Monday, June 7, 2010

From My Hand to Yours


From my hand to yours - I have my first winner in my giveaway. Charmaine, you're the winner on an autographed copy of The Seeker!! Thanks for commenting here on my blog and entering my giveaway. I'll be e-mailing you to get a mailing address. Somebody else will win next week and the next and the next. So keep sending in those entries and you might win a copy too.
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A new book is so much fun. And a little nerve racking too, because you're never sure how readers are going to respond. Will they like the story? You sit on pins and needles and wait for the official reviews. That is, the ones in magazines and at on-line book review sites. And the unofficial reviews. Those are the ones from friends and family. You want everybody to love your book. But that doesn't always happen. Once on my last Hollyhill books, I got a terrible review from a reviewer who had loved my first Hollyhill books. But then other reviewers liked the book she hated. So you never know. But I'm not wanting to think about unhappy reviews. I want to think about all the readers loving my new story. And I think people will enjoy the Civil War setting and my two main characters, Charlotte and Adam. That's the thing, most of the time. If readers like your characters, then the story works.
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Of course sometimes readers are supposed to hate your characters. Last night I got a reinforcement of that when a reader came up to me and said she was scared to death while she was reading The Believer. I couldn't figure out what in the story would have scared her, but then she said, "When that Colton showed up, I just had to close the book and do something else for a while." Now while that's not usually what a writer wants to hear - close the book - in this case it wasn't all bad. It meant I had made my bad guy real to her. Of course, I think I'd still rather hear "I couldn't put it down." That's always music to a writer's ear. A lot better than the one where people tell you, "Oh, I used to love to read, but I don't have time to read anymore." That one's sad for me and for them. Reading is so much fun!!
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I've only seen a couple of reviews so far for The Seeker. Both favorable. Four stars for Romantic Times Book Reviews where they call the book "an amazing read." Amazing as in good, I'm hoping. And then the Booklist review says "Gabhart's absorbing coming-of-age Christian historical novel deftly juxtaposes Adam's and Charlottee's internal faith journeys against a backdrop of unusual settings." I'm not sure who is coming of age in the story, but the review is still nice. So now I'm sitting back and waiting for your reviews. For those of you who read my book to let me know what you think. Well, the sitting back part's not true. Actually I'm frantically working to finish Shaker book 4. Mr. Deadline is stomping my way. And I'll be teaching at the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference Friday and Saturday about coming up with great characters and revising to make your story better. So I need to figure out how to talk about doing those things. And it's summer with a million other things going on. You know what I mean. You're there too, I'm sure.
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And don't forget, it's not too late to pitch your name in the hat if you want to get in on my book giveaways. Just leave a comment or send me an e-mail from my website. It's always great to hear from readers and friends.

5 comments:

  1. That's awesome! Thanks so much, I'm really excited to read The Seeker :-)

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  2. Great, Charmaine. I sent you a message to what I think is your e-mail so you can send me your mailing address. My contact info on website isn't working, but somebody's working to fix it. But you can leave another message here if you don't get the e-mail and I'll try to contact you again. Hope you will enjoy The Seeker when you get it.

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  3. I would love to win your new book! I read The Outsider and The Believer and really enjoyed them. I knew almost nothing about The Shakers before that so I feel like I really learned alot from your books. I talked about the Shakers for weeks after reading because the subject just fascinates me! Thanks for your writing.

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  4. Thanks, Barbara. I'll put your name in the hat for next week's drawing and the ones after that, too. Thanks so much for reading my books. The Shakers were very unique in their beliefs and their worship.

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