Recently, however, I’ve been reading fiction including chic-lit – well-written chic-lit, Sophie Kinsella, Jojo Moyes, and Jane Austen. Yes, Jane Austen wrote chic-lit back at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. These books have wit, humour, self-depreciation, a love interest and also look at the mores of society. You may disagree with me, but modern chic-lit it is as much a commentary on our society as Jane Austen (1775 – 1817) and the Bronte sisters Charlotte (1816–1855), Emily (1818–1848), and Anne (1820–1849) was an account of their times.
I’ve published two books under my own name, Just for Fun – an eclectic anthology of short stories and Regan – a Love Story. Just for Fun is also available in paperback from Amazon.
I also write erotic literature using the nom de plume Andy Carpenter and have published Andy’s Irish Adventure. Whilst I do research for all my writing checking even the smallest detail, I feel less pressure for accuracy when writing my erotic stories which are mostly, but not always, light-hearted and humorous. I do not make light of serious situations. I am writing a sequel to Andy’s Irish Adventure, Aideen, which has a serious side. I hope to complete and publish Aideen as an e-book before the end of 2018.
To get back to my reading, I have recently read Chelsea Handler’s My Horizontal Life and Tourism by Nirpal Dhaliwal Singh. While I found both these books entertaining I thought the reviews, some by notable publications, were highly exaggerated. Both books are explicitly sexy, but Tourism is pornographic. I am near the end of Popco by Scarlett Thomas which I have found interesting but exceptionally long-winded in parts. I don't know if all the explanations and the history of codes and code-breaking are necessary, I'm not mathematically inclined, so I skimmed a lot of the detail. The ending of the book seems hurried with only a single mention of the protagonist's boyfriend and no mention of any of her new friends and potential future co-conspirators. The book could have been cut by at least one third, an observation with which some of the Amazon reviews agree.
When reading reviews of books on the covers, I often wonder whether the reviewer, some from esteemed publications both in Britain and the US, is being totally honest or they are friends or relatives of the author. Amazon has tried to put a stop to biased or paid-for reviews, punishing authors who cheat, but perhaps some traditional publishers are not so ethical. It might also be that reviews are highly edited, with the negative words being redacted or the word order changed, so the review ‘a great book to kindle a fire’ may be reworked to read ‘a great book to read on your Kindle Fire’.
In posting this article I am also asking those of you who have read my books or wish to read them to post honest reviews. If you buy my books, please buy them from Smashwords, because they pay better and more promptly than Amazon and the other e-book retailers.
Feedback to this post whether you agree or disagree would be great.