June 13, 2019
Writing medical or techno thrillers requires a great deal of background knowledge. But it has not got to be comprehensive as science is evolving constantly. As soon as a scientific discovery is published it can already be out of date.
There are advances that are fundamental science such as the now established structure of DNA which has lead to the identification of individuals (microbes, plants, animals and humans) through genetic fingerprinting. A number of crime writers get round having to deal with modern scientific forensic techniques by setting their stories in the past, usually before the 1960s when genetic analysis was not fully developed. Even today separate forensic laboratories in various countries use different methodologies and these will change over time.
Novelists and short story writers have the perfect get out if the science described in their work is incorrect or outdated in that it really is only fiction. But what they must ensure if they wish their work to satisfy the expectations of their readers is that it has to be believable.
June 5, 2019
I read a great deal and fit my reading around the time I devote to writing and promoting my own books. I review books I have read on my own blog at http://wordpress.peatmore.com. Most of the books I now read are written by lesser known writers. As a writer myself, I know a positive review can give a boost to someone’s confidence and even help promote their work. Most of those I read are talented at what they do and deserve a wider audience.
Writing is a lonely business so the mere fact that it is obvious that your work has been read and somebody has taken the trouble to write about it is a reward in itself. But a bad review may have the reverse effect in which case the writer must be philosophical about it. The fact that not everybody is going to like your work is a fact everyone working in creative art is aware of so a few poor reviews amongst many should be expected. Most authors even those who have become quite famous have had their work rejected at some point, myself included, when trying to follow the traditional path to publication. Rejection is part of the job.
Many of the books I have reviewed have been written by people I have met and some have been by those I consider as friends. The question then arises about how objective I should be and the short answer is that I should be objective as possible. After all, I am reviewing the work not the person who wrote it. I find that most of what I read turns out to be extremely enjoyable, some not so, so the extent of my enjoyment is reflected in my review. But if I think that a piece of writing is particularly bad, instead of writing about it, I will point out my concerns privately and don’t publish the review. This may be considered to be a copout but I know how soul destroying completely negative criticism can be.
I think now is the time for me to share with you the worst review I have received and have pasted it below.
Wasted time and money on this crappy short “book”. I wish I paid more attention to the description
This is pretty damming but I assure you that I have received many more excellent reviews – honest. But you can judge for yourself by checking out my books on my website at www.peatmore.com.
Previously posted as Guest Blog for Jagged Edge Reviews on 23 May 2018