In the first part of this series of iUniverse blog posts from award winning author J. Rivers Hodge, we learnt about both his writing inspiration and the process of getting to the finished manuscript stage. Now in Part 2:
iUniverse asks how your novel has been received?
“We’d like to have more sales, but who doesn’t? The feedback from readers has been terrific. Everyone has given us excellent marks, not only for the story, but also the “look” of the book. More than one reader has noted how professional it appears, and more than one has complimented us on the content and color of the cover. That credit goes to iUniverse.
Also, The Legend of Anne Southern has won the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award for Regional Fiction and has recently been selected as a finalist for the Royal Palm Literary Award presented by the Florida Writers Association.
We’ve worked book shows, book signings, and one shrimp festival. About half the readers, who pick up the book and talk to us, buy it. We have no way to compare that to a standard, but we think it’s pretty good.”
Next iUniverse asked about the character development
“We want our main actors to appear “larger than life” and described in such detail as to burn themselves into the reader’s mind. Take, for instance, this introduction of young Joe Edge:
Joe grew up square and level and faithfully kept his hickory-brown hair slicked back neat-like. Without fail, he buttoned his buttons, polished his boots, and maintained his clothes in good condition—these had to pass to Henry.
His parents trusted him to look after his brothers during the rare occasions when they were away from home. He completed his chores quickly and never failed to help his mother. He assisted his father with the horses and the whiskey still. Joe was the only person in the county who could trim the cat-claw vine without ensnaring in its deadly hooks.
A truer shot with the musket couldn’t be found. Joe provided venison, hog, rabbit, squirrel, turkey, and a variety of other game for the dinner table. He planted, watered, hoed, and harvested the family vegetable garden. The eldest son rose from his pallet before anyone else to tend to the fires, and he cleaned and put away the dishes at night.
Joe respected his father and loved his mother with all his might. Although he couldn’t read, Mama helped him memorize the twenty-third Psalm. Honored during the Fourth of July picnic at Mr. and Mrs. Southern’s plantation, he’d said the blessing for the entire community. The words from the Good Book had come in handy.
Perhaps a little wordy, but certain to convey to the reader what a good son Joe is and how much he loves his mother, a critical element of the story.”
iUniverse says listen to a winner
For more about developing characters in your novels, look out for iUniverse author, J. Rivers Hodge’s next blog installment in this very interesting series.