Writers’ paranoia is part and parcel of the job of being a novelist, I’ve come to understand. Never more so than when your book is launched into the world, like a helpless but very cute baby. People peer into your buggy, chuck the newcomer under the chin, smile then pass judgement.
When you’re writing a book, paranoia whispers constantly in your ear, but you tell it to ‘do one’ and soldier on. Eventually – with a little bit of luck, a lot of patience, and a Jewson’s lorryload of grit – you have an actual book you can hold in your hands and kiss. And yes, I did kiss mine. Many times.
Your book baby is born. It is available online and in the shops. People tweet about it. They – and this somehow comes as a shock – read it. Now the big question becomes, what do other people – who aren’t related to you or otherwise blackmailable – make of it?
Big? It’s monumental. Reviews, as I have said elsewhere, are the lifeblood of new writing. They are how readers come to discover – and champion – fresh voices. Consequently, a bad review – a one-star stinker (as we in the business call them) – can be a paranoid-inducing downer.
It was with some trepidation, therefore, that I sent Note to Boy off on a blog tour and waited for the reviews to come rolling in. Like an anxious parent, I worried if the reviewers would love my offspring as I do. Would they find the story engaging? Would they be won over by the, admittedly, oddball charms of Eloise and Bradley? And, most of all, would they laugh?
I’m happy to say, they did, as the excerpts below indicate. So thank you, book bloggers*, for your kind and perceptive words.
Though I’m still expecting that stinker!
‘In her beautifully written debut novel, Sue Clark tells a story that will make you laugh a lot and cry a little.’
‘This is a witty, intelligent novel with some laugh out loud, snorting moments … tremendous fun, and had a hugely redemptive and satisfying ending.’
‘I fell in love with both Bradley and Eloise. This is a very sad book but full of life and love as well.’
‘… hits exactly the right notes when it comes to the complex relationship between Bradley and Eloise … This is an excellent social commentary.’
‘This is a fab story of two unlikely people coming together to form a team who go on to take on some unscrupulous people in a funny yet at times sad and poignant landscape.’
‘… a warmhearted and funny story that flows at lovely pace. Filled with attitude, nostalgia and fashion, ‘Note To Boy’ is a trip down memory lane and shows that unlikely friendships can blossom from any situation.’
* And thanks to Anne Cater of http://randomthingsthroughmyletterbox.blogspot.com for organising the Note to Boy blog tour.