Anyhow, I really loved his response, particularly because I have been searching for a way - without damaging my chances of anyone ever buying the book - of warning people that the book may not exactly be to everyone's taste. I think "Beadle's" response is just about perfect in that respect.
I suppose one of the problems of being a published author on a site like this is that you get nutters like me contacting you as if you're their best mate!
I just wanted to say that I have just finished reading Taking Comfort and wanted to congratulate you. I also wanted to tell you that I came nearer than any other book I've read to throwing it across the room in frustration.
I struggled with the way it was written at first, the repetition of words and phrases and sentiments. I was more than halfway through before it finally clicked and I felt the rhythm of the writing, the spiralling of the characters’ minds, their confusion and doubt.
Maybe one of the reasons I reacted against it so strongly initially is that it was a very accurate rendering of that turmoil one’s mind goes through dealing with everyday issues, whether it is seeing tragedies or just coping with the rush hour tube traffic.
It was a challenging book, or perhaps I’m just not challenged in that way very often. But I want to congratulate you because ultimately you created a world that was frightening yet comforting in its reality (which was also frightening), as well as being familiar but very alien (which again scares the pant off of me).
Ultimately I also liked the plot – I’m big into plot, and narrative, which is why I sometimes get frustrated with books that look like they’ve been “written” rather than just appearing fully-formed in my hands.
I’ll go now before I out stay my welcome. Good luck with this and your future work.
I would also like to say that in a further message Beadle went on to say this:
I can see that it would be quite easy to see back and say - ah, let's make this straightforward - but you didn't and that takes guts, and the people that supported you to get it published also show guts, so beyond your own achievement I think it shows a bit of light in the murk of the publishing industry. [My emphasis.]
Uh, if there are any people who still have it in for Macmillan New Writing, please take note.