Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thank you for suspending your disbelief….

I got another 2 star review. I know, I know, when you offer a book for free you're sure to end up with click happy people who really should have read the sample and reviews PRIOR to clicking the buy button. Some people just can't resist something free ;p
The main gist of this review is that she doesn't get it and can't follow it. All good, not everyone is going to like every book so I'm fine with that. What really irked me is the section below.

I read a lot of fantasy including romantic fantasy. I could not get into this book at all. I liked the concept. While it stretched my beliefs that these 20-somethings were blackbelts AND into archery AND into sword play and could sew and do magic...ok, I can suspend some belief to further the storyline.

It pretty much sent my inner feminist on a total rage *lol* because guess what? These characters are based on my friends and what I know. So, please suspend disbelief while I list the achievements - weird, wacky and otherwise - of myself and my friends and our current ages (or what age we achieved them at). And join in!! I'd so love to hear what you've done/can do.
What irks me the most about the comment, is that it's a female making such a judgemental comment.
C'mon people as females we get pigeon holed enough by the opposite sex, lets not do it to each other! So tell us your fantastic achievements and if you have daughters/nieces/friends, hell any girl out there who needs or wants a boost of girl power, send them this way, cause we want to know just how awesome they are. And boys you are very much welcome, some of my favourite reviews are from guys who obviously prefer a kick-ass female lead to a damsel in distress.

Nicole age 28 (almost 29 Yikes ;p)
Smallbore shooting
Tramping - since the time my parents could strap a pair of boots on me.
Sewing (the character Ada is based on my Grandmother Ada who is an incredible seamstress to the point I saw it as magic as a child)
Jazz dancing
Belly dancing (where I acquired the nic-name Dimples..)
Practising Witch for 10 years - Not practising anymore, my beliefs are more about what Witchcraft and Pagan's root beliefs are. Yes I created the spell in the book and yes it could technically be used (though sorry, as with all 'spells' they really are about attracting positive energy rather than 'zap bang').
Writing! Though some may disagree *lol*
Basic training in Taekwondo, Karate, Jujitsu & fencing
Classically trained vocalist
Jewellery designer and maker - used to sell it in a boutique store

Sian - 27 (28 on Friday!!)
Orienteering, 2nd in National Champs (under 18 year olds)
Army cadet
Basic Air force training
My whole secondary schooling was earned by continuing scholarships
Qualified Technical Laboratory Microbiologist and Chemist in both human pathology and food technology
Bodypaint model
Wiccan goddess
And general geek *lol* (we all use Siany as our reference manual *grin* her knowledge is vast)

Pixie aka Sarah - 28
Taekwondo (black belt)
Ballet - on Pointe till I was 19
Sword fighter - German sword fighting, a new international sport
Learning to ride so to participate in 'skill at arms' exercises (where participants ride a horse and complete fighting) not brave enough to joust (yet;p) but my dad and brother do.
Serious sewing and handcraft skills
Qualified Nurse

Chelsea - 21 (22 soon, both Chels & Sian are Cancer's)
Have 2 degrees – BCA (commerce) and BSc (Science) majoring in Maths, Psychology and Finance (2006-2009).
Currently finishing my honours in finance (2010-2011)
Victoria Graduate Award 2009/2010
Reserve Bank Scholarship (2007-2009)
6yrs Touch Rugby
Netball (2yrs wellington reps)
Skiing since whenever you were first able to ;p
Underwater Hockey (does the mental image of this amuse anyone else? Amuses the heck outta me ;p)

Sally - 40 (Sian's workmate)
Represents NZ in Smallbore shooting - has done for years
Does pole dancing for fitness (WOO! Go Salz)
Exceptional sewing skills

Kerrin - 29
5 yr competitive gymnastics
11 yrs competitive springboard and platform diving (the memory of Kerrin pushing herself slowly up into a handstand from sitting will stay with me for EVER!)
Jazz dancing
BA in English Literature
Completed two novels
Secretary for Playgroup, Soccer player, writer, card maker, sewer, studying for Early Childhood Degree.
A mother of 2 beautiful kids (and daily migraines for two years since and still doing it all!)

So c'mon - tell us your fabulous, quirky, or excelling achievements!

Take care all!
 The Arrival, on Amazon or UK Amazon or Smashwords 


  1. Ummmm, well I've written at least 7 novels... I've gone around the world on a 15 stop ticket by myself... I've got a Bachelor of Arts + Honours, and a Postgrad Diploma and Library & Info studies. Won a singing competition at age 12 or so, winning $100. Hehe.

    There are bound to be others but yeah...I've done stuff! :P

  2. That's awesome Trisha - wow 15 stop ticket sounds like so much fun!!

  3. I generally don't spend much time bragging myself up, but if it's for a good cause...

    I'm 26. Despite a learning disability, I have a master's degree with specialty in bioarchaeology - the study of human remains from archaeological sites. I danced ballet for over ten years, and I've practiced yoga for almost eight. I'm very strong and bendy :)

    I'm also a pretty good swing dancer, I'm a Tae Kwon Do brown belt (two away from black), and I'm a fair shot with a bow or a gun. I learned to read when I was three. I've won several small writing contests, and most recently was a finalist in a large contest with thousands of entries.

    And I sew. So there.

  4. You have amazing friends!! I'm in total AWE!! Take care

  5. You know what? You're right! When I think about my friends and how cool they are, it's not hard at all to believe that your characters could be so accomplished :)

  6. Oh gosh. I'm such a slackard! I never took any lessons in anything as a child. What I can do is throw a baseball really well. (not like a 'girl'). I was the one who worked with the boys on my son's team when they needed instruction on how to throw and pitch.

