Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A bit about having a book reviewed.  (A request from Jeremy).  
When a book is published the publisher sends it out to reviewers.  They (hopefully) read the book and then write about their opinion of the book.  Some reviewers are known to give positive reviews and some are not so kind.  
My books have been reviewed quite well.  (See the review page on my website.)  Sometimes a comment or a question comes from a review that the writer would like to respond to, like for example about BRAVE DEEDS.  One reviewer wondered how accurate some of the information was since the Braals (the book's heros) were friends of mine.  When that happens I feel like I want to phone the reviewer and clue them in.  But by that time the review has already been written.
A bit about BRAVE DEEDS (nonfiction) and the research that went into that book.  After I talked to Mies Braal about what happened during the war I talked to one of the children (now a senior) who stayed at the Braals at that time.  I talked on the phone to Philip Pochailo the Canadian airman who was shot down and ended up staying at the Braals for seven months.  Then I went to Holland for three weeks to do research.  I went to the Bieber Bunker and to at least 5 museums.  I talked to some of the people who lived in the area and knew the Braals during the war years.  I read old papers and articles talking about Frans and Mies Braal and their actions with the Dutch Resistance.  I made sure all the facts were correct and that what Mies told me really did happen.  The picture shows the Bronze Cross the Dutch government gave the Braals to recognize their bravery.
Sometimes reviews of books can make you wonder if a reviewer really read the whole book or if they skimmed through it.  But in general it's good to have a book reviewed.  And in general I am very happy with the reviews of all my books and I thank the reviewers.