Between August 15 and 25, I had an audiobook blog tour organised by Kelly Lacey from Love Books Tours. This idea was inspired by the earlier review of Unfortunate Stars on Audiobookish podcast – huge thanks again to Fahed Rahman for featuring it on the pod – he and Poppy provided such an inspiring and thoughtful critique.
The tour went really well – I had comments such as the following:
I was completely engrossed with this story. As I was listening to the audio I was overcome with emotion as the story unfolded. The story set in 1938 spoke of the loss of a life unlived and Fredrich’s continued journey to explore sides of himself that are shunned in society and leave his life in constant danger. The story set before and during WWI spoke of friendship, unspoken love and the difficulties of living true to yourself. This story particularly made me tear up.@livinginmyownprivatelibrary
It’s a sad book, as Friedrich must face the reality of being a gay man during the 1930s, but it’s also a celebration of romantic love and the deep tenderness of male friendship. It’s refreshing to see men during wartime acting not like macho tough guys, but instead like real people, who feel deeply for other humans despite their differences.@_nicolesbooknook
Skilfully read by Greg Patmore, the audiobook of Unfortunate Stars totals a mere hour and fifteen minutes and yet it is packed so full with feelings and spans so many decades that I had to double check this was correct. Susan Lanigan’s poetic prose reads like a dream and she is able to describe even the most horrendous of circumstances with an elegance that gives them something akin to beauty.@silvia__reads
a bittersweet tale of love that captured my heart. I listened to the audiobook to review this short story and I feel that this meant it had a greater impact on me as a reader. The narrator, Greg Patmore, did an amazing job in expressing the tender emotions and fears which this story contains.@booksbybindu
(A LOT of shoutouts for Greg’s absolutely beautiful narration. I auditioned only him, and knew from his clip straightaway that his was the reading I wanted.)
I felt like I was there with Friedrich and Kai and that I was also being told about these intimate battlefield moments.@fiction_vixen18
I can’t honestly put into words how much I liked this story or how moved by it I was, but this was my first book by this author and I intend to find the rest of her works and get this in print and devour them all again. I loved it.
I loved the narration. It made me feel as if I was sitting listening to Friedrich himself recounting stories of love, friendship, death and war.@piggindani_reads
This short story is as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking. And as much as I wished it was longer, it’s the perfect length.
I really want to thank Kelly Lacey for making this possible, and Sam Missingham for having Kelly’s details on the Empowered Author website – and I wanted to talk about the unexpected consequences of this exercise. I went in wanting to increase awareness of the book after the audiobookish podcast episode made it clear it was worth promoting. But what I got out of it was more than that. I got renewed confidence in my own writing and its power to move and inform hearts. In a “business” where it’s all about reviews and coverage and prominence, I was in a state of self-doubt.
It didn’t help that a random TERF troll popped up to tell me that the author of a harsh and very public critique of White Feathers was “clearly correct” about my work because I “haven’t been able to find a publisher since” and then helpfully added “Paying someone to print a manuscript or record an audio isn’t publishing, it’s just a commercial transaction, like buying a soda or a new hat.”
OK so that comment makes it clear we are not dealing with the most finely-honed screwdriver in the Black and Decker box here (what do they imagine publishing is, if not a “commercial transaction”?) but when you get months of that kind of crap, and then you read reviews like the above, it’s God’s grace giving a really strong reminder not to downplay or disbelieve in your own power, and to reconnect with a higher one. Knowing that *I made that* is a source of real pride to me and it’s very emotional.