Today I get to journey to the library to visit the mom and to deliver a copy of my book to my friend Mahogany, who's going to READ my book. Mahogany became a good friend when I got her to talk about Twilight in this documentary trailer I made when I was a film major (shakes head). Anyway, she did a good job, very strong opinions on that one. Even as a big fan of the books she was able to criticize them (mostly Bella...) and so I'm hoping that she'll be able to do that for my book. Er...sort of. I think she'll be able to tell me where I went terribly wrong (aside from typos) and it won't be a quite as much of a punch in the gut coming from her.
So far, I've only gotten small criticisms, and I haven't spoken extensively with all of those who have read the book. The ones I got from my mom were more personal, being uncomfortable reading about premarital sex when I'VE written it, the use of certain names, etc. One friend of mine thought that Sid was a little too sketchy times, which, honestly, was kind of what I intended. Yeah I know, in some ways I'm no better, but Sid isn't a misogynist! He is, well, blunt, and he isn't afraid to invade comfort zones. He doesn't hit on Phyllis, but he hints at things, and he's quite a tease. What a jerk.
On the other hand, he's a great listener, a good advisor, and he clearly cares deeply about Phyllis and her family. So, we'll see where that goes.
Anyway, Sid can be dissected in another post. My friend also thought that Quincy was too encouraging of Phyllis's feelings for Sid, but I had kind of intended that to be jokingly, the way he approached the Sid-topic all the time. Let me see if I can find an excerpt...hm hm hm....
Okay, here's a rather long-ish one from the earlier part of the book, that's Sid who's speaking first:
“I don’t say things that aren’t true, Philly.” He paused. “Well, not when I can help it.”
Quincy entered then.
“Sid! Phyllis!” He sat in the middle between Sid and me. “Did you have a good birthday?” he asked me.
“Lovely,” I replied. “What’d you come out here for?” I tried to sound curious rather than angry because he’d spoiled my moment with Sid.
Quincy leaned over, his cheek almost touching mine, and squinting, pointed at Sid. “That man, right there. I figured I’d try proposing one more time before I lost hope.”
“Very funny Quince. What’s up?” Sid asked.
Quincy got down on his knees. “Sid Siddons, will you marry me?”
Sid threw up his hands in a helpless gesture. “Where’s the ring?”
“The ring! Aw shit,” said Quincy, standing up and running a hand through his thick black hair. “Abe is quite taken with you, Mr. Man.”
“Where’d he come from?”
“I dated him for like a week. We decided to be friends.” Quincy shook his head. “Now he and Butch are in love, but neither one’ll admit it. What’re you gonna’ do?” He gave Sid a look. “It’s almost as frustrating as you and Anna were.”
Sid held up a hand. “Stop it Quince. Worst relationship of my life.”
Quincy’s eyebrows shot up. “Your whole life?!”
Sid considered. “Well...maybe there was one who was worse.”
“I should think so!”
“What happened to Anna? I mean, with Anna?” I asked.
“Nothing Philly, it was just a mistake on my part.”
Quincy raised an eyebrow at Sid. “Have you had anybody since then?”
“I mean a serious relationship, Sid.”
“You gotta’ open up your heart, Sid. You’ll never find your girl until you look for her.”
Sid looked at me.
“Dr. Quincy,” I told him.
“Phyllis is single if you wanna’ make your move.” Quincy winked at me.
Sid bounced his eyebrows. “Maybe I will.”
I just smiled. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement and looked through the glass door to into the house. Aunt Kippie was looking at Quincy and pointing to Sid.
“Oh, Sid, what I came to say was, the Aunts need a word,” Quincy told Sid.
Quincy makes a few remarks like the "Phyllis is single" one, and I intend them all as jokes between friends. The other thing about Phyllis is that, while she hasn't had a father, she's grown up with older men as her sort of brothers and friends, so she's pretty comfortable talking to them about both their issues and hers. True, the men in her "family" are different than traditional brothers and father figures...you know, crazy, gay, a lawyer...;)
I know I'll get far worse criticism than what I've heard thus far, and I'm sure some of it will have to do with the controversial behavior of certain characters, so I'm trying to prepare myself for it. I was on a Book Blogs discussion about reviewers who don't post negative reviews, and I would never want someone to refrain from reviewing my book because they didn't like it (unless it was so bad they stopped reading it). I mean, great if you love/like the book, that's pretty awesome and thanks. But if you say you like the book when you really DON'T, or say NOTHING when you really hated it, then I would just feel cheated! Negative reviews are a matter of opinion, true, and authors are not required to agree, but hearing about what may be wrong with your book can help improve your writing in future pieces. And in my case, especially these days, there is always room for improvement.
Aside from giving my book to Mahogany, I want to see if the library processed my book yet (so far they're the only place where I know I'm guaranteed to get shelved, oy) and if they got Hush Hush, and I need to tell them to order all these books I've been reading about while floating through the blogosphere. I'm absolutely DYING to read "After," I think it's called, and now I can't even remember the author...Amy Efaw, perhaps?
I also have to return a few books...oops.
And thank you Zombie Girrrl (I hope I put enough "r"s in there) for becoming my seventh follower! In fact thank you all for following, hopefully once a few bloggers review the book you guys can have some company.