Monday, January 13, 2014

publishers weekly. whaaat?!

Pigs are flying. Lightning is striking twice. I recently saw Christian Bale in a film and experienced no physical attraction to him whatsoever.

And A Snicker of Magic got a starred review (!!!!) in Publishers Weekly. 

Clearly, it is a season when the impossible is possible.

I was buying a birthday present (a vanilla sandalwood candle from World Market*) when I heard my phone go buzzy in my bag. The email was from my agent, Suzie the Avenger. She sent me a picture of The Review. It's a good thing I was back to my car, because I shrieked. And bounced up and down. And maybe cried just a little bit. Basically, I had a breakdown on account of this review. But in a good way. I'm surprised and excited and so, so grateful. I still can't believe it happened.

I had decided not to read any reviews at all, and I still try not to do that unless my agent or editor send them. I realize some authors read reviews and they're fine with it. But I think unfavorable reviews will always feel like a punch in the gut to me. I know it's not personal. I don't expect everybody to like what I write. I think people should react and interact with a book however they want. But I think lots of authors probably fare better if they don't read reviews. Reading them is a sure-fired way to blow your creativity to bits. I used to think I needed to grow thicker skin, or tougher skin, or whatever kind of leathery skin people tell you to grow when you start writing. But I have a theory that sensitivity is essential to good writing. That it's the gateway to some of the best writing a person can do. So I'm going to stay sensitive for now. And try not to read reviews.

But my word, I'm grateful for this one.

I'm stunned. Thank you, PW! You made me want to hug the world today.

Here's the review in full, if you'd like to take a gander:

* And not to hock a candle or anything, but you should go take a whiff of this vanilla sandalwood stuff. Usually if a candle smells like the beach, it smells like sunscreen or limes. This smells like you're alone in a beach house on a rocky shore somewhere in Maine, watching a storm roll in. It's dreamy. 


  1. YAY Natalie!!! Congratulations. So deserved. Only a couple of months now.

    P.S. Did you see American Hustle? Batman or no, Christian Bale will ALWAYS be Laurie to me aka The Dude Jo Should Have Chosen, That Silly Girl.

  2. congratulations! oh, I'm so excited to read it!

  3. You go, girlfriend! I saw the review today and posted it to my Facebook (you know, that place we used to meet). SO excited for and proud of you! And I can't wait to read it, either!

  4. Congratulations, Natalie!!! I am so excited for you and I'm counting the days until February 25!

  5. That's so exciting! WHAT IS THIS AWESOMENESS I bet you were pumped! And also, the candle sounds amazing. The world needs more snuggly beach scents!