I was going to comment on my last post regarding the 44 Cemetery Road review but for some technical reason my comments couldn’t be published.

I was out of town for the past few days and haven’t been able to comment on your comments. But it’s truly wonderful to return to your messages of support.

Reviews don’t bother me too much. I’ve had my fair share of positive reviews and a few negative ones over the past 15 years. It goes with the territory. If you’re published then you necessarily have to be thick skinned. If the negative comments are unwarranted or not constructive then we as local authors should not, must not, change our writing just because of a review. We keep writing, churning out what’s in our hearts.

It seems to me, and I don’t think I’m far wrong, that local reviewers have a pre-conceived idea of local writers which is “it’s local, so it can’t be much good”. The reviewer looks through blinkers, searching for negatives, not the positives. This means the local author necessarily has an uphill battle from the start. He or she has to convince the reviewer that despite being local the work is great. But take heart, this attitude will change with time.

Michael Cheang’s review of 44 Cemetery Road was mostly good and again I’m grateful for it. But on reading the article, it seemed to me that the positive comments were hard won, given by the reviewer almost grudgingly. But it does, overall, give my book a big tick so perhaps I shouldn’t take issue with it. Perhaps if he had explained himself I may not have.

I do hope when Michael Cheang’s own book is published that his work is reviewed in a fair minded and balanced way with no pre-conceived ideas. I’m putting my hand up to do that review. No hard feelings, promise! 🙂

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