Fan Fiction Review: “Three and a Half Days”

Reviews like this make my day — no, they make my month — Hell no, they make my year!Β 

There’s no feeling on Earth quite like this one, knowing that I’ve touched a reader so deeply, and exactly as I intended when I wrote the story.Β  πŸ™‚

Three and a Half Days LONG AO3 review

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“The Codex of Desire” After-Party Report :D

Yesterday’s “Codex” After Party was AWESOME! Quite a few people needed to bow out at the last minute because of a nasty cold that’s making the rounds (and one of the After Party attendees just came down with it this morning), but everybody who was able to attend had a great time. πŸ™‚

After Party Group Shot

I picked up some prizes beforehand, with the intention of holding an “answer questions about the book” contest. More about that later.

Codex After Party Prizes

Lenora, who had purchased a physical copy of the book from Amazon, was kind enough to bring it along so that I could hold it in my hands for the first time. SO MUCH BLISS!

And of course I was happy to sign her copy. My first time signing my own novel! BLISS CUBED!

Codex First Signed Book

Lisa was so sweet — she bought me lunch, including a celebratory piece of caramel cheesecake! (I’m diabetic, but you just have to cut loose once in a while. And when I got home, my blood sugars were as level as if I’d eaten a completely healthy lunch, so hurray!)

Codex after party celebration caramel cheesecake

Next book-related event: the McNally Robinson book launch on the evening of November 10th!

My Femisphere Interview

This morning I was honoured to be a guest on the CKUW radio show “Femisphere”, talking about my recently published novel “The Codex of Desire”. And during the interview one of the hosts pointed out something which is fundamental to the storyline, but which I hadn’t consciously noticed: that “Codex”, as well as featuring a patriarchy vs matriarchy conflict, is also a story about colonialism and reconciliation. WOW, how amazing to be discovering new aspects of this novel after working with it for so long! πŸ™‚
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You can listen to the interview (8:15-8:31 in the broadcast) once it shows up in the station archives, if you wish. This was my first radio interview about “Codex” and hopefully it will not be my last!
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The Introduction, the Dedication, and the Acknowledgements: Are they necessary? And where, oh where do you put them?

This topic came up recently on a fiction writer’s FB group. Introduction, Dedication, Acknowledgements β€” three segments of a book which stand apart from the narrative. So why put them into a novel in the first place?

In “The Codex of Desire” I included both a Dedication and Acknowledgements. Why?

The Dedication was pure self-indulgence: I wanted to mention my husband (still alive) and my mother (deceased), as two individuals who deserve praise and, well, dedication. My husband is a Big Name Canadian comic artist, so his name has appeared in print many times; my mother was a library technician who, so far as I know, has never had her name mentioned in a published work, and I thought that being included in my first novel would have pleased her, were she still alive. (And if there is an afterlife, perhaps it does please her even now.)

The Acknowledgements, on the other hand, were a matter of necessity. I had beta readers to thank, and other people who contributed in a concrete sense to the creation of “Codex”. It’s only fair that they have their moment in the spotlight, since it’s a rare novel that gets written without significant help from one’s friends and wider community.

The Dedication was placed immediately after the title page, in its traditional position. The Acknowledgements, on the other hand, were positioned at the very end of the book; only the Author Bio was placed after them. Why the Acknowledgements in that location, as opposed to at the start of the book where some writers put it?

Quite simply, I felt that my readers would have more appreciation for the Acknowledgements AFTER they’d read the entire book, when they could see what the folks I’m crediting are responsible for (the novel itself). Also, it seemed to me that Acknowledgements at the very front of the document only delay the reader getting into the narrative, so… yep, to the end of the MS they went.

And why not an Introduction? What on Earth would I put into it? “This is a book about dinosaurs. They lived a very long time ago, and are now extinct.” Nothing that everybody doesn’t already know. And again, it would only serve to delay reader engagement with the narrative β€” plus, “Codex” is not a novel which requires particularly specialized knowledge to appreciate, and (in my opinion) an Introduction is the place where you share such specialized knowledge with your readership. So an Introduction was never on the table, at least for this novel.

Now, if I do ever write that sequel to “Codex” that I’ve got in mind… THEN an Introduction may be appropriate, to recap the events of the first novel and prep the readers for the new story I’ll be telling.

But I’ll still put my Acknowledgements at the end. πŸ™‚