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Front Street Reviews review of WFS


Here’s a secret: I’ve been a little nervous about something for the past several months. Something that I never mentioned to anyone.

Late last fall, I submitted a letter to Front Street Reviews , asking if they would kindly review Waiting For Spring. A couple of days later, I received a reply in the affirmative from Ms. Barb Radmore, the editor of the website. I’ll admit that I let out a little “Squeeee!” as I read the words, “I’ll review this one myself instead of assigning it to one of my reviewers.” But once I’d mailed her the copy of the book, trepidation began to set in. Here’s why:

1. I really love Front Street Reviews. I mean, really and truly, beyond-just-a-crush, love the site. It’s why I’d waited so long to submit my book for review. A bad’un might’ve crushed my ego beyond repair *.

2. Ms. Radmore is from Maine, which is a HUGE deal for me. Ever since I typed out the first word of the book, nearly three years ago, I’ve felt a tremendous responsibility to do right by my fair state, and by its inhabitants. The real Maine ain’t always pretty, but I love it and her people.

3. I sent her the version I’d published through Lulu.com. That in itself isn’t a bad thing, but I’d done it before I knew much about formatting (that realization, courtesy of Zoe – thank you, Z! – occurred about three weeks after I’d sent Ms. Radmore the book) and, as a result, the formatting in the copy she received is damned sloppy.

Every day I would check the site. I was half-hoping I would never see the loverly cover of my book gracing the front page; that it had gotten lost in the mail and that Ms. Radmore had forgotten all about it. I was one-quarter expecting to see it there with a “good lord, this book sucks” caption.  But I was also holding onto the barest glimmer of hope that Ms. Radmore actually had gotten the thing, and that she’d liked it.

Tonight after I got home from work, I took a deep breath, scrolled through my bookmarks, and braved a peek. Lo and behold, there it was! My loverly cover gracing the front page of the site! With nary a ‘good lord, this sucks’ to be found.

That’s right. She liked it.

The plot may sound like it has been done before, many times, but R.J. Keller is able to bring a freshness that is both unexpected and welcomed. She is able to maintain the flow of the story, the ebb and tide of a life as it crests and falls. It is difficult to carry a book in the first person, using predominately conversation without it seeming ‘in your face’ or poor writing. But Keller is able to pull it off. […] She has the ability to create strong characters that draw the reader into their lives, to cringe, cry, yell, and occasionally celebrate, as they stumble through their time between the pages of this book.

Check out the review in its entirety here.

* Probably not possible. My ego is fairly gargantuan.

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13 thoughts on “Front Street Reviews review of WFS”

  1. That’s excellent, RJ! Great review! I’d ignore all the “moves away from first person, italics and epilogues” business and do what you damn well please.

  2. Thanks all!

    D-Ny…absolutely. That is the only way I work.

    I’ve been wondering for awhile about the recent backlash against prologues/epilogues. Not all stories need them, I know, but some work well with them; mine included. My guess is that it’s the ever popular ‘grab your reader right away/give ’em a hook’ thing.

  3. Kel, I thought your prologue was fabulous. It added another layer of symbolism to the story and, IMO, would have been missed.

  4. Thanks MoJo! I truly appreciate that.

    The prologue is one of the things I really ‘fought’ for. Not that I actually considered taking it out, but in the sense that it had been suggested to me so many times that I should start with Chapter 1 – Tess walking down the courthouse steps – because it’s more immediate. More of a grabber.

    Possibly, but it wasn’t the real beginning of the story.

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