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.
“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