You know, life sucks sometimes. Feels like this year I’ve been handed shit sandwich after shit sandwich – and for once in my life, (almost) none of it has been my fault! It’s just been…a bunch of shitty shit that happened!
But there’s been one bright spot the whole time – and that’s “being Brad Vance.” My “real” self never wakes up to the amount of approval, support and encouragement that Brad does. Brad was deluged on his birthday with birthday wishes, well over a hundred of them. Brad has more and better friends on Facebook, who cheerlead and boost and endorse and promo him and his work, than “I” do.
And this morning I got up to yet another awesome review of “Apollo’s Curse” on Amazon.
I have yet to read a book by Brad Vance that I didn’t love and fully enjoy. But, I admit to going into this book expecting something totally different than what I received. I thought that perhaps Vance was going to do a sort of re-tell of an old myth, or work his story around the Greek mythos. And, there is some of that, but not in the way I expected. This was a fantastically fresh look at why people do the things they do, but with a creative twist that was brilliant.
Sometimes, you see something happen over and over and you wonder, why do people keep following that trend? And then you wonder when that trend will stop. Brad Vance takes that human tendency, gives it a mythical rationale, and then makes his characters twist in the wind as a result. Dane Gale considers himself a “serious writer” who scoffs as serial romance and the lengths to which today’s writers market themselves and write to the current market. Then, through a series of circumstance, Dane finds himself doing those same things. And then, realizes he’s unable to stop due to the curse.
Throughout the story, there is gentle poking at the market itself: the readers who get on a certain trend of werewolf/cowboy/harem/millionaire/soldier worship and the writers who willingly fulfill create the books that satisfy those needs. But, also, at the writers who try to stay above those trends, and find themselves with self-published works that are critically sound but practically unmarketable or at least unmarketed.
But there isn’t a mean bone in this book. It’s not slamming or shaming the readers who want to read the current trend. It’s almost as if Vance is writing the story of how the leopard got its spots or how man found fire. Vance is creating the mythology of the over-used artwork and the marketing-trend serials. And, he does it brilliantly.
Like all of Brad Vance’s work, this will be on my re-read list not just because of the creative subject, but because the author always delivers well-written stories that satisfy the need for something fun to read without sacrificing technical credibility.
I mean, I get the usual occasional “nice job” at my day job, but…nothing like this. When I get up at 3 a.m. yet again, after having gone to bed at 8 p.m., so that I have time to “be Brad Vance” before the day has its way with me, it’s not always easy to sit down at the computer and say, okay, here we go… Unless you get a review like that.
So onward and upward, Brad! Dammit, I’m a good person and people like me 🙂 Thank you again to everyone who’s given me this level of support and encouragement. I literally could not do it without you.