I keep my writing and day job in separate compartments but sometimes the boundaries blur as they did a few weeks ago when I was in an official Skype discussion with a colleague who had recently joined the company. As the call came to an end, he suddenly asked me if I was the author of The Reengineers.
‘It was a wonderful book, thank you for writing it!’
He went on to say how much he had enjoyed reading the novel.
It was a positive, affirming moment after my struggles trying to promote the book since it was published.
I am perhaps the only writer whose publisher (one of the top five, no less) completely overlooked my first novel for any kind of publicity. I ran a few Goodreads giveaways and hired a book marketing service with mixed results. A few of the reviewers to whom I sent copies came out with balanced reviews: some were very positive and others reasonably critical. Some reviewers understood the essence of the novel, some wrote lucidly about what they liked and what they did not, and two or three were of pathetically low quality – one review was more about the bookmark that Amazon sent with the book rather than the novel itself and another shoddy review was embellished with details that were nowhere in the book. Yet others accepted the book but never showed up with their reviews. Likewise, some of the book bloggers whom I had approached agreed to review the book in return for a copy and then disappeared silently into the depths of cyberspace, never to resurface.
Now and then, readers write to me mentioning how the story has given them hope to take on depression, often asking me not to reveal their details. But this unexpected encounter with a reader who had read the book at the level of a story and found pleasure in it made me very happy and extremely grateful.
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