“Both Jay and Dean are very well-written and they lived off of the printed page.”
This week I’m focusing on the type of review writers like. Not just because it praises one of my works, but because it’s well wrought. Good or bad, writers search for those reviews that have something constructive to say. I loved it (or hated it) is fine, especially if it’s a show of approval, but reviewers who can look at the depths of a story provide a writer with the insight from which we learn. I’ll address how I think writers should handle reviews another time, but there are opportunities to learn from both good and bad. Gabbi gives Snow Angel ‘5 kisses’ and a multi-layered review from which I share a few lines:
“He has a way of brushing off and not dealing with important topics like feelings and sexuality, but as I continued to read the story, I began to see the many layers of Dean begin to peel away.
It’s true that Dean struggles with verbalizing his feelings for Jay, but he shows Jay in so many way how much he truly cares for him, their friendship and the love that simmers between them.
Snow Angel is a complex and wonderfully written romance that has earned a spot on my keeper shelf.”
That so many wanted this book out in print, and wanted to read it twice, tells me much. Gabbi and others ‘get Dean’. They see the multi-layering I wanted to construct in my characters and in their relationship. Gabbi is right. Dean has always been my most controversial character. Adored by many, abhorred by others. The original publisher loved this story for the same reasons as the readers who love him. The message I received from that publisher was ‘well done, subtly nuanced’. And that’s the whole point.
Dean arrogant? Yes, in some ways he is, but he’s the creation I wanted him to be. I wanted to show an imperfect hero, for I believe they are the best kind. I wanted a flawed human being who is a good person to have on your side. I wanted a ‘London lad’, someone rough around the edges, who would stand up and fight for what he believes in, who has a steadfast set of principles. In Dean’s own words, “I may be a dick, but I don’t dick around.”
You can read the whole of Gabbi’s review at Top 2 Bottom Reviews.