked the ending a lot, for me it had a real ‘blot on the landscape’ vibe about it (good thing). ”
Which is exactly what we were looking for. There are a couple of big set-piece funny sections in there. Much of the rest is funny too but these are hopefully the sort of pages you shouldn’t read while drinking or you’ll snort tea all over the book – just like sections of Tom Sharpe books. In fact Blott on the Landscape was one of the books I re-read while writing ours, so it looks like it might have worked.
Anyway, it’s time for more cakes and conversation as we digest this first dose of feedback.