Nice Photo … Shame about the Review

After the very positive review by Jessica Le Bas in the Nelson Mail, and several good ones in other papers, most lately the Timaru Herald, Transported has had its first bad review, by Steve Walker in the Listener.

Mind you, it wasn’t all bad. He said good things about “Rat Up a Drainpipe”, “The Wadestown Shore” and “The New Neighbours”, but he seemed to struggle with the shorter stories, and the less realistic stories — and as for the shorter and less realistic stories, they were right out.

Well, there’ s a name for this aspect of what I write : it’s called interstitial fiction, and it’s something I’ll be posting more about in future. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but I hope it will be yours.

(Incidentally, Chris Else had an entertaining reaction to a bad review by Steve Walker of one of his books — see the third article down.)

The Listener review is headed by a jumbo-sized version of my author photo. This pleases me, not for egotistical reasons, but because a recent interview with photographer Miriam Berkley points up the importance of author photos in a crowded book market. There’s some wonderful author photos accompanying that interview, and it’s well worth reading.

Sonali Mukherji, who took my author photo, is an excellent photographer. She took the photo at the Kelburn Croquet Club, next to Victoria University, on a brilliantly sunny day last year. The sun was reflecting off my glasses, so she insisted I take them off: that also took years off my apparent age! It’s a bit like The Picture of Dorian Gray; I can grow steadily more decrepit, while my photo continues to twinkle at the world.

4 thoughts on “Nice Photo … Shame about the Review

  1. Shorter and less realistic stories are my favourites. These kinds of stories make a reader work harder, and they\’re not everyone\’s cup of tea. Me, I can\’t wait to read them!

  2. I like the photo, Tim. I\’m afraid not all reviewers read Locus (though they should once in a while!) and so aren\’t that familiar with all the exciting genre bending going on . . .

  3. I like your response to your review. Oh dear, a reviewer who didn\’t do his homework. Frustrating … But hey! At least you got a review. And it wasn\’t all bad – sometimes we only take note of the bits we don\’t like when really we should focus on the bits we do like. But human nature\’s such that it takes a lot of positives to outrun the negatives. Hope the positives keep coming – as I\’m sure they will

  4. Thanks for the comments, everyone. I felt bad about about the review for a day or so, but that passed when I saw the size of the bill for my visit to the dentist (yay, a different negative to focus on!). And I have had some other good feedback since to balance things up.

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