Monday, 28 March 2016

An Unexpected Message

My book, Broken Faces, now has 11 reviews on Amazon.co.uk and all of them 5 stars - I'm delighted to say - saying things like 'spectacularly powerful', 'As soon as I started it I could not put it down', 'I have not read anything quite like it before,' 'I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for an historical read where romance and history are nicely combined.' 'The author introduces the wonderfully rich language of the First World War', and so on. It was runner up in a novel writing competition, it's only £1.66 on Amazon..., so why does nobody want to buy it?


I recently posted about William Kearsey, a handsome young Australian soldier - who inspired my character Freddie Chevalier -  who went as far as having corrective eye surgery so that he could fight for his country only for him to receive life-changing injuries to his face. Here's the post. A woman named Kerry came across my post who'd not only done her PHD on William Kearsey - and others like him - and is the curator of an exhibition in New Zealand WW1: Love and Sorrow, but has also got to know his family well. She told me she was going to read my book. Cue panic! 

I was massively relieved, and a little overwhelmed, when she contacted me again shortly afterwards to say: 'I have finished Broken Faces - and I'm lost for words.  It is a wonderful, wonderful novel, and I couldn't help but imagine William as I was reading it.  You did an incredible job of capturing the emotional struggle these men, and those around them, went through.' 

Needless to say it was a little surreal reading those words from someone who'll know more about this man than I could ever hope to do. To know that she knew him so well and couldn't help imaging him as she was reading it is massive praise indeed! Praise for which I'm hugely grateful!

Much to my sadness though, after initial reasonable sales no one seems to be interested in buying Broken Faces and I admit I was losing my confidence... However when I received that lovely email telling me how much Kerry had loved my book, I decided that if nothing else, through her I've now been able to send a message to William Kearsey's family almost 100 years after his terrible injuries to let them know that across the world their father/grandfather's story still resonates with people they'll probably never meet. That and the joy that I experienced researching and writing this book should really be enough for me. Shouldn't it?

8 comments:

Beth Elliott said...

It was a story that needed to be told and you gave it a lot of love and care. It's so easy to get dejected over a book we've invested love and effort into but it's ignored, even though it's well written and reached the final of a novel-writing competition.
The connection with the family via Kerry seems to me to be one of those mysterious circles that happen in life. It also means it's worth a further push to get it known - for example, a few articles in newspapers in New Zealand about the link and your novel. Ask Kerry for the local /regional newspaper titles out there - even their radio station. They can only say no - but, who knows. And maybe a few attempts to bring it to the notice of history teachers, librarians. It could be a useful research tool for modern history students.

Karen Clarke said...

It's lovely your book has had such great reviews so far, and that you've reached out and struck a chord - that means a lot to a writer. When we write, our aim is to reach as many readers as possible and it's hard to know why some books sell shed-loads and others don't. Especially when you've promoted and marketed in all the right ways.

It's still relatively early days though, and it could be that yours will be one of those 'word of mouth' hits with readers who've loved it recommending it to their friends, and so on. In the meantime, you've written a story to be proud of and no one can take that away :o)

Deborah Carr said...

Thanks very much for your comment, Beth and for your wonderful suggestions! Much appreciated.

Deborah Carr said...

Thanks very much, Karen. It meant a lot to me that you enjoyed Broken Faces so much. x

Pauline Barclay said...

It's a beautiful read and even more when knowing the story behind your inspiration to write Broken Faces. As for sales, I'm with you with the panic, but when you receive such positive feed back, it does make telling your story worthwhile. Chin up lovely, it's a fabulous read. xxx

JB JOHNSTON said...

Having read the book and totally loving it I just know that sales will soon move a lot more quickly. I am in agreement that its very early days yet so please don't get discouraged. The love that went into writing such an powerful story is evident through your writing and I for one learned a lot. Thank you for sharing your book with us all. I was so moved by it. xxxx

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Thanks very much Pauline, that's very kind.x

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Thanks very much, JB! I was delighted you enjoyed my book so much and thrilled with yours, Pauline's and Karen's fabulous reviews for the book! x