As a little girl, I worked out a complex system of “read-eating” when spooning soup into my mouth while holding a paperback book in front of my face…in college, I spent each pre-finals week pacing my dorm suite, a classic in each hand, twisting my head between one and the other to ensure I understood enough to earn an A on my essays…my favorite times of the year were book-buying season at the beginning of each semester… my home now is too small to contain the mounds of books in my TBR pile…I could continue, but you get the point. I love reading and I love books.
I studied literary criticism at university, but instead of igniting my enthusiasm for the written word, study dampened it. Too much analysis, I found, sucks the vibrancy and sense of innovation out of a work of art. Trying to pigeonhole something that should be open to unending interpretation blunts an otherwise perfectly sharp knife. I found I enjoyed reading purely for its own pleasure and turned my professional aspirations in another direction. Sort of.
These days, I am a nonfiction manuscript editor for the Marine Corps historical center and am happily involved in the start up of the Marine Corps University Press. In my off hours, I was–for the past three years–managing editor for the Historical Novel Society’s Indie reviews. I have since moved to a position as reviews editor for the print magazine, working with a number of small independent and university presses, such as Europa Books, Overlook Press, and Syracuse University Press. I have reviewed novels for the HNS for almost 10 years. All of these positions have allowed me to indulge my passion for fiction set in times long gone.
My goals for this blog have changed over time, and I now focus on helping readers choose compelling, enjoyable, and well-presented self- or subsidy-published (SP) historical fiction. I have learned much from working with SP authors and realize that the SP world is awash in possibilities and pitfalls. Whether a success or a failure, a self-published book still costs the reader time and money, so in this blog, I will attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff with honest, forthright reviews. I am a freelance reviewer in this blog, not under any constraints by my other occupations, and the opinions I express here are entirely my own.
I welcome your comments, constructive criticism, compliments…whatever you’d like to share. My single rule: no rudeness. I would never be rude in comments or reviews to anyone, and I expect the same consideration in return.
Enjoy your visit!