When Readers Write Back
At the heart of every writer’s journey is the desire for readers. More than anything else, we want to share our stories. Many of us are avid readers as well; we know what an amazing experience it is to find a novel that moves us heart and soul. We strive to write those kinds of stories, and nothing gives us more joy than discovering that we’ve succeeded.
I’ve been very fortunate to have a devoted readership for Eolyn. My readers have been patient, supportive, and enthusiastic every step of the way. They’ve kept me going on new projects by constantly asking, “How is the novel coming along?” and then saying, “I can’t wait for the next book!”
I especially appreciate it when readers take the time to write a review. I know this is scary for some readers; they may feel like they aren’t experts, or think they don’t know how to say what they want to say. But the truth is, just a handful of words and a thumbs up on Amazon or Goodreads can make an author’s day. If you ever want to thank an author for the gift of a story, reviews are one of the best ways to express your appreciation.
Of course, not all readers love our books. This can be a daunting part of the writer’s journey, especially for newly published authors. It’s important to keep in mind, when negative feedback comes through, that it’s not possible to please everyone. A negative review does not necessarily reflect on your skill as a writer. More often than not, it simply means that your story was not the right story for that particular reader.
Some of my most memorable interactions with readers have resulted from critical reviews. A few months ago, I received a Goodreads review of High Maga that was very insightful in its critique. The reader was upset because she realized, correctly, that despite the feminist threads of High Maga, the choices given to the characters are messy and cannot be cleanly divided into “woman power=good” and “man power=bad”. It’s rare that I come across a reader who has taken this much time to tease apart the deeper elements of the story. We had a great discussion about the significance of the events in High Maga, just one stage of a larger journey toward balance between male and female magic in Eolyn’s world. I promised this reader that the resolution she’s looking for is coming with the third book in the series, Daughter of Aithne. That’s a promise I intend to keep.
Having the third novel in cue for publication has reminded me just how important interaction with readers is. Why? Because right now, I can’t talk to my readers about Daughter of Aithne, and it’s killing me! All of us have to wait until the book is released and they have a chance to read it. I feel the absence of that dialogue every time I sit down to write a blog post or check in on Facebook. When people ask me about Daughter of Aithne, I can say, “You’re going to love it!”, and even elaborate a little on why. But I am so looking forward to the day when all of us can talk about the details of the third stage of Eolyn’s journey.
In the meantime, Eolyn and High Maga are on the shelves and being discovered by new readers every day. It’s great to be part of this growing community of friends and fans of Eolyn, and humbling, really, when I remember that the entire adventure started with a pen, a notebook, and an idea.
HIGH MAGA [audio edition]
Karin Rita Gastreich (author)
Darla Middlebrook (narrator)
Sisters in magic, Eolyn and Adiana seek to revive a craft once forbidden to women. When war strikes at the heart of the kingdom, their fledgling community of magas is destroyed; its members killed, captured or scattered.
In hopes of defending her people, Eolyn tries to escape the occupied province and deliver to King Akmael a weapon that might secure their victory. Trapped by the invading army, Adiana is taken prisoner and placed at the mercy of the ruthless Prince Mechnes.
Even as their world is torn asunder, Eolyn and Adiana cling to a common dream. Courage and perseverance guide them toward a future where the Daughters of Aithne will flourish in a world set free from the violence of men.
“War propels the book forward, and the characters are at their best when the events engulfing them are at their worst.” –Publishers Weekly
Amazon (audio book)
About the Author:
KARIN RITA GASTREICH writes tales of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. Inspired by a lifetime of exploring lush forests and breathtaking landscapes, Karin’s stories blend elements of epic fantasy, historical fiction, and romance. The worlds she creates are a strange amalgamation of medieval Europe and colonial Central America, with misty forests, vast savannas, and steamy jungles. They are populated by brave heroines, noble heroes, and twisted villains. From ancient woodlands to uncharted seas, readers will experience gripping battle scenes, heart wrenching loss, hard-won triumphs, and the ultimate magic of love. Karin’s fantasy novels Eolyn and High Maga are available from Hadley Rille Books. Her short stories have appeared in Zahir, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, and World Jumping. She runs an on-line discussion forum about women in genre fiction at Heroines of Fantasy. Follow Karin’s adventures into fantastic worlds, both real and imagined, at krgastreich.com.
Author web links:
Karin’s web site: http://krgastreich.com
Heroines of Fantasy: http://heroinesoffantasy.blogspot.com
About the Narrator:
Darla’s voice is a versatile instrument used with skill. It is a voice filled with intelligence and warmth. Her sound can range from mature to youthful female, and she can also produce convincing male timbres. Narrative is presented in a conversational, down to earth, matter-of-fact manner and also displays a broad emotional range across a large repertoire of characters (female, male, young, old and "creature"). All of that while still conveying a sense of wonder when telling the story.
With experience of 34+ years as a Speech-Language Pathologist, more than 20 years as a stage & film actor and over 20 years as a trained singer with knowledge and insight into the mechanics of the voice and speech, Darla Middlebrook brings a wealth of experience to bear to develop character voices (male, female, mature, extremely elderly, creepy, bright exotic, etc) with an impressive emotional range.
Currently, Darla is one of many voice actors who narrate podcasts for AIRS-LA (an audio internet service for individuals with visual challenges) in addition to narrating audio books.
Narrator Web Links:
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