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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Finally, The News I've Been Promising!!

I know you all think I'm a sadist about SUSPENSE because I've been hinting at some really big news on the horizon. Well, I've been waiting for the official Press Release to go out (publishers are kind of touchy about protocol), but now that the releases have been, er…released, I am BUZZED, PSYCHED, JAZZED, and otherwise generally enthusiastic to announce:

The 1st Fantasy 4
Book Tour

CLICK on the picture to see a LARGER image.

Friday, March 30, 2007

You NEED to go see this!

Hey all! I just checked out my author friend Christopher Hopper's new book trailer. It's for his 2nd book in the White Lion Chronicles: The Lion Vrie. All I can say is:

Christopher went all out. He got together a film crew, equipped with lots of sharp and pointy metal objects. He even got a helicopter to do aerial shots! If you get a chance, click on over to Christopher's Blogsite and check out the video trailer for The Lion Vrie!

Oh, and stay tuned, I have incredible news to share soon!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Reviews: The Good, The Bad, and...

The Ugly.

Time for a rant.

I have to admit, I'm a little overwhelmed by the number of positive reviews of The Door Within Trilogy books. 99% of the review have been great.

There have been a couple that hurt a bit. I've had 2-3 from Christian reviewers who, incredulously, claimed that the books were "too preachy" or that the message of Christ comes through too clearly. Uhm...okay. I can sort of understand. Christian writers don't want to beat secular readers over the head with the Bible. But to this date, out of hundreds and hundreds of reviews and personal comments, I've only had one nonChristian ever say, they felt the book was preachin' Jesus too hard. Odd, don't you think that Christians would be the ones to complain the most about Jesus' message being too clear. Hmmm...

And then there was one FLAME review that just blasted The Door Within up one side and down the other. This review gave like 3 pages worth of absolute scalding (and mostly unfounded) criticisms--using language that I suspect got the review purged from Amazon. Either that or God stepped in.

And hey, look, I realize my first book isn't perfect. Neither is my 4th book. None of them ever will be. I will write them the best I can, and my editors will help. But I'll never be Hemmingway or Tolkien. I'll just be Wayne and grateful to be able to tell my stories.

But the other day, I found a review on a prominent fantasy site that just blew my mind. It was, to my mind, the most ill-conceived and careless notion I've ever seen printed in a review of a YA book.

Here are some snippets of the comment that irked me:

"Emphasis on their physical traits, “her skin was ghostly white”, “’You! Dark Skin!’ he ridiculed”, “And through the gaping hole, like a sea of black and red, poured the armies of Paragory” unfortunately brought to mind unsettling comparisons to another self-declared supreme ruler."

Self-declared supreme ruler??? I immediately posted a reply to make sure I was reading it correctly, and this is the reviewer's clarification:

"Actually, I had some trouble articulating my feelings here and deliberately left my comment a bit ambiguous. In fact, I was hesitant to bring it up in the review because I wasn't sure that I was interpreting things the way you intended. However, it bothered me enough to finally include some comment on it.

I found the references to skin and eye color throughout the book to be uncomfortable reminders of Hitler's racial superiority/cleansing theories. I hope I'm way off base here, but, nonetheless, those are the feelings it invoked in me."

I have since posted a point by point discrediting of this suggestion and asked that all of this reviewer's offending comments be removed from the site. Who knows what will come of my request. I don't really think the reviewer has it "in" for me, but the comment--even if heartfelt--had no place in a review of a YA title. It was unintentional slander, but slander nonetheless. Imagine a parent thinking of getting The Door Within for his kid, sees this review and those comments and doesn't know any better...

I won't say I've seen it all. I'm sure there's worse to come.