Critical praise for Christy!

For "Murder Hooks a Mermaid:"
"Author Christy Fifield creates the kind of characters that stay with you for a long time. Fifield’s new Haunted Souvenir Shop mystery, Murder Hooks a Mermaid has it all: a sunny, relaxed setting, captivating locals, delicious food, and—of course—murder! Delightful amateur sleuth Glory Martine is back with her wisecracking parrot and charming group of friends in this thoroughly entertaining adventure. Don’t miss it."—Julie Hyzy, National Bestselling author of the Manor House Mysteries and the White House Chef Mystery series
"A whodunit with a dose of the supernatural, "Murder Hooks a Mermaid" is a worthy successor to the series opener and showcases Fifield's talents for plotting, characterization and humor." - Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Quirky and unique, a heroine for whom you can't help but root. The story sucks you in." - The Maine Suspect
"With a lovable cast of characters, good conversations and a great setting, this well-written book is a terrific read." -- Dru's Book Musings

For "Murder Buys a T-Shirt:"
A refreshing new sleuth! - Lynne Maxwell, Mystery Scene Magazine
"A fun book that will make the dreariest of days a little brighter! Socrates' great Book Alert" - Socrates' Cozy Cafe
"An entertaining and clever Florida whodunit" - Harriet Klausner
"Hilarious! A great murder mystery with well-written characters" - Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Reviews
For the Georgiana Neverall Series:
"Christy Evans will find legions of fans with this new series" - Sheldon McArthur, Lincoln City News Guard
"Funny and entertaining -- a solid mystery filled with likable characters." - RT Book Reviews"
Cute cozy mystery debute -- wry humor -- adorable dogs" -Publisher's Weekly
"Will have you giggling out loud! Four Stars." - Kathy Fisher, The Romance Readers Connection"The Book is good! Keep them coming, Ms. Evans!" - Mystery Scene
"Evans delivers a fast-paced mystery with admirable finesse!" - Sharon Galligar Chance,
"Christy Evans has a hit on her hands" - Harriet Klausner,
"Christy Evans is aces. I'll be very suprised if Sink Trap isn't an instant hit with cozy readers!" -

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Guest Colleen Kuehne: My Life as a First Reader

Being a “first reader” is a new and thrilling experience for me – and, as I’d expected, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

So let’s just get those negatives out of the way: it is really hard for me to spend days, or weeks, or even months, without knowing the end of the story. I read rather quickly and usually finish a book in two or three sittings - so you know that I’m literally chomping at the bit, wanting the next installment. Just ask Chris / Christy; I can really be a pain about it.

And now that I think about it, that really is the only negative I can think of, although I suppose it would be difficult spending a lot of time with a story that really didn’t appeal to me. I’m lucky, though, and don’t have to deal with that; the Georgie books are “right up my alley.”

As far as the positives, they are legion. Getting to work with, and for, a wonderful writer - who also happens to be a friend - is reward in itself. Seeing behind the finished product and learning about the nuts and bolts of writing is educational as well as entertaining. Having actual input to the author is, well, priceless!

As for how I, personally, go about it… Well, I usually try to read each segment at least three times.

Every pass, I try to be conscious of continuity. By that, of course, I mean being sure that names and places are consistent, keeping the timeline in mind so that the right number of days pass, stuff like that.

Mainly, though, the first pass is just for the story. I make notes if I don’t understand something, or if I have suspicions about the villain, or feel the story drags or is erratic, but mostly I’m reading for pleasure. My writer seems to appreciate getting my initial reaction, so I let her know where I LOL, where I shake my fist at the villain, and where I get confused because this person’s name is just hard to remember or is too close to that character’s name. (To this day, I have a hard time remembering that Gregory isn’t, in fact, Geoffrey. I can’t explain it, but there it is.)

The second pass, I’m looking for nits. I grew up in a family of teachers; my Grandmother actually returned my letters to her with red-inked corrections, so I’ve become pretty fussy about grammar, spelling, sentence structure and word choice. Of course, after noticing something, I have to decide whether or not to flag it, especially if it’s dialog. After all, people just don’t speak in perfect English. And a writer’s style is just that – her style. If in doubt, I’ll make a note and draw it to the attention of my writer, just in case it isn’t what she intended.

I have a couple of favorite websites I check; I don’t want to flag something as incorrect when I’m the one who’s wrong!

I try to wait a while before the third pass. I want it to be fresh again when I read it for the last time. This time, I’m reading to see if my notes and questions make sense and are worthwhile, and if my corrections help or hinder the telling of the story.

I’ve said I’m lucky, and I can prove it: I have a good friend who is a talented writer. She lets me share in the experience, she listens to my input, and she signs my copies of her books. Life is good!

1 comment:

  1. Colleen, You sounds like an excellent First Reader! Christy is lucky to have you.