Friday, March 16, 2012

Anne Marie Klein's Behind Blue Eyes

Twitter is really a great place for writers to promote both themselves and other writers. That's my discovery of the year. I stayed away from it for ages, not really knowing what it was for or about, but I've realised that the value of Twitter for a writer is not the tweets themselves, but the links writers make to their blogs. Seeing that I am now tweeting with the best of them, it's clear I am moving in the same direction and away from the much more socially oriented Facbook, which I've never really liked. For me, Twitter serves as a link to this, my blog, and also to my books, and that's what I find really useful. I've always loved blogging, and now I realise Twitter can help me with that too.

Having said that, I also think Twitter is a great way for me to do my very small bit to help other writers with their promotions, so this week, I thought I would do a quick review of Anne Marie Klein's novel, Behind Blue Eyes.

Anne Marie is a long time blog friend. We really got to know each other through the blogging world and have supported each other's writing for nigh on six years now.

A couple of months ago, Anne Marie launched the first of a trilogy of novels through in the same way as I did with my first books. Inspired by, but not about, the Who of great rock music fame, her Behind Blue Eyes trilogy begins with Love Reign O'er Me, a full and complete novel in itself with some action packed 390 odd pages.

I have just finished re-reading it. The first time I read it was a few years ago as instalments on her blog, and it's been fun to read it again as I had really forgotten so much of it that although I remembered things as I went along, I honestly didn't know what was going to happen next. It felt fresh and new, which was great.

I think it's true to say that Love Reign O'er Me is like reading rather than watching your favourite TV series. There is so much action and dialogue, you can see whole scenes in your mind's eye. You learn about the characters through what they say and do and not from what they are thinking - and quite often what they do is very much in line with the culture of the 1970's - lots of smoking, drinking and plenty of racy sex  - pretty authentic for the time I would say. In fact, I think the whole style makes it ideal material for a TV series. It really is like reading a script only much easier because the story truly romps along and is a real page turner.

As I've said in my review on "The characters draw you in, the dialogue is vivid and pacey. It's full of everything that makes an absorbing, exciting and satisfying read. One to keep you up at night, entertained on holiday and wrapped in another world while you're on the bus to work. I can highly recommend it."

Still, it's not all light hearted. Anne Marie also portrays in Ian, her main character, a very striking and sometimes disturbing study of a psychologically troubled soul. There are times when you want to cry for him, but others when you would like to shake him, and even dislike him. In the end, though, you find yourself sharing his life in such a way that you are willing him to succeed in fighting his demons. Whether he succeeds or not, however, is for you to find out for yourselves!

Well done, Anne Marie. I'm sure this is the first of what is going to be an immensely successful trilogy once people get to know about it. For my part, I'll share this review on Twitter and hope it gains you just a wee bit of attention from my meagre following. The best thing is if some of the other, more dedicated Tweeters, pass it on. I'll hold thumbs for you and for that!


Anne-Marie said...

Val, thank you so much for doing this. I have appreciated your support more than words can convey, and I do agree that it's a very visual book. I wrote it "in my head", and just followed what I saw, felt, and heard.

When life calms down a bit here at writing central, where I seem to have a ridiculous promise to have the second book out by the end of April, I will delve into Twitter a bit more seriously than I am doing now. You have some great links there and I try to follow them as much as I can in the limited time that I have. I've not minded FB so much, as I've made some good contacts there, especially through our local classic rock station, since the book is also a classic rock novel of Toronto. I've even sent one to the local deejay, and hope he might spread the word if he likes it. I believe his reaction was that it was "raunchy". :)

I appreciate your review so much, so thank you! If any of your locals end up buying a copy, please let them know I will be happy to sign any copies while I am there in early June.


June's World said...

How very sweet Val.
Excellent and touching read.

Anne-Marie said...

And I wanted to add how much I am impressed by how much you accomplished without giving up your "day job" in the process. I have no idea how I would have done all this without taking the sabbatical, because it really is a full-time job in itself to do it all, and yet you managed with such flair and success without needing to do that. I am in awe of you and respect your success so much for that.


VallyP said...

Anne Marie, it really is my pleasure. I so hope you have success with this! I don't have much of a circle, although I am aware there are quite a few people who read this blog, but who never say anything. However, I'm also aware that one person re-tweeting something on Twitter has the potential to reach hundreds if not thousands of other people, and slowly but surely, that can mean something, especially if you focus on the book world.

And as for the day job thing...well, in a way, writing and producing these books has been been my entertainment all these years :) I love the writing, I have thoroughly enjoyed the formatting and layout process and the fun of watching my lulu dashboard page with the excitement of watching the (admittedly meagre) sales was as good for me as watching the stock markets is for other people:) Sheer unadulterated fun!

And Grace, dear one. Thanks!

VallyP said...

And Anne Marie...thank you! That was a really kind thing to say xx