For those of you who don’t know, the publishing industry calls endorsements “blurbs.” I have no clue why. Perhaps because it’s more genteel. We like to pretend that novels aren’t really products, which would mean they’d require salesmanship (phooey) and … uh …
I received a fabulous blurb from fabulous novelist Bill Cameron. Here it is:
In the captivating Kilmoon, Lisa Alber serves up a haunting tale about Merrit Chase, a woman who travels to Ireland to sift through her family’s dark past in search of a future seemingly fated to elude her. With exquisite craft and a striking sense of place, Alber serves up a rich cast of unforgettable characters and an intricate, pull-no-punches plot. Raw with grief and painful honesty, Kilmoon is a soulful and beautifully told tale that never lets up, and never lets go.
— Bill Cameron, author of the Spotted Owl Award Winning County Line
I’m so appreciative when readers like my novel. It’s an amazing feeling to know that something I created out of my tortured but fecund brain is an enjoyable read. Wow. I didn’t grow up in a particularly creative family. We were raised to be practical, so I’m extra appreciative right now.
Last night was a double whammy with the nice words. What follows isn’t an official blurb, so the reader shall remain anonymous. But she’s a mystery novelist, and her debut novel came out this year. I’d sent her an advanced reader copy because she was so nice, helping me out with a question I had. So her nice words came unexpectedly. She was reading in bed and had to stop to send me a note about a particular paragraph:
It is a beautiful passage, and I say this as a non-fan of most scenic descriptions. This paragraph is worth it, not only poetic but evocative and therefore useful too. I love your writing. My singling out this paragraph doesn’t by any means indicate there aren’t a slew of others just as good. Well done, you!
That just feels good, no two ways about it.
Here’s the paragraph. What’s interesting is that this paragraph stands pretty much as is since the first draft. Some things come out true to themselves the first time around, no revision required. It’s rare, that’s for sure!
The church welcomed Kevin with stones set firm as arms crossed over chest, its cavernous silence the only embrace. In the faint light that filtered through the windows, the altar saints looked inconsequential while they waited for their vigil candles and tears. Crucified Jesus’s crossed feet and thin legs faded into the loin cloth that faded into the dark. Kevin slipped into a smooth oak pew, genuflecting as the nuns had taught him.
Kevin is a troubled soul, and in this scene he’s about to confess something to Father Dooley.
I used to just write for myself, but now I realize that readers are key. It’s an amazing feeling to know that pretty soon readers will be able to buy my novel. Sometimes I still can’t believe it!