You write a book and if you're lucky enough, like me, to find a publisher, you send it off into the world... and then, people read it and respond.
I know of one author -- short-listed forthis year's Giller Prize -- who makes a habit of never reading reviews of his work. I couldn't do it; I care too much, I guess, about what other people think.
A little over a year ago, my novel What World Is Left got a really awful review in the Montreal Gazette. I took it hard (I felt mopey and embarrassed for a few days), but then I moved on... and thank goodness, the book went on to get some pretty amazing reviews and even to win the Quebec Writers' Federation Prize for Children's and YA Fiction.
As another of my writer friends, Elaine Kalman Naves, said to me on the phone this morning -- "A writer needs to have a tough skin when it comes to reviews, but the very act of writing requires the opposite of a tough skin." Interesting, don't you think?
All this is a roundabout way to get to the point of today's blog entry. There's a review of my latest book, The Middle of Everywhere, in today's Gazette -- and it's a strong, positive review. So, for today, at least, this writer hasn't needed that tough skin Elaine and I were chatting about. Click here if you have time to read the review.