It's always a relief to get appreciative reviews from the professionals. A good opinion can be very helpful in bringing a book into public awareness, and a subsequent boost in sales. On the other hand an ill-judged one can be very damaging, especially when it contains plot spoilers - as I know to my recent cost.
But it's the lesser heard voices of the target readership that are actually the most importamt. You can't fool young readers, or force them into being engaged, no matter what recommendations come from on high. If they find your work boring, or patronising, then they'll soon put it aside. But if they like it, then the chances are they'll let you know.
So I'm delighted whenever I get emails from readers telling me how much they've enjoyed a particular book, or when links to young readers' reviews appear in my inbox.
Here are a couple received this week that have cheered me up no end.
Larkin's Book Bloggers
Dear Steve Augarde, I ABSOLUTELY loved The Various!!!!!! My friend recommended the trilogy when I went to her house and I'm so glad she did!!!I really like Midge's character, in some ways she's a bit like me but that's not really the reason I like her I just think she is the kind of person I would really like as a friend!! I reccomended the books to my school library and they have just been put on the shelves so I hope everyone in my school gets to read them!! I can't wait till I read the next books! But anyway a couple of questions....... What inspired you to write the Various Trioligy? Was Midge based on anyone in particular? Which of your books do you like the most? Do you think people who read and loved the trilogy would love your new book X Isle? And FINALY my friend also asked you this question but i'm afraid i can't remember the answer !! Would you like to make the books into a film? And if you were would, where do you think would be the best place to film it? Anyway I love writing stories and I'm really interested in fairies and magic and stuff like that and was wondering if you have any tips for writing stories/novels etc.? Thank you so much!!
From Kate, Age;11 from London