Sunday, March 20, 2005

On being both reviewer and writer....

We had our first BBQ of the season yesterday! Yep, I convinced the dh to clean the bbq and fire it up. Ok, so it WAS only 3ºC, but definitely worth it. Spring is definitely here *g*.

I have to write a tough review this morning. Am not going to like doing it, but it must be done. As a reviewer I much prefer to write a positive review, but I can't lie if I there are elements of a book that didn't appeal to me. My aim is always to explain what didn't work clearly and unemotionally. Never will I trash an author or say the book should be used to line the bottom of a bird cage. That's just not my style.

But I still worry what the author will think. And, of course, the publisher. As a writer as well I often wonder if I'm shooting myself in the foot by doing both jobs. But I know my reviewing also makes me a stronger writer because it forces me to analyse what does and doesn't work in a book. And reading different types of books (I try to choose from different historical genres - mysteries, romances and mainstream) set in different periods (I try to choose those I'm not so familiar with) helps broaden my vocabulary and general knowledge.

So, for now, I'll keep doing both. And that means posting this to blogger and getting on with writing that review!

Have a good Sunday.



Alex Bordessa said...

Hi Teresa,

I've seen your name in connection with the HNS. Hope you don't mind me looking in occasionally.

I also do reviews and don't like writing negative ones either. I generally try to unpick why I've not liked something, and often it's to do with my own preferences; recently read one that was so 'Celt' biased and down on the Romans that I had to be very careful in my review. I also try and work out why the book has been published, which sometimes helps me tone down.

I watched the reviewer/writer spats on the HNS discussion list with interest, and a bit of amusement at some points. Some of the writers clearly didn't quite catch on how many reviewer/readers there were on the list. The HNS list is not a safe place for published authors to whine!

Must admit I do like reading within my interests (Roman and Anglo-Saxon) but enjoy the odd foray into something rather exotic (like a 19th century British saga).

Keep reviewing

Tess said...

Hi Alex,

Thanks for commenting on my post about reviewing. Good to know I'm not the only one who struggles with the negative ones. I'll have to look for some of your reviews in the next issue of THNR :-)