As I have previously mentioned on this blog, and as anyone who has ever attempted creative writing can attest to, writing a novel is not a one-shot-and-your-done process. You often have to write something, come back to it and realize you have no business thinking you can write, trying again, coming back and realizing you still have no business thinking you can write, taking your work to your spouse who confirms that you have no business thinking you can write, and so on and so forth until after five, six or twenty attempts later, you finally have a decent draft you can present to peers for a critique. When you finally get to that point, it can be very nerve wracking because you have arrived at a place where you realize you can’t do much better. You think to yourself, “Either I have talent or I don’t, because I cannot look at this story one more time without setting it on fire and then finding a dark corner to hopefully drink myself into oblivion.”
Okay, maybe that’s a tad dramatic, but it’s not far off. (By the way, your spouse will likely be more than happy to join you in setting it fire if she hasn’t done so already without your knowledge.)
So for me, after I had been through this gauntlet of hell, there was one logical choice when it came down to seeking a “peer review” from a fellow author. I put peer review in quotes because my experience up until then was hacking my way through one unpublished novel while she, on the other hand, had published four. It’s kind of like calling your local karaoke star and George Strait peers. Anyway, the person who seemed the most logical was fellow Gila Valley author, Jennifer Griffith.
Jennifer, as mentioned, has published four novels. Her latest, BIG IN JAPAN, a story about a 300 pound man who finds himself unexpectedly caught up in the world of sumo wrestling, has even reached as high as #9 on the Amazon sales list for sports novels. And she knows a thing or two about critiquing manuscripts. Thankfully, she agreed to take a look at mine.
It turned out I couldn’t have been more fortunate. She provided a great perspective and gave me very sound advice that led to an overall strengthening of my story. She was also very supportive during the process of submitting my manuscript to agents and publishers. I owe her a great deal.
Anyway, when THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER got picked up by Cedar Fort Publishing, instead of saying thank you, I instead asked her for another favor. I asked if she would be willing to provide an endorsement. Once again, she was gracious and willing.
So first of all, let me say how much I appreciate Jennifer Griffith’s help and support through this entire process. And second of all, let me express how grateful I am for the following words that are extremely kind. Thanks, Jen. Her endorsement now follows:
Todd Landry would be the slightly cynical, charming everyman – if his life weren’t tinged by the tragedy of the death of his wife. Marci died too soon, leaving him with three kids and no idea what to do next, how to deal or how to progress.
He’s been putting on a good face for his children, but his parents and siblings know everything’s not okay and have insisted he get some counseling. To appease them, he’s been going faithfully to Dr. Schenk, a detached psychiatrist who’s ready to drop Todd as a patient because he refuses to speak in therapy sessions week after week. The doc issues an ultimatum: Todd must write or be dropped as a client. Todd knows the only thing keeping his family off his back is that he meets with Dr. Schenk, so he (extremely) reluctantly agrees. And he starts writing a blog.
What ensues in Ryan Rapier’s debut novel The Reluctant Blogger, is the unfolding of a life. It’s a life rich with history, emotion, and characters so true to life you’ll swear you’ve met them in church or are related to them yourself. Todd’s obstacles and efforts toward healing are fraught with emotional and social danger, and with frequent hilarious predicaments, all told through Todd Landry’s dry wit and his incisive descriptions of the friends and family that populate his world.
Rapier has an uncanny ability to take the reader from laughter to wrenching emotion in a matter of paragraphs. The whole page-turning journey is a wonderful roller coaster ride with characters the reader is invested in from page one—all the way to the highly satisfying ending. – Jennifer Griffith, Author of BIG IN JAPAN
BIG IN JAPAN is available in select bookstores and on-line at amazon.com. You can also visit her blog at www.authorjennifergriffith.com or you can like her Facebook author page as well at facebook.com/jennifergriffithauthor.
THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER will arrive in bookstores and mailboxes August 13, 2013. It is currently available for pre-order at Bookworms Bookstore in Thatcher, AZ, or on-line at Amazon.com by clicking here. If you aren’t currently liking Ryan Rapier’s author page on facebook, please do so for no other reason than we are a self-absorbed society that judges ourselves by how many people are our “friends” or “like” us…and I’m no different. The page can be found www.facebook.com/ryanrapierauthor
Thanks, Ryan! Your novel is great. I’m looking fwd to holding a tangible copy in my hands!
No, thank you Jennifer. There probably wouldn’t be a tangible copy to hold without you.