Bad Review

Mystery on a BudgetI got a bad review on my book Ready or Not available at Kindle. It isn’t long, but out of respect for the writer, I link it here rather than quote it in its entirety.

At first I had a sinking feeling and not a little despair. But on reflection, my writer’s integrity asserted itself and I issued a very polite (I hope) thanks and apologetic, also available at the above link as a comment on the comment.

Two things I take away from this. One is Kay’s (the reviewer’s) take on the language. I can’t apologize for my grammar. It is what it is. And I took severe pains to actually talk down the characters’ dialogue as I wrote (and rewrote) the text. I wanted characters’ spoken words to reflect accurately the speech I knew from my years in the 70s and 80s in Iowa, swearing included. Perhaps I had grown up in a privileged (linguistically) environ? Yet everyone I knew was middle class, strictly. We were well-educated readers in those days. All my friends read, and avidly. And we fished, played board games, card games, camped, and swatted softballs around. That was we. And my characters reflect that.

Two is her lack of commentary of anything substantial to the driving plot. I worried about this as I wrote it, yet it was based on real events. A youthful girl was raped who lived in my neighborhood while walking home from a school function at night. She did try to kill herself when her parents didn’t believe her after enduring months of her growing volatility and instability. This neighborhood shock was what inspired me to put pen to paper. Further, the subjects of unplanned teen pregnancies were beginning to become rife in the 80s, as well as the prevalence of digital and video material’s easy access to society.

It is as it was, and I stand by it. I see my book as more of a record of what started to happen to a recently staid society that found itself suddenly open to new avenues of media and rapidly changing cultural norms. We’re still reaping those changes.

New Page: Chapter 1 in its entirety

Chapter 1 of “Ready or Not” may be read on its own page.

Click to the right of “Home,” this blog.

Ready or Not” is copyright 2012 by Todd L. Ehlers. The novel’s cover illustration is copyright 2011 by Liza E. Paizis.

New Mothers: Is this how you Feel?

Having birthed a book, I love it so. It rests on Amazon’s e-shelves, fully formed, as prenatally prepared as I could muster as a man. I assume it is healthy, but I worry. And shall I always?

Already consigned to public review, my babe has been pulled from me–for my rest–to be viewed in the maternity ward. I want passers-by to notice my child, my child, and not any other. But the baby’s a baby to anyone else. Do they know its potential, its heroic destiny knit from my womb?

Consign it to eternity and let man and God be its judge. Yet I will always love it for being with me for so long, swimming, enlarging, kicking, and birthing.

Were you worth the pain, sweet book? Yes; I love you no matter what this fallen world may do with you.

(Look at the little darling: isn't it cute?)

Born 10/04/2012 to Todd Ehlers

Ready or Not – e-published October 4, 2012

Announcing my eBook “Ready or Not.” Take a peek here. I hope everyone who enjoys Iowa, its values, and who cares about how the digital age can drag our youth will enjoy this book.

(For those without a Kindle, free reading apps are available here.)

Ready or Not

Cover illustration copyright 2011 by Liza Paizis.