The voices-outside-my-head, the ones i’m prepared to listen to, say it’s time we did another blog post. We’d like to say nah, and go back to writing, but apparently the voices bought a real cattle-prod on eBay, so we’re being very good.
I am still hyperventilating every time the book is downloaded, or the sample is. The book’s reached the unbelievable status of number 12 on the Smashwords charts and stayed there for most of the week (for Highest Rated Science Fiction Fantasy books). Dropped to number 15 today, aw.
“If this is at all representative of the fantasy genre, then I’ve obviously
been a fool to myself for ignoring it.” (Smashwords review of The Birthday Dragon)
Mr Whatsit had to put up with me going round saying “Number 12!” a lot. And then reading my reviews to him, repeating the best bits over and over. He’s hiding downstairs, so you’re my next captive audience.
Review of The Birthday Dragon
by: David Willanski on June 30, 2011 :
If JRR Tolkien, Douglas Adams, Jane Austen and Phillip K Dick were to collaborate on a book, they might write something like this.
I’m being compared to more heavyweights (Pratchett, Willis) and am cautiously hopeful. I know the book is good, but i’m a realist – this is an ebook. A small market, but a growing one. I’m not represented, i have no publisher, i have no marketing budget. I do have reasonable distribution, through Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc, thanks to Smashwords’ reach.
To not get an agent or a publisher was a deliberate choice.
How terrifically avant-garde of me.
Why do you think this book’s appealing to people who aren’t that into scifi or fantasy?
People like a good story. As readers have said (Smashwords reviews),
“This is a great adventure story with lots of twists, humour, wonder and, best of all, suicidal sheep.”
“Most importantly – a sci fi styled book that has a lead character who is full of attitude and humour; not taking himself or the folk around him too seriously.”
Setting is secondary, science is secondary, (though it must be thought out, planned, and researched) but it’s the story of the people that’s primary. So you don’t need to be into science fiction, or fantasy, or whatever. Like to read? Like an adventure with some smiles? You’ll probably like this. (and you can read a big chunk for free to see.)
“Yes there are castles, but they’re weird floaty things that I could quite clearly see were spectacular. Yes there are royals aplenty but they’re basically a bunch of drug taking sex addicts. Hardly the Windsors. More like Carry On Blackadder meets The Graduate – with added stimulants.” (Smashwords review)
I’ve been heavily influenced by science fiction writers like Jack Vance, who would put you on a world with mer-people , then take you on a detective story. I like my fiction developed, not just a few cipher characters to hang the science- or dogma-heavy plot on.
I love it when the writer takes me away.
I’m not a huge fan of a lot of fantasy, and completely understand people getting turned off it- i’d never have bothered again either, if the only kind I read was full of archaic language and one-dimensional characters, with the plot copied from a template.
And of course, everyone writes dragon books the same. Someone’s not allowed to have their own dragon, yawn, they’re misunderstood, yeah yeah.
This isn’t really a dragon book (a marketing department wouldn’t have let me call it The Birthday Dragon), it’s based on the premise of what if the people were the dragons?
They got that way with genetic engineering, not with waving a wand – but as the ghost-who-says-he’s-not-one tells Polo, when Man created Dragon, he accidentally created real magic.
As a reader, I’ve always tried to learn as a writer from what irritated me, what left me feeling cheated, and what left me thinking yes, i loved that book.
In my DM’s on Twitter, someone said “i love it” when talking about my book.
What can i say? My life is perfect.
You can read other reviews and get a free look at the book –
about 25,000 words, 20%, a decent chunk to sink into.
Copyright 2011 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com/