The Unfaithful Widow was entered in the Writer's Digest 20th Annual Self-Published Book Awards this year. My book did not place, but it was critiqued by a Judge. Below are the judge's comments. Since this was my first attempt at writing, I am thrilled with my critique. Working hard on my next book of memoirs, so stay tuned!
I haven't posted on this site in some time, but if you look under my blog title photo, a new page has been added: view my other blogs. While I haven't been writing here - I have been writing all over the place! Cheaper than therapy and fun. I am my own best audience. Chances are if I have to talk, and no one answers their phone when I call, I sit down and clear my head by writing!
Books were evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.
Structure and Organization: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
(Woo Hoo on my high fives!)
What did you like best about this book?
Unfailingly candid, and often heartfelt as well as humorous, the author recounts her diverse experiences and mixed feelings during her first year as a widow after many years of being with the same man. The various essays show an engaging personality who copes, with varying degrees of success, in the difficult process of reshaping her life. The book is divided on a seasonal basis. Friendships, new and old relationships, and the factor of habit and memory, all play a meaningful role. The rigors of dating are vividly described, often bringing a chuckle or two, especially with computer-borne images of prospective dates. The adventures and misadventures of a spunky sixty-year old widow display a rich assortment of encounters, acceptances and rejections, that compose a busy life. You're able to enter and share the writer's world which is a test of a good book. Her other interests, as an antique dealer and raising several dogs, also show other aspects of her persona. Her life could easily be an inspiration to other women who have lost a spouse after many years.
And because I love some good advice, I will share the information below. I am taking it all to heart when I design my new book. Thank you Judge No. 55 for your kind words.
How can the author improve this book?
The book could use a greater graphic dimension than just a few shots of the author's dogs and chapter opening photos. Shots might include a bigger one of her than on the rear cover, one of or with her husband, some with friends, and some with her dogs. Shots of the individual dogs identified in the text would certainly be a good idea. A shot of her antique store would also be useful, all contributing to key activities in her life story. There might be some illustrations, humorous and otherwise, and cartoons in the public domain which relate to widowhood, etc. These might be of the dating scene including restaurants, etc. A print-out of some dating material from computers might work well. While the chapters or essays are relatively short, some could use subheads which can pinpoint specific happenings and also enable readers to better absorb and appreciate what follows. The dating blues poem is a solid addition. More poems on the widowhood situation would be apropos. Taking stock of the present at the end was fine, and expectations about what the future might bring would also serve to round the out the book.
Check out my latest interview with Morgen Bailey in England on