This week’s Marquee Monday is a bit different from others. Marquee Monday is all about paying it forward, taking the spotlight off of myself for a day, in the midst of this life of self-promotion, and shining it on the people who have helped me. Neil Bartram and Brian Hill have certainly helped me, but almost certainly in ways of which they aren’t even aware.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the importance of reviews. Every single time I see that there is new review posted for one of my books, I click on it as if I’m watching a horror film – fingers over my eyes, peeking out just enough to know if it is safe to proceed… I live equally in fear of them and in giddy anticipation. Reviews are huge – particularly to indie authors like myself. Good, bad, indifferent…whatever. A review means someone cares. They care enough to tell the world how much they loved it or they care enough to make sure everyone knows they shouldn’t waste their time. But at least they care.
The first review I ever wrote on Amazon (or anywhere, as well as I can remember) was posted on July 8, 2009. I wasn’t a writer then – at least not a published one – and I didn’t understand the significance of reviews, but I knew that I cared about the Original Broadway Cast Recording of The Story of My Life more than I had ever cared about any CD ever. I’ve been a Broadway fan for my entire life, and in 2009 I was hosting a theatre-focused radio show. I discovered The Story of My Life because I was (and if we’re being honest, still am) obsessed with everything Malcolm Gets does. And Malcolm Gets is amazing in the recording, as is Will Chase, but I was as surprised as anyone to discover that Neil Bartram’s score and lyrics and Brian Hill’s book were what made me care so much. I was inspired in ways that I honestly didn’t understand for a very long time. I was fortunate enough to get to talk with them and feature them on my radio show, and they are incredibly humble, nice guys who answered silly questions and made me laugh a lot (and even arranged for me to meet Malcolm Gets, but I gleefully digress…).
In many ways they also turned me into a writer. Through their work, I experienced the joy which comes from deeply connecting with a written work. I was made to think about the lasting impact a book can have. I was made to care.
Thank you for that, Neil and Brian.
Learn more about Bartram & Hill at bartramandhill.com
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