I had a great chat about my fantasy novel Diffraction with a co-worker today. A few days ago she joked about how she neared the end of the book and thought, “Holy cow, he has a lot of plot threads left to deal with if they all get resolved in this book.” Then of course she realized this is meant to be part of a larger series.
But that simple off-hand comment gave me a valuable reminder. I’ve written about seven chapters of the first draft of Diffusion, the next book set in the Bordermarches. But I hadn’t given enough thought to what questions a returning reader might have. This helped me go back and tweak the first couple chapters to not only provide a refresher on how various systems and mechanics work (like elemental magic, and the Gracemarks that give divine power), but it also highlighted moments where I could sum up what happened in the previous book to let readers know I’m aware some of their questions are as yet unanswered.
The other fun part of the conversation today was that I got yet another opinion on the setting, the magic system, the tweaks to old fantasy tropes, and the characters. One of my fears is that the female characters might come off as “ugh, this was so obviously written by a guy.” And thankfully, some key moments of interaction between two female characters were described as spot on.
All that to say, I’ll ask the same of readers that I asked of my co-worker. If you read Diffraction, would you be so kind as to post a review or at least a rating on Amazon or Goodreads? I don’t need flowery praise (but of course I welcome it). I’d love some honest ratings or reviews for no other reason than to show that people actually looked at this thing and came to some conclusion about the quality of the writing. If you feel it merits one star, have at it, and if you want to lay out all the things I did wrong, I’ll take the critique. If you’re willing to give it some stars, and maybe say what you did or did not like, all the better. I’d rather a customer see several honest assessments than only two or three. Anything is better than zero or only a few reviews.
If you know someone who self-published, I guarantee they’re interested in getting such feedback posted to primary sites like Amazon and Goodreads. Other than purchasing their book, nothing shows support and encouragement more than taking the time to post a rating or review.
If you’re willing to do so, I deeply appreciate your time. Thanks!