A Boost to the Ego

(Not that I need it)

I was doing some research online this morning and I came across a review of my book (and other books in the A to Z mythology series, which is published by Facts on File ) in the October School Library Journal.

The reviewer, Ann G. Brouse of Steele Memorial Library in Elmira, NY, seems to focus mainly on how good the books in the series look, with lines like "Handsomely designed, full-color covers beckon readers to explore mythological worlds ... The inviting formats feature generous white space and large headings plus numerous drawings, reproductions, and sharp halftone photographs." They do look good, by the way. I had little to do with that, other than offering my opinion on some of the inside artwork.

Here's the part I like: "While each title is authored by a different person, these volumes are of consistent high quality. The clarity of wording, well-chosen bibliographic sources, and detailed indexes make these series titles excellent resources to accompany the many anthologies of myths and legends already in library collections."

So then I went to Amazon to put a link to the book in this post and guess what? Booklist has a review, too. It's by Robin Hoelle and it's in the October edition. You can read it here (scroll down). Pretty cool, huh?

The Booklist reviewer rightly notes that flipping between the entry and the general pronunciation guide at the front of the book is too difficult for young readers. Some of those Celtic names are simply impossible to pronounce without help. My first drafts of the book had pronunciations for most of the entries. They got cut, though. The entry headings already had alternate spellings, and I think the decision was that another parenthetic addition was too much. That was a lot of research down the drain, because not even the experts agree on how every name or Celtic word should be pronounced. And I had read a lot of other books on Celtic mythology, so I knew that pronunciations was one thing that was missing from most all of them.

Whatever. People think authors have all this control. It's not true, as I explained in this post about the cover art. I'm just happy that the new A to Z books got reviewed, and that they got generally positive reviews at that. It was a lot of work and a long process for me, for my editor, and, I'm sure, for the other authors in the series.

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