READER'S VOICEThe Bad Boy Hero by Helen Hollick

January 2017
Have Your Say! What Do You, The Reader Think?
      
 by Helen Hollick

There is no point, beyond self-satisfaction, for writers to write books if there are no readers to read them. Authors appreciate reviews because they can give valuable feedback and boost a flagging confidence. And yes, poor reviews can do the exact opposite, but here at Discovering Diamonds we do not do poor reviews. If we are not too keen on a book that has been submitted to us we do not review it. We do not always give 5 star praise either: very often we will include some small bit of constructive criticism into a review, and often we will add a few of the not so good things about a particular novel - maybe there is a little too much head-hopping (change of point-of-view of the characters) or some scenes did not flow, or there were a few too many anachronisms (an author really cannot say 'he puffed up the hill like a steam-train' if the setting is Saxon England - it just doesn't sound right!) But even with these observations, all the books we review are regarded as a 'good read'. 

Which is where you, the reader, come into the equation. 

You want good books to read. Of course everyone's idea of what is, or is not, 'good' is different, you only have to look at the diverse comments on Amazon to see that! But reviews and comments can give an indication of what a novel is about, which in turn can help a reader choose. Or to quote a phrase from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, The Curse of the Black Pearl, reviews are 'more like guidelines really'.

On top of all that, though, as founder of Discovering Diamonds, I want to reach readers, not just writers who are keen to get a good review for their book. (Although I am well aware that writers are also readers!) So, over the next few months this page will focus on the Reader's Voice, it will be a place where you, the person buying (or borrowing) a book, or looking for a book to read, can share, discuss, or even shout about your views, ideas, thoughts, wants and don't wants. It's not a forum, but not far off it! We'll be exploring what do you as a reader think about trends in book covers (oh those endless headless women! *sigh*) or alternative history, or fantasy mixed with history. Should historical fiction be more historical than fiction? Do bloopers matter? What is or isn't acceptable in historical 'romance'? Is sex, especially violent sex,  overdone, or added just for the sake of it? Should we review erotica or not? Are the Tudors the only era worth writing and reading about? Why are there not many reviews for young adult or children's historical fiction? (Where are the authors for this genre!)

We want your feedback - after all Discovered Diamonds, as much as I and 'my' team enjoy putting everything together, are somewhat wasting our time if there is no one out there reading, and even more important, enjoying, what we are aiming to do!

So, to get started: several years ago, my ex-agent told me that adults were not interested in reading novels about pirates. She was somewhat disgusted that my pirate, in my Sea Witch novels was a bit of a womaniser, and liked his rum (well, isn't that what pirated do?) I subsequently went my own independent, way and I think I am well and truly proving her wrong. But why, as readers, do we like the 'bad boys' of fiction? The swaggering rogue with the charming smile, but a sharp dagger easy to hand in his pocket...?

Perhaps you can think of a few novels which have the bad boy-type as the protagonist? Ross Poldark in the recent TV series springs to mind! Although I personally think George Warleggan wins the Rat of the Year contest hands down! Isn't he brilliantly nasty!



What attracts us to novels about pirates?
Sea Witch on Amazon

Leave your comments below, share a few thoughts of what you would like us to host on this reader-dedicated page - and please do spread the word that readers are heartily welcomed here at Discovering Diamonds!
      

13 comments:

  1. Warleggan is an absolute horror! But when you consider his background, you can understand his motivation as it stems from insecurity and a desperate longing for acceptance. Poldark doesn't give a stuff - he knows where he is and labours in the mine like any other.

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    1. I particularly like Jack Farthing (who plays Warleggan) his expressions are priceless. My only quibble: in the books we see George and his father, not George and his uncle. I don't see why they had to change this - the drive from blacksmith to banker makes more sense when Warleggan senior is George's father, in my opinion.

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    2. I totally agree, Helen - I can understand that some changes may be necessary when making an adaptation, but this detail seemed pointless and unhelpful - I'd love to know if this was BBC led or the adapter's choice.

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  2. Happy to share to my author page, and twitter too. Wishing you great success in 2017. A great idea. Caz

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  3. I wish you would add a link to Amazon.ca so Canadians could use this to buy the books you are showcasing.

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    1. The only problem, Arlene, is time - it takes time to even add the UK and US links ... but there is no point in asking for feedback, views and suggestions if I don'tlisten to them so... your wish is my command (as the Genie said) Give me a few days to sort it though. I promise this function will be added by the end of the week. (In exchange - can you spread the word about us please!:-)

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    2. Arlene: done on this page - will backtrack and do all other links during the week.For my own books I use Amazon Universal - much simpler and quicker! Thank you for the excellent suggestion!

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    3. Just as a follow-up: now all done, Amazon CA has been added to all reviews, although for some I cannot add the prices of Kindle editions (I can't get access to this information as I am UK) and there are a couple of book apparently not listed on Amazon CA.

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  4. My two-pennyworth (Or is it three-pennyworth these days) on your question is that women are attracted to bad boys because we would like to have one in our lives. I don't mean serial killers or bank robbers of course, but someone enigmatic and with a hint of the sinister. And why would we? It's the challenge of taming the beast.
    Susan Appleyard - I didn't mean to be anonymous.

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    1. I wonder as well, Susan, if its a little bit of bad boys are usually very capable? I'm not saying they're the sort who will replace the dead lightbulb the moment it blows, but they're likely to do it fairly quickly because they get things done! (sore subject... lightbulb here has needed replacing for a few months now. Oh and its probably £2 worth now! :-)

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  5. I recently reviewed "Impact" for you and likened the two main characters to Tom Brown and Flashman. I think this is an example of what you are saying: it was Flashman,the bully, rather than Tom Brown, who became the 'franchise', having been picked up by a different author who produced a series of books about his post Rugby School life, some of which later became movies.

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Helen