Now that the major marketing season for The Christmas Carol Murders has passed, I decided I would offer some thoughts on book reviews.
“This book is by far one of the most boring books I have ever read. I do not recommend it to anyone. It was hard for me to keep up with whatever was going on.”
“From the very beginning I was having trouble with the writing style. I trudged through thinking…it must get better. It never did. I only finished it for the bookclub. Otherwise I would’ve given up…”
“It is just a bunch of details, not a tied-together broad image. If you like to get confused…be my guest and read this monstrosity.”
For the record, these are not reviews of MY book, but reviews of the Dickens original, A Christmas Carol. Which goes to show that you can’t please everyone all of the time.
For the most part, reviewers have been kind, although I have been accused of writing “left-wing trash” and spending too much time discussing Simon’s “flirting and flipping around attractive men.” (A word search of The Christmas Carol Murders reveals no use of the word “flipping.”)
So, the lesson for me is to write the books that please me, and they will find their readership in good time.
In other news, I’m thrilled to announce that I have been selected to be a speaker at the 2013 Dickens Universe (this year focusing on The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone). Since my own book, The Edwin Drood Murders, incorporates themes and tropes from both those novels (and will be released around the time of the conference), I’ll be able to do some marketing among a group of highly-likely interested readers. Furthermore, few non-academics are asked to speak at this prestigious conference, so I’m doubly privileged that they have invited me to discuss the art of adaptation of Dickens for a contemporary audience. Wish me well!