Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Pushing Up a Mountain

As anticipated, self-promotion is very difficult, but I've got to get From the Chrysalis out there or nobody will ever find it. I feel like an ant pushing a bread crumb up a mounting pile of books, though. It wouldn't surprise me if a thousand new novels get published on Amazon every day, most really bad, but some very good. I don't know which is scarier--that so many bad novels get "published" or that even some really good books can't find traditional publishers. What are the authors thinking!? Well, it can't be about money, that's for sure and if they're anything like me, authors just want people read their book and maybe fall in love with their characters.

On the subject of falling in love with characters, reviews have started to trickle in for my hybrid novel and it is indeed fascinating to get  unsolicited opinions from complete strangers:

The characters were lifelike and the storyline intense. It is a story that will captivate readers and cause them to think.

Much of the book is centered around the prison riot of 1971 in Maitland, Ontario. Dace Devereux, residing there at the time, is a key player in the riot. It was at this point of the novel that I fell in love with the character of Dace. His perseverance and resilience, whether making good or bad decisions, can’t be matched. The riot is based on the real life Kingston Penitentiary Riot of April 1971, one of the largest riots in Canadian history. Mixed in among the fiction are some true details that lend a sense of believability to the plot. I could have happily read a complete novel based around this event and Ms. Black’s characters in the prison. This was by far the most entertaining and fast paced section of the entire book. I was completely enthralled. It was also the part where we truly get to know the character of Dace. 


  1. Hi, I was wondering if there might be a sequal to From the Chrysallis, and if so,when we can expect it?:) I‘ve fallen in love with Liza and Dace(:

  2. Yes, definitely! I'm working on a sequel called "Dream Flight" right now. It's the story of Dace's flight across the American border at Akwesasne, his determination to clear his name and his desire to help a young woman find out where the Monarch butterflies make their home.

  3. Oh I am so glad. I finished your book and was speechless. It was late at night and it took forever to fall asleep. I just kept thinking about Dace and all his decisions and all the things that were decided for him. Rick and how he used Dace during the riot. I am cheering for Dace and Liza. I also enjoyed the real history. I will definitely help you get the word out. Please keep us updated on "Dream Flight". I wish I could go pick up a signed copy of your book but alas, I live in Lexington, Kentucky, USA. The 25th of November will be a sad day for me. I hope you have a great turn out and all goes well.

  4. Hi, Michelle,

    Thank you so much your comments. It's just great when a reader "gets" the characters and you really got Dace. I will certainly keep you posted about my sequel.

  5. Hi, Michelle,

    If you have an Amazon account [and time to spare!]I would be thrilled if you cut and pasted some of your comments into a Review for "From the Chrysalis."

    Many thanks,

    1. I would be happy to leave a review on Amazon. It will be my first one ever so... I get nervous because I worry about sounding stupid and people don't always get my humor in general. You are the first author I have communicated with because the book touched me in a way that still brings tears to my eyes. Give me a day or so to get it up.


  6. Karen,
    So I just finished reading your book again because even though I told you I would leave a review I wanted to get it right. Then I read the reviews on amazon and was frustrated and wanted to set people straight. This was no teenage crush. They always had this connection. It drove daces' mother crazy. Liza was sent away because it was her mothers last ditch effort to save her marriage. I wonder if she ever felt loved by another man or woman the way Dace loved her. I am not wrong, am I? This is more of an Eternal love from the beginning. Do you think she would have turned to Tony if Dace had written to Liza more than that once in those first 2 years? And didn't the decision regarding her first pregnancy basically get taken out of her hands, at least that was how it felt. I keep wondering if Tony pops up again later in this story. Oh and the judge, I wanted to be in the courtroom and stealthily hit him between the eyes with a spit wad. It sucks that he was in a position to hurt Dace again after what his nephew did to Dace. I am glad that Liza chose Dace in the end. I think she was right about Mel always wondering and questioning who Liza loved more, him or Dace. I like Mel well enough that he was willing to be there for Liza, but I got the feeling that Mel would always be jealous of Liza's loyalty to Dace.

    Anyway, I am coming up with something to post on Amazon and chatting with you is helping.
    Thanks for your time,

  7. Hi, Michelle,

    If you would prefer to exchange emails with me at karen.black@sympatico.ca, that would be great.

    As an author,it's wonderful to have somebody really getting into my characters. Your observations are spot on. They made me realize that I will have to tie up some loose ends like Tony and the judge, even if I'd really just prefer to forget about them and sort out Dace's and Liza's lives down the road.

    If you decide to, I wouldn't worry too much about what you post on Amazon and if you don't have the time, that's fine. You've already made some great remarks which I appreciate very much.

    All the best,