Just Have to Share

Readers of this blog know I’m opinionated, have high writing standards (for myself at least and in what I read). So it is particularly gratifying when an astute reader of one of my works takes the time to write a thoughtful review.

For my latest opus, “Twilight’s Indian Princess” I’ve been fortunate to have received some very insightful appreciative reviews. I don’t buy or solicit reviews as the majority of authors do today, a common practice, and publishers do too (and perhaps that’s stupid on my part, but the very thought of it turns my stomach). So at least my reviews are genuine.

I also don’t check my book sales every day or prowl constantly for praise in reviews (I got over that a long time ago). I’m not a good self-promoter; I write the best honest books I can and just put them out there.

But I was surprised and gratified to find a surprise when I checked in on the languishing “Twilight’s Indian Princess,” the first installment in a series. It’s literary, involved and has a difficult main character. Three strikes against it.  I just assume readers of Gone, Girl or Game of Thrones would pass over it in a heartbeat, because it deals with deeper matters, what really goes on inside the character’s head that influences behavior and relationships. Those other books are only superficially interested in such things. They don’t want to make you think too hard. And who needs another headache, right?

But today I stumbled over this latest review on Amazon of “Twilight’s Indian Princess” and was, well, gratified. If I touch only a few thoughtful readers, I consider myself a greater success than bestselling writers.


4.0 out of 5 stars Dreams of horses, August 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Twilight’s Indian Princess: Book I (Kindle Edition)
MargaretLangstaff clearly has a series in mind for SarahSloanMcCorkle, our protagonist in “Twilight’s Indian Princess.” After reading “Book I,” I can foresee almost anything for this hurricane of a character, from catharsis to state prison. Who knowswhatLangstaff has on the drawing board?Oddly enough, the bulk of this short piece takes place in the mind of Sarah as she flits around in her memory and imagination. Not many writers can get away with so much interior “action” (a paradox the author seems to have purposely tackled here), but Langstaff’s prose is energetic, ornate, blunt, frilly, challenging at times, and always satisfying. There are moments when it might go a tad too far (“It would cap the day nicely, even if only circumstantially, to find the launching pad of what it was that nailed her, pow, right between the eyes, and initiated all this reckless relentless wondering aboutwonderments.”), but it reflects the state of mind of the character, and the patient reader will sit back and let the words go where they want to without objection.With her two kids away at camp and her rough-around-the-edges husband bugging her with his fish smells and his overuse of ain’t, Sarah is another “woman on the verge” and she’s volatile. Funny, but volatile.

Everyone, or most people, anyway, reach a point when they look up and wonder (a la David Byrne), “How did I get here?” Sarah’s just beginning her inner investigation.

By the way, the title doesn’t refer to Sarah. It’s a horse she had when she was a kid.

That detail alone told me, when it hit home, that this would be a special story.

About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic, and professional book editor for many years. A consultant to publishers and authors, providing manuscript critiques and a full range of editorial services. A friend and supporter of all other readers and writers. A collector of signed modern first editions. Animal lover and tree hugger. Follow me on Twitter @LangstaffEditor
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4 Responses to Just Have to Share

  1. Kevin is an amazing author and hopefully you will read his Occasional Soulmates if you haven’t done so already. He enjoys the literary and no surprise he would enjoy your fine book

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jef says:

    Well if you didn’t pay that guy you should now. That’s a terrific, measured review. And the sentence that he mildly took to task was a lovely lovely line. You definitely found a reader. And as admired as he is (reportedly) I’m sure he wouldn’t mind receiving a check from you, Margaret.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, he ain’t likely to get one, bubba 🙂 Very kind words from both of you, though. You are both dears and smarty pants. If my work pleased, enlightened or entertained you two in any way, you got paid in full, period. If it fell short, no matter; the stories keep coming unbidden. Try the next one. I just try to get them right. Get a dead-eye bead on them and tell it straight. That’s all a writer can do.

      Liked by 1 person

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