This was a book that really didn’t click with me, and I don’t know why.
I really couldn’t get into this book. Even though there was a lot of stuff I should like. It was very imaginative, Space Ships vs Dragons isn’t something you run into a lot. Distinct Characters, well formed and described worlds.
Some of my problems with the book was the execution. There was multiple world building scenes and I would start to grasp one, then be flung into another. One character would be in peril and I’d switch to another character in peril and I’d have to remember who they were. There were a lot of things that I don’t like, some authors have gotten me over that, but this one didn’t.
Part of this stems from the fact it is the middle book in a trilogy, and I didn’t read the first one. So I assume a lot of the times I felt that I was missing something, it was from the earlier book. Sometimes a character would be there, and I couldn’t remember if they had been introduced or not. The author really should have had someone who didn’t read the earlier one look it over. For a lot of the time I wondered if I was just plain missing something.
As a stand alone, this book had a problem between concept and execution. There seemed to be great and imaginative concepts in here, but the execution of those concepts simply left me with a feeling that I was missing something.
As a result I cannot recommend this book as a stand alone. I assume the first book of the trilogy has the good parts, without the confusion. It would be better to start with that one.
Me: After your first reaction to my review (First reaction is always wrong) and you had a chance to look it over, what did I miss? Or, I should say, what was the biggest thing I missed?
JF: LOL, I haven’t read reviews in years. I always tell anyone who asks to be honest. As long as you were honest, I’m happy no matter if you despised the story or loved it – either way, it provided an emotional response and that is the goal of fiction. I merely check the overall rating of any given book… if that ever gets down to 3, I’ll know there is a problem and then read the reviews to see if they give a hint.
Me: What would you like any one who read my review to know?
JF: Darrell, your webpage is about “Science Fiction with an Edge”… My books are aimed for families that like to read to their kids and the kids, once they become proficient readers. Many fans are also cat or animal lovers, which is good since Xander de Hunter’s Sea Purrtector series is from his feline point of view- sort of “SciFantasy with Claws”.
Me: Without calling out anyone, what would you like any one who reads the other reviews to know?
JF: Obviously, everyone has a unique point of view, so expect that to be reflected in how they react to anything. You may or may not agree with them, so if you think you might be interested, take advantage of the book’s free preview.
Me: Of all the reviews of your book, what was the greatest take away, what did you learn about your writing from a review?
JF: LOL. See my answer to your first question.
Me: How do you think you have evolved creatively, while writing this book and after?
JF: After spending years writing technical manuals, fiction is fun.
Me: Every author gets bad reviews that miss the mark so completely, that you have to look at the rating to know if it was a positive or negative review. Have you ever looked at the negative reviews of your favorite author and chuckle, knowing that the review could be applied to your work?
JF: Well, I haven’t read negative reviews of others, but recall getting a 2 star review for Fatal Attractions several years ago. The reviewer ranted on about not having read the book, which I thought was actually a requirement for writing a review, then claimed not to like one of the characters, which was a teen with PTSD… had s/he actually read the book, s/he might have discovered why the character was acting paranoid.
Me: I get inspired by B-Movies, I’ll sit and laugh at “Attack of the the Eye Creatures” (Not a typo, that is the name of it) but learn as well, mostly what not to do. What sources inspire you, that you wouldn’t recommend others try?
JF: Life and documentaries.
Me: What is the WORST piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten?
JF: Hmmm. Good question, but unless something ‘resonates’ I tend to ignore it. That said, when I was switching from tech writing to fiction, I found a copy of The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler on a clearance rack. Vogler distilled a great deal of this from the work of Joseph Campbell, and if I recall correctly, he was working for Disney at the time and trying to find a ‘plot formula’ for their movies. Novels and movies can use the same framework. The Writer’s Journey approaches the storyteller’s craft as one of recounting the hero’s mythic journey, replete with roadblocks and life lessons. NOW, before you think about buying this, let me warn you that it is the worst-written book on writing I’ve ever read. However, it also has excellent plotting advice.
Me: Who is your favorite indie author?
Me: Describe you ideal fan (the person who would love your book)?
JF: Someone who loves adventure, suspense and animals, particularly cats.
Me: What are the challenges of writing a full length trilogy, as opposed to a single stand alone?
JF: Keeping the characters consistent and the plot twists fresh, while at the same time, having a satisfying character arc in each book. Too many series ignore the character arc, which is one reason why I think those books get tiresome. IMHO, its very important for the character to grow by the end of the book.
Using Xander as an example, in Latitudes & Cattitudes, which is the free prequel to his Sea Purrtector series, Xander is a popular contestant in one of Catamondo’s Kick Boxing Tournament; he dreams of becoming a Purrtector, but must face his worst fear: water. (Note: Latitudes & Cattitudes has been in the top 10 of it’s YA division for over a year and a half.)
Me: What is the most rewarding thing about writing a full length trilogy?
JF: The sense of accomplishment.
Me: Where can we find more of your books?
http://www.jeannefoguth.com/booksgives you an up-to-date list plus buying links to various outlets.
Me: What books do you have coming out?
JF: Purrseidon. my assistant, and I are currently working on Xander’s next adventure.
Me: Favorite Cover of one of your books
Me: What are your different author pages (Website, Amazon, Smashwords, ect)
Smashwords– I put this one first because their site-wide summer sale is all of July 2018 and my books are enrolled for 50% off.
Angus & Robertson (Australia)
Joseph Campbell’s works weren’t exactly the best written books on writing either, but he sure did nail down how to plot a quest.
I totally agree with JF about too many series ignoring the character arc in the individual novels. That is why I haven’t written a series, yet.
As far as reviewers who haven’t read the book and give it a low rating, or bitch and complain to, “the powers that be”. I wish they live a long life. I say that because those people are envious of anyone having even a little success and will spend their life driving anyone who could have cared for them away, so their short time on Earth will be worse than anything Dante could dream up. So the longer it is the more they will suffer. That’s just my humble opinion though.
I think we agree, there aren’t enough sentient plants in fiction! I addressed this problem by having an over-affectionate house plant in An Extra Topping of Horror.