Reader Feedback from Felddorf
It’s ten days since publication of My Own Dear Brother and I’m starting to hear back from readers. OTHER people are now familiar with Felddorf – with Ursula and Schosi!
During the six years it took to write, I shared the book with few. I learned how a novel should be pieced together; I wrote and discarded so much. I read and read about Austria in WW2 and the postwar phase; I moved to Vienna, explored, asked questions, conducted interviews with elderly Austrians who remembered the war’s end. And all the while this imagined world was trying to get out onto the page.
Writing is weird. It’s a fervour – for me, anyway. And it’s dichotomous: solitary but a communicative outpouring; make-believe yet deadly serious; it leads to adventures but also allows me to retreat from the ‘real’ world – backing off while simultaneously pushing something forward.
My feelings about being published were mixed, as well, at times. I felt elation but also fear. My innermost would be suddenly outermost.
But I needn’t have worried. It’s been nothing but brilliant. I love the feeling that the book doesn’t really belong to me any more. It’s intensely pleasurable hearing Ursula’s name on other lips and readers saying they couldn’t stop turning the pages. Yes, I think when I hear this. That’s how I felt, too – about that village, those people. I never lost interest.
I’ve got an exhilarating sense of being understood, of being heard as I hoped to be.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and impressions – leave a comment below. Where you’re up to (without giving the game away!), your favourite characters. And, if you’d like to support the book, I’d be grateful if you rate it on Amazon or Goodreads. It’ll make all the difference to My Own Dear Brother.