In just under two weeks, "The Lady Adventurers Club" officially goes live to the world. I think for some authors, like myself, this immediate pre-release period is the most nerve wracking. This is because it's in this brief window that the advance reviews come in. One imagines that these make or break a book. No one wants to come off the blocks at two out of five stars, for example. We all want five out of five stars, best-book-I've-ever-read reviews. One wants the early readers to be shouting from the rooftops how great the book is. With a low star count, on the other hand, regular readers will think hard about whether it's worth cracking open the book at all.
It's okay to admit that as of right now, LAC isn't doing as well as I'd hoped with the advance readers. That's life, and these reviews doesn't necessarily reflect how regular readers will enjoy the book. But I have learned from these reviews that two things I thought would be clear to readers are not necessarily that transparent. So here we go. Two things readers may want to know in advance before they start "The Lady Adventurers Club":
1) LAC is a historical action/adventure novel, but it also has paranormal elements. This technically makes it low fantasy as well as historical. When I originally conceived of "The Lady Adventurers Club," I debated whether it should or shouldn't have these elements. As homage to "The Mummy," however, I decided to keep them. This may be a source of frustration to historical fiction readers who don't like low fantasy, but hopefully a source of amusement and enjoyment to those who do. Unfortunately, regardless of which direction I took, some readers were going to be unhappy, so I went with my heart on this one. I hope that more readers like it than dislike it.
2) Some advanced readers have expressed the opinion that at least one character seems immature. If they're referring to Georgette, they may have missed the indicators that Georgette is neurodiverse. It was very important to me that Georgette have that neurodiversity, and I hope the readers will recognize and appreciate it. Greta Thurnberg has called her Asperger's her "superpower," and Georgette would share that sentiment. Georgette's powers of observation and handy skill set are a key part of this adventure.
With only twelve days left until LAC is out, there's still time for some positive reviews to come in. Fingers crossed, little book!