Today I welcome Kevin Klehr to the blog! Everyone say, “Hi!” Kevin’s going to be talking about reviews as well as sharing his latest release. Hope you enjoy!
First, Kevin’s thoughts on reviews…
Making sense of reviews
Over a decade ago I heard an interesting radio interview.
The guest did his thesis on how Bob Dylan and The Beatles shared a public conversation. The key was to the titles of their songs. Dylan would release a track, then the Beatles would respond to his ideas with their new hit. The dialogue would continue back and forth in an open forum.
One thing I’ve noticed after releasing two novels is the unique connection I find with my reviewers on various book blogs. Sure, we may never have met each other, but like the ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ we all have on social media, I’m starting to understand how they think, and to a lesser extent, what makes them tick. And in some ways it’s a conversation I address as I write my novels.
At the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival several years ago I was surprised to find that authors more successful than me still worried about reviews. I tried to say that I loved reading my reviews and for critics to ‘bring them on’. And this is why.
My first novel, Drama Queens with Love Scenes, mostly won hearts, and although what bloggers have said has varied, it’s their individual voices that have helped me both explore and improve my writing.
I’ve had the ‘pat myself on the back’ compliments like “great world building” or observations like the “characters were so real they became our friends”. And some have wanted their own guardian angel similar to Guy in the novel. One even wished the main romance was between Adam and Guy, which is a theme I never thought of, but decided to toy with in the sequels.
On the flip side…
I had one Amazon reviewer state that as a writer I may not be sure if I wanted to “enter the world of serious literature or the world of gay novels of substance”, which at the time crushed me until I saw it was really a compliment of sorts.
And while the first book is set completely in the Afterlife, the second, Drama Queens and Adult Themes, takes place in both my home town of Sydney, and the Afterlife. I was relieved when readers and reviewers didn’t find this a problem, and some even loved this second book more. And the strange thing is I was only ever fifty percent right in working out who preferred which book. But one blogger who said he could see the first book as a film, was lost with the second.
He was an avid fan of the imagery I created for the hereafter, and using that setting for only half the novel did not make him a happy reviewer.
So now there’s a new book.
And the reviews will come. Nate and the New Yorker is set in many places and has a new group of friends, both in Sydney and New York. And like every author, I’ll check social media each day for a couple of months after its release, and cut and paste my favourite quotes.
But this is why I love my reviews.
It not only gives me an honest appraisal of my writing, but also gives me an insight into what my readers think as they consume my words. Where have their imaginations taken them? What elements did they daydream about? What appeals to some but doesn’t appeal to others, and why? And all this is important information for any writer building an audience.
Now to Nate and the New Yorker…
Cameron has it all. He’s rich, lives in Manhattan, and even has a cross-dressing butler. But then he meets Nate, an Australian who’s bitter about love. Cameron is determined to turn this realist into a dreamer by sharing his world of classy restaurants, Broadway shows and fabulous parties. And while Nate’s friends see the makings of a fantasy romance, it’s Nate who has to learn that in order to open his heart, he has to face a painful secret.
Release date: Coming soon
Category: Gay Romance
Number of words: 22,156
Formats available: ebook only
Heat Level: 2
Wilde City link
Stay tuned for the Amazon link
Kevin lives with his long-term partner in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.
From an early age Kevin had a passion for writing, jotting down stories and plays until it came time to confront puberty. After dealing with pimple creams and facial hair, Kevin didn’t pick up a pen again until he was in his thirties.
His handwritten manuscript was being committed to paper when his social circumstances changed, giving him no time to write. Concerned, his partner, Warren, snuck the notebook out to a friend who in turn came back and demanded Kevin finish his novel. It wasn’t long before Kevin’s active imagination was let loose again.
Kevin’s website or find him on Twitter @kevinklehr