RARA-AVIS: Re: The Tough Cookie Crumbles

From: davezeltserman (davezelt@rcn.com)
Date: 08 Jun 2009

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Burton Smith <kvnsmith@...> wrote:
    > Like, did you actually read THE DISASSEMBLED MAN or just give them a
    > blurb? Or did they just use your name without telling you? I notice
    > they've removed your blurb from the Amazon page.

    I did indeed read The Disassembled Man. The author was someone I published on Hardluck Stories, and he asked if I'd give him a blurb. I told him I would read his book and would give him one if I felt one was warranted. After I finished the book I discussed with the author some areas that I thought needed improvement, but overall I felt that the author showed a great deal of talent, and I respected the bravado that he showed in his writing, and I feel the blurb I provided is an honest one and one that I'm comfortable with. And it was done simply to help out a new writer without expecting or wanting anything back in return. Hell, if I wanted to play the quid pro quid game, there are much higher profile authors I could do that with. Btw. I have turned down a number of writers whose books I've tried but couldn't support.

    To save you the trouble, Roger Smith has recently written a review for my upcoming Pariah, while I've been praising his Mixed Blood and providing a blurb for his upcoming Wake Up Dead. This was not a quid pro quid thing on my part, and I don't believe it was on Roger's part (I certainly hope it wasn't!). I've been writing what I have about Mixed Blood because I think the book's great, one of the best crime debuts I've come across, and I provided the blurb for Wake Up Dead because I think that book's even better. I didn't ask or want Roger to review Pariah or give me anything back in return, but from conversations I've had with him, I know he's read Pariah and I believe his review reflects his honest thoughts.

    So far every blurb or review I've written has been genuine, as has been every opinion I've posted here, and I can't imagine that changing. I generally avoid posting on books I don't like (even the ones I'm sorely tempted to!), so you're not going to see much negative out of me, although I am beginning to feel that the big boys can take it so that will be changing. Kevin, even though you've written reviews and comments on books written by Thrilling Detective authors that in my own opinion were far too generous, I'm going to assume that you were being honest. Hell, I know we have much different tastes. I remember you going on and on about Jefferson Parker's "California Girl" (which, granted other rara avians also seemed high on), but this was a book where I found the writing so damn precious that it was tortuous for me to read--plus it was so damn obvious (once I gave up the ghost I skipped ahead to verify that the killer was who I suspected). So I'm going to give you the benefit of doubt even when my instincts are screaming at me otherwise, and I hope you do the same.

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