K. D. Dowdall

Pen and Paper









Last April I decided to enter the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. I was hesitant because there are many great writers out there and who do I think I am anyway to even try to compete with these accomplished writers.  I had no expectations of winning – heavens no. However, what I did want was to receive a totally non-biased report. I was expecting the worse.  After all, this was my second attempt at improving the first edition of Garrett’s Bones. The first edition was really riddled with mistakes.   It was my first draft, no proof reader, no editing either. I didn’t see the mistakes and I didn’t even have anyone read it before I decided to self publish the first edition.  I was  mortified when I realized I had published a book with more mistakes than I care to dwell upon.    It does have, as they say, “good bones” – no pun intended.  The truth is writing takes lots of practice and a willingness to make mistakes, never give up, and keep on writing and reading great books.  I had no idea I would be given a really good commentary and a high-grade to boot!  I am thrilled because I was in no way expecting a good review.  I urge those writers like me with little faith to consider submitting their novel(s) to Writer’s Digest.  At the very least, you will receive a non-biased commentary.

writers-digest-iconSo, here is The Writer’s Digest’s Commentary:

“In Garrett’s Bones, a genre novel by Karen DeMers Dowdall, we are presented with a historical thriller, with complex overtones of supernatural intrigue and a dash of romance. At the heart of this story are two young people who set out to clear their names the only way they know how, and in a way, that gets them more enmeshed in darkness. The narrative is tightly woven and compelling, moving at a fast pace while still allowing the reader to experience a true depth of characterization as they develop a full appreciation of the events as they take place. The title seems to this reader to be evocative and chilling, setting the reader on the right course for the overall tone of this novel. The overall design of the book is professional while the cover image for the book is striking and haunting, perfectly in sync with the ideas presented in the book. The chapters are nicely paced, with enough meat to make them satisfying but not so ponderous as to make it difficult to keep track of the narrative as it develops.

****A Commentary by Writer’s Digest, Judge 11





22 thoughts on “GARRETT’S BONES – A Surprising Commentary from Writer’s Digest!

  1. Congratulations, what a perfectly wonderful review! Thank you for sharing and reminding us to never give up!


    1. Hello Kimberlee, thank you for your comment. Yes, giving up is never the answer. Just keep writing and perfecting. I truly believe that many or most books have “good bones” and just need to keep working on bringing that core story to fruition. Karen 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is nothing sweeter, it is such a joy when one finds the right word or turn of phrase! I’m glad I dropped by to read your words…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Please drop by anytime and I will do the same at your blog!! Karen 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You are always welcome and I look forward to it!


  2. Congratulations! I remember wanting to purchase this book and YOU discouraged me. The writers’ creed ‘Writing is rewriting comes to mind. This ‘ moving at a fast pace while still allowing the reader to experience a true depth of characterization’ is the hallmark of good writing (in my mind). Wonderful review, Karen ❤


    1. Elaina, Thank you so much. I did do some rewriting and it is so much better. Yet, I know my writing still needs lots of improvement. I really think the judge was being very kind. Karen

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your teachable spirit is your strongest asset as a writer. I’d like to purchase one of your books and read it over the next holiday. Which one do you recommend?


  3. crazykatya says:

    Congrats on such a great review! That is some great validation for all of your hard work. Thank you for sharing your experience!


    1. Katya, Thank you so much! I really think that Judge was very kind. I do hope that others will consider sending in their work the next time it is offered. The Early Bird Deadline is April 3, 2017. They have the Ebook Self Published Awards and the Book Self Published Awards.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. crazykatya says:

        This is really helpful information, thanks! Maybe I’ll have something ready by then. And as for the judge being kind, I say dash that comment and take credit for your work. You got an awesome review, hold onto that positivity and let it take you up into the sky.


      2. Katya, thank you. You are awesome! I will definitely dash those thoughts! I should keep repeating the old saying, “take credit where credit is due.” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. frenchc1955 says:

    This is wonderful, and thank you for sharing this with us!


  5. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    This is a wonderful review for a very talented and hard-working author. She is an inspiration to all of us!


  6. GP Cox says:



    1. Hello GP, thank you so much. No one was more surprised than me – shocked actually. It just gave me reason to continue writing and I love storytelling. Karen 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. GP Cox says:

        There’s nothing better than to work at something you enjoy!


  7. Jennie says:

    Just wonderful, Karen! I hope you frame the words so you can read them whenever you feel inspired or uninspired. Read them often and keep writing, as you are truly an excellent writer. Congratulations to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jennie, thank you so much for your wonderful comment. I am honored by your praise because you are an amazing teacher, the best of the best! Karen 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jennie says:

        Karen, that is so nice. Many thanks, and you are very welcome!


  8. See there? A LOT of things are better the second time around! Congratulations on the hard-won praise!


    1. KC, thank you so much. Your thoughts and congratulations mean a great deal to be. When great writers like you congratulate me, tears comes to my eyes, because your good thoughts mean so much. Karen 🙂


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