Writing is Work, Publishing is an Art - Reading List

Writing is Work, Publishing is an Art

Monday, March 06, 2017

Home by Eleni McKnight

There are so many amazing writers out there toiling to put together a story that connects with audiences and draws readers into their worlds to share ideas. It is a profession that often goes ignored as the time spent reading lessens yearly among the population.

Add in more and more small, independent publishing companies that are promising to help out writers reach their goals, not to mention the amazing ability to self-publish thanks to Amazon, too many stories are being put out there that are simply not ready to be shared.

And that is a travesty because writers do toil over their projects. They sweat, bleed, and cry during the different stages of writing and editing. They deserve the promise of a publisher to truly polish their work into a gem that will shine for readers.

While I often say no to smaller publishing houses because I cannot handle poorly edited stories, I do make exceptions once in a while because the concept of the story is sound. And that is when I get most angry over the system.  So, today, please bare with me as we discuss this issue while getting a glimpse of one story that deserves so much more.

Home by Eleni McKnight


Eleni McKnight

Story Overview 

Handmaiden Susannah Commons knows her place in society in Home. She is only a girl, and as such is inferior to the men of Home. She was raised knowing that if she was subservient, one day, Deacon would assign her as wife to a man, and she would then serve him, bringing his children into the world. It was all as the Great Master said, according to Deacon, who taught everyone in the commune how best to live and remain safe. 

It is during one of her daily chores, that Susannah makes a mistake, and sees Silas Maas as he returns to his room after showering... a grave sin that could very well end with Susannah spending the rest of her days toiling in the Hard Labor Camp. Her fear swallows her and she begins a journey into learning the power of love and education. But what will happen when her brain is engaged and her desire for freedom conflict with Deacon's need for absolute power?

Personal Likes

I decided to push through with this book strictly because of the core purpose of the story - if we, as a people, allow one person to teach us, and never learn to find truth on our own, we will be doomed, as individuals, and as a society. It is important that we engage our minds, and seek truth. And to recognize injustice and hate when it surfaces.

I liked that the author had a solid story that needed to be told...

It's a crime to not read... quote

Personal Dislikes

The editing. This story is not finished. It reads like a draft, maybe even a rough first draft, which is a disappointment because I know writers don't just turn over stories in their rough stages. Writers seek out editors and publishers that will help them fine tune their stories and polish them up so readers have no choice but to be swept away on an adventure.

The characters, especially the side characters, were not well established, the setting was never clear, and the progression of the scenes was choppy. Just as you would expect in a draft, not in a finished book. The were more typos than I cared to count, and a few entire scenes were repeated. It was sad. And I am embarrassed for this small publishing company that claims to want to help writers get a foot up and join the professional published world of authors.

Reading List Rating

I am giving this book two hearts... well maybe two and a half, because I do believe the author is on to something. And while it is hard to hear rejection from major publishers, realize it's a chance to polish your work more, find more beta readers, work through the scenes, and bring them to life. I saw this with love, because I also write, and I know the struggle... but know that you have a story to tell and keep at it... do not settle for something that isn't your best, and I know you can do better.

About the Author

Eleni McKnight is a Murfreesboro, Tennessee native. She graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a degree in Theatre with an emphasis in Literature and a wild passion for creating clothes and doing make-up. She's also an avid reader and loves music and theatre. She started writing at age eight when she had read all the Baby-Sitter's Club books that were out and wanted something new to read. It's never quite left her over the years

These days, you can usually find Eleni working backstage or costuming in local community theatres, reading a book, walking (that FitBit is addictive!), at a concert, drinking a craft beer with friends, knitting, embroidering, or taking a dance class.

Author Links:

My Suggested Audience

Alright, so I would suggest this concept of a book to those fans of Dystopian fantasy, especially those who read The Jewel.  However, at this time, I am not sure many would be able to get past the errors that scream over the story.

If the author were to read this, I would encourage you to describe more... what does each room really look like, use all five senses.  Describe the characters more, their looks, their past, their hopes, their dreams... add more details into why society is the way it is here. Give more! One scene at a time. Go back through the publishers and see what their comments were, what were they asking for? How can you make that happen?  And then, seek out some writing beta readers who will honestly give you feedback and don't see it as an insult against you, but as tools to build upon, because your core point is valid.

Also, for readers... there are serious triggers in this for rape, abuse, death, prostitution, slavery, cult building, and so much more.  I have a hard time saying this is a YA because it is brutal, and rough... partly because it needs more development, partly because of the reality of the story... 

Wondering Questions to Consider

Now, why even share this with you all? There are so many writers out there trying, and when they put their story out into the world they are exposing a side of themselves that is more vulnerable than most can imagine. And it is the duty of publishers, editors, and proofreaders to do their best to polish that work into the best. Writers, do not see rejection and rewrites as punishments that point out an error, see it as a chance to improve, because you want the best for your story-baby, And keep on trying until you get the help that your work deserves. 

Writers need Publishers, editors, and proofreaders that respect their work, not a company looking for a small profit. 

Do you read books published by small publishing companies? Do you get distracted by poorly edited stories? Or to stick with big name publishers because of the guarantee for the editing to have a certain standard?

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here - it doesn't cost you anything extra, and it would simply make my day!!  In fact, just click through and do your shopping, even if you decide not to get this particular book. TIA

***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.

**** Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author & YA Bound book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  

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  1. Love your frankness. I never bother to read book reviews because a few I looked at we're superficial and gushy. I believe this review can actually help the writer and company to do better. Shalom!

    1. I try to be honest in my reviews, I know that not every book is for every person, but being honest helps readers find good books and can help authors write to their audience better.


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