I’m not fond of skipping church, but the service starts so early that my husband tends to make an executive decision to sleep in if we have guests visiting. I have to concur with him. We currently have a guest. Therefore, this morning I woke late to a silent, sleeping house. Because it was too late to run off to church, a curious melancholy filled my core. To combat it, I did what I usually do; I tiptoed into the living room, snatched my netbook and sneaked back to my room without disturbing anyone. I checked my e-mails (all junk); I browsed my favorite websites. As a last ditch effort, I logged onto Facebook.
I tend to wrestle with myself about whether Facebook is meaningful to my life; it’s through Facebook that I’ve developed a community of writing friends. I’m sure I could find another method of staying in contact with old friends and family, but my life with these new friends revolves around Facebook. To be honest, if it weren’t for Facebook, I wouldn’t sell any books. So I continue with my love-hate relationship for this social media outlet that allows people to be nasty, degrading, and trite, while also giving the NSA a perfect opportunity for spying. I hate it, but I keep at it in order to maintain a writing community and SELL books. That’s how it works. That’s how we give our souls to the Man in the Machine.
This morning, my melancholy was disrupted by a new review for Anna and the Dragon. It was my tenth review! Look, that may not mean much to you, but I’m a self-published author with no platform who does almost NO marketing. What the heck–I’ll post the entire review because it’s awesome. Thank you to Mike Duran for reviewing my book:
I had the pleasure of being a beta reviewer for the author. My overall impression of Jill Domschot’s “Anna and the Dragon” is how significant this work is for a first-time novelist. Domschot has a wonderful command of the language and, even more so, has written a story that conjures nostalgic, weighty emotions, sifting questions about the very nature of life and death, love and loss. At its heart is a mythical, elusive dragon, embodying that existential quest. All that to say, “Anna and the Dragon” doesn’t feel like the work of an amateur.
I won’t bother going into the storyline of the novel. You can find that in the blurbs and other reviews. The book’s strong points for me were atmospheric. Jill has a gothic sensibility and writes as one familiar with the voice of the classics and unashamed to thumb her nose at contemporary conventions. Don’t mistake this as antiquation or stylistic aloofness. The story is quite easy to follow, and Domschot’s characters are witty, cynical, and relatable. The author’s descriptions of the lush, dreary, Oregon Coast are rich and moody. I love the feel of “place” in a story and despite moving between time periods (this is, in part, a time travel novel), “Anna and the Dragon” very much manages to capture an atmosphere.
While the novel is largely a romance, this isn’t the drippy rubbish of so much contemporary romances. Anna is a rather brooding figure. At times, her glumness gets tiresome and I found myself wanting her to chill out and have a good laugh. But overall, the lead character has a cerebral hipness, never quite lost in nostalgia, appearing competent with a foot in two very different worlds. In several spots, the book reminded me of George McDonald’s adult fairy stories, like Phantastes and Lilith. While not overtly fantasy, magic realism always hovers on the periphery of the tale, seeking, like that ethereal dragon, to pounce upon the reader and upend reality.
“Anna and the Dragon” is a wonderful first novel, a story that is both intelligent and dreamy, one whose atmosphere, much like the drizzly fog that cloaks the Oregon coastline, will cling to the reader well after The End.
Ha! Sorry to disappoint you, but my romance is NOT drippy rubbish.