Friday, 9 September 2011

Untying the Knot by Linda Gillard A Review by Judith Arnopp

I was drawn to this book via a posting on Linda Gillard’s Facebook page. I downloaded the free sample first and began to read it while I ate my toast at lunchtime. By the time my coffee was cold I was so into the story that I downloaded the rest straight away.

Initially, I found the structure a bit distracting but once I got the hang of it and the story had its claws into me, I didn’t give it another thought. The whole thing could do with a bit of formatting as some parts of the narrative, the differing points of view etc. run into each other but I think that is down to the upload to kindle, I had similar problems uploading my own novels.

But, all that aside, I couldn’t put Untying the Knot down. (Click on the link to find it on Amazon) I spent two days with my nose pressed to my pc screen (note to self: must get a Kindle a.s.a.p).

All the characters are totally convincing, no cliches, no cardboard people. Jessie, Emily, Magnus and Fay are very human and their troubles seem so insurmountable that I routed for them from start to finish. Apart from Nina whom I disliked intensely although the poor girl did nothing wrong, I was just jealous on Fay’s behalf.

They are the sort of people you pass everyday on the street. Ordinary enough looking on the surface but a turmoil of emotion beneath.

This book triggered all my emotions, it made me angry, made me sad, made me remember the hopelessness of lost love, the despair of divorce and the sickening hope and passion of reconciliation. When things really take off at the engagement party you will not be able to turn the pages fast enough so make sure you have enough time to really enjoy it.

If you like first-rate writing, a strong plot, competent editing and a marvellous ending, this one is for you. The only reason I have only given it four stars is for the formatting and structure issues I noted earlier but take no notice, they are easily remedied …it is well worth a read.

I’m off to search for Linda’s other work now and when I have found them I will lock all my doors and take the phone off the hook until I’ve finished.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Nobody said it was easy!

After the disappointments of the last year I feel things are really taking off again. I may not ever make a fortune from writing by self publishing but to be perfectly honest, that isnt really why I write. Of course, I'd not turn down fame and fortune if it tapped on my door but I don't see the point of knocking myself out to be noticed if the journey doesn't make me happy.

It's the little things that mean the most not massive royalty cheques. I had an email from a lady in Canada this morning saying how much she had enjoyed Peaceweaver and was unable to put it down. She also wanted to know when my next novel would be out. That is what makes it worthwhile for me, the shiver of satisfied pleasure that positive comments like that provide. If a week spent reading my book made her happy then it was worth every second of the anxiety I suffered in writing and producing it. So, Thank you, dear lady from Canada, feedback from readers is invaluable.

In the last few weeks I have managed to conquer the mysteries of Kindle and am at last able to offer Peaceweaver for download as an e-book. I have a kindle app on my pc now and must say the luxury of accessing a book in 60 seconds is both marvelous and dangerous. I could spend a fortune in a very short time! One little click and there it is in front of me, taking up no shelf space at all! I have already bought and reviewed many of my fellow writer friends books and will continue to do so now that it has become so easy.

Like many other people, I was not in support of e-books but I have definitely been converted. I don't think there is much danger of them making hard copies obselete. There is alot more to a book than the story, after all. I love the smell and the feel and the sensuous pleasure of a new experience at the turn of each page. And, just think of all the unsold books that are pulped every year, that is an extraordinary waste of the Earth's resources. E-books will help with that problem, I'm sure. I will be asking Father Christmas for a Kindle this year and, if I like an e-book enough to want the hard copy, I will buy that as well. An excellent plan.

So, I hope you manage to download Peaceweaver with less problems than I encountered uploading it! A new hard copy edition is due for publication very soon with a nice glossy cover and a reformatted interior. And, to my great delight, The Forest Dweller's will also be available in hard copy - an event that has taken much longer to come about than it should have. The e-book will follow, all being well.

Have a wonderful day.