>A few months ago, I interviewed my good friend and fellow author William Kendall on this blog. Now, I’m honored to be the first to review his wonderful first novel Heaven & Hell. The following review was originally posted at Goodreads….
I have to confess here…I’ve read it prior to publication. I’ve been impressed by William’s writing from the start. His narrative and dialogue are strong, his pacing impressive, and his characterization as good as any author currently occupying the New York Times bestseller list. William is a very visual writer–when he describes a setting, a character, or an emotion, the reader will be able to imagine it all quite clearly.
Heaven & Hell is a thriller, to be sure…but it’s also a tale of damaged people, people who come together out of deep emotional suffering, of profound personal loss. His villains aren’t one-dimensional baddies, but individuals who have made some serious wrong turns out of pain. I’m so tempted to go into detail about some of these things, but I know he’d have to kill me if I did. And even though I know what the Very Bad Thing is that he alludes to in some of his blogs, I’ve been sworn to secrecy. Nuts!
Be forewarned–there are scenes involving acts of terrorism that are difficult to read; that’s how realistic they are! I’ve been brought to tears more than once. William says he found himself often apologizing to some of his characters–and with good reason.
His protagonist, Tom Stryker, is no James Bond. But that’s a good thing. Bond, to me, has always been just a bit too perfect. Stryker–he does not like to be called Tom–is human. He’s flawed. And unlike Bond, he does not jump into the sack with every female he encounters. Personally, I would like to see him get a little action. He’s quite a man. Seems to me women should be lined up to provide him with a bit of TLC!
I cannot recommend this novel or its author strongly enough. As soon as Heaven & Hell is available, buy it. You won’t be disappointed!
(And for those of you who don’t already know and love our William, you can get to know him and his writing at his always-entertaining blog, Speak of the Devil!)
>This novel has bedeviled me almost as much as Chasing the Wind did. I foolishly assumed that the second book in the series would be far easier to write than the first. Logical assumption, right? It might have been, had there not been other factors to consider. My first fourteen novels were conventionally published. I only had to write them…and do some interviews and booksignings. And even those were arranged for me. Chasing the Wind was a struggle because it went through a long evolution from the idea I originally conceived to the book Collin and I finally self-published in 2008. When I first showed it to people I knew in New York, they loved the idea, but usually said, “This is a movie, not a novel.”
I showed it to a producer I met through a mutual friend, who agreed. I registered it with the WGA and attempted to write a screenplay–but I soon discovered there was so much I wanted to do with the characters and the story that simply would not work in a screenplay. I put the screenplay aside and went back to writing the novel.
By the time Collin and I finally made the decision to self-publish, I had forgotten about one very important thing: the advertising, marketing, publicity and promotion would now rest solely with us–or, to be more precise, with me. I was fortunate in that I wasn’t exactly a novice at promoting my work. I’d learned a great deal about all of these things from the best in the business. What I didn’t know was how to do them in the brave new world of the internet. So here I was, trying to write one novel while promoting another. I was no longer enjoying the luxury of having the whole day to write. Any author who self-publishes wears many hats and has to learn to juggle them.
I always wrote my novels like a quiltmaker makes a quilt. By that I mean I never wrote a book from page one to the ending. I wrote whatever scenes I wanted to write when I wanted to write them, then stitched it all together, so to speak. I’ve found I can no longer do that. For one thing, my memory isn’t what it used to be. I’m not twenty-five anymore, and I take seven different medications every day. So, with all I have to do, something had to give.
I sat down and put together a scene-by-scene outline, a roadmap to keep me on track. Every morning, I make a list of everything I have to do that day, including things necessary to promote my books. So far, it seems to be working….
This one’s going to be short and sweet.
I recently signed on to the Goodreads Author program, which means I need fans. Those of you who are members at Goodreads, here’s the link to my author listing:
If you’re not a member, can I convince you to join? I’m going to be doing a book giveaway as soon as I get my page set up there (it’s currently under construction, so don’t mind the mess if you visit). I’ll be giving away copies of Chasing the Wind and Final Hours–and one of my backlist books, Luck of the Draw (I actually still have some copies!)
I also have some copies of my foreign language translations, for anyone who can read them….