G R Matthews
Fantasy-Faction Book of the Month June 2016: The Stone Road
That’s right. You read that correctly, ‘The Stone Road’, was Fantasy-Faction’s book of the month in June. That is, I think you’ll agree, very cool.
Here were a bunch of people, serious readers all, reading a book, my first, that was written four years ago (though published only three years ago). So, what was it like?
In a word, scary.
In a longer sentence and paragraph or two. It was both scary and wonderful. You can’t buy the kind of feedback I received through the process. The book was broken down into sections and there was a “Ask the Author’ sub-forum.
I'll cheerfully own all the F*** ups and mistakes. They're totally mine.
That was my first interaction and it remains true. Whether they enjoyed it, hated it, saw the good, the bad and the ugly, it was all my responsibility. A strange thing to say? Maybe, but it’s true. I wrote the book to my taste, to my voice (developing as it still is), with the story I wanted to tell and the characters I was interested in.
For a month (or half a month, they read fast), I watched folks read my words. And I watched them comment on them. They picked apart the characters, the plot, they made suppositions about the future of the characters, they made assumptions, they guessed right and they guessed wrong… and it was great fun (for me).
They thought of things I’d never thought of. They came up with plot twists that weren’t there. They liked one character and then another. Some folks rooted for different characters and others changed their allegiance half-way through. More than that, they enjoyed it and I can’t ask more than that.
The ‘Ask the Author’ thread was a little ray of golden sunshine it a rain-filled June – there is a ton of interesting stuff in there, but be warned, the spoiler tags mean SPOILERS!
Let me leave you with a few quotes from those that read the book (and I hope they’ll go on to read the next).
Just finished! It's a really good book and when I finished I was like wow, just wow! (SJBUD)
The magic and action were great, and the world is filled with mystery. The emperor himself is like a feature of the world as well as being one of the most interesting characters in the novel. (JMACK)
For everyone who read it – Thank you!
For those that carried on and read the next two – Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!