    Before I had kids, I could walk on my hands for at least 20 ft, then lift on hand up and balance for a few seconds. I could also do 10 cartwheels in a row. Now I can't even do one and if I tried to walk on my hands, I almost certain my arms would snap.

    I can shoot baskets really well for a short, overweight middle-aged woman. ;-) I'm not the typical basketball player, that's for sure.

    I can draw a little. Oh, and I'm known for my great choc. chip cookies.

    Somehow, I don't think my 'talents' would come in too handy for a character in your book. lol

  7. Whoa Anna! A master's degree with specialty in bioarchaeology sounds so freaking cool! WOO for you :)

    Thanks Old Kitty - but I bet you've got a list of things that are pretty cool too :)

    Exactly Rowenna! Hence my grinding of teeth *lol*

    *chanting* 'Go Mary, Go Mary' TEN cartwheels in a row!?! Oh I so have to get that in a story somewhere - I'd wipe out after two *lol* and for the best choc chip cookies I'm pretty sure anyone would make a spot for you in their book ;p

  8. I'm 20, At the moment I have written 4 books since the age of twelve, all over 200 pages. I am semi-fluent in American Sign Language and can speak pretty good basic Japanese. I have sewn a T-Tunic and a cosplay costume (Farah from Prince of Persia) all by myself! I was featured at a local art museum with the rest of my high school drawing/painting class. I graduated High School with a two-year college degree, 3.8 GPA, and National Honors Society recognition. I'm working on a BA in Sign Language Interpreting, a minor in Creative Writing, and now an Asian Studies Certificate, all at the same time, while working a part time job over the summer and sustaining a pretty good social life.

    About the comment, though. From how I read it, she wasn't necessarily bashing that they were females who could do all this at such a young age because they were females. She was probably coming from the angle that a lot of these interests were very conveniently learned together with nothing necessarily linking them in the backstory (like they didn't learn them at some medieval reenactment troupe or on a pirate ship or some other device). It wasn't a problem for me, I figured their lengthy friendships led them to participate in a lot of the same sorts of activities and they had a lot of active interests that linked them. But little things like characters actually learning this exact set of skills throughout their lives could get in the way for some people because they see them as 'too lucky' or something like that, not necessarily because they're female.

  9. And thank you that there's another accomplished swing dancer here! Eee! Anna, you sound like the most awesome person in the world!

  10. Well thought out B.E.T - though honestly, I still don't see those reasons as necessary (re the medieval re-enactment troupe). My theory was pretty basic, they started jujitsu from teens (Loi a little younger) as a form of exercise and self defence. One martial art frequently leads to another when you enjoy it hence the kenjitsu and archery is just something I've always wanted to do *lol* and I thought it'd be more useful than smallbore on Sytas ;p
    LOVE your list though! And I must go try swing dancing now *grin*

  11. I'm 29
    My achievements are 3 publications, I'm a slush reader for a online magazine, I have my associates in English and am working on my BA in English. I'm the first female in my family to attend college.
    I have survived rape and molestation from friends and family since I was 3 yrs old.
    I am a writer :)
    I played Violin and piano when I was younger.
    I was second place fast jump rope in my hometown.
    I can draw decent
    Great lists everyone!

  12. Wow Summer that is a heck of a list, a slush reader? That must be cool! And good on you with the BA, something I may consider someday :)
    Also.. I hope I'm not too out of place for saying this, but those frnds n famly suck.
    I never thought of putting drawing on my list.. not to awful at it ;p I have moments of genius *lol*

  13. I'm not nearly as accomplished as most of y'all in my areas of interest, but my specialized areas of expertise are every bit as varied. Although let me just point out that in my generation that was not considered to be the norm, and that really is probably where the complaint stems from.

    I'll bet the reader was "older", and it would require her "suspended disbelief" to think that your heroines were accomplished in that many areas at such a young age. It's not that unusual today, but believe me ... there was a time LOL.

    I'll also bet her biggest problem really, was with the changing POV's. I'll admit that threw me for awhile, until I got used to it. Once I adjusted, I rather liked it, but I was probably halfway through the book. I could have read a dozen reviews ahead of time that told me about it, but I wouldn't have understood how it would trip me up until I read it myself.

    It's quite possible she didn't stick with it long enough to 'get it'. If I had quit reading before I adjusted to the style, I might think similarly. Would have been my loss too. I wouldn't let it bother you too much.

  14. Hi - Jst discovered yr blog via a listing on one of my fave book review blogs Parajunkee and meandered along to your blog. Im fascinated by your journey of becoming an indie author/publisher and have enjoyed reading thru yr blog as you chart some of that journey. Im a Samoan writer living here in Auckland - so its great to read abt a NZ author's journey! Thank you for sharing.

  15. Hi Sal - thanks for your thoughts, I don't disagree but more importantly - where's your list!! It's what you're proud of, not how it compares to anyone else. It's your brag about you cause we all want to know how fab you are :)

    Hi Lani! Lovely to meet you, welcome to my blog. If you're looking for other kiwi bloggers Kerrin is also a kiwi and Pixie (aka Sarah or Constance) is an ex kiwi. So swing by their blogs too. I had a read on your blogs - wow did you really get interviewed on Campbell?? That's so neat!

  16. I don't understand the reasons for disbelief from your readers. Perhaps they are a bit...unenlightened?
    I was a young woman much like your characters were: aikido, shooting, archery...but also into cooking, painting and music. I'd studied at a conservatory, yet wished to be an bomb tech (sadly, there are many things which can disqualify you from that career that have nothing to do with ability).
    And if you are already going into sidhe and dragons, does realism really make a huge difference?

  17. Hi Becoming Mommy - Cute blog by the way :) Yes I agree wholeheartedly and awesome list there!!