King as Queen, at least when it comes to Dukes

There’s a gorgeous review of Touchstone in January Magazine. (Thanks for the head’s up, Vicki).

Some writers claim they don’t read reviews. Some of those I even believe. But I do, always, even the bad ones, because they are a part of the necessary dialogue between the writer and her readers. How else do I know if I’ve got it right, if I don’t listen to what careful, trained readers have to say?

A good review, and this one by Dick Adler is very good, is not merely a praise-fest, but a thoughtful commentary that illuminates the book even for someone who has lived with it for two years. For example, he describes the Duke of Hurleigh as “a wonderfully shrewd old gent who collects porcelain dogs and drops malapropisms like crumbs on a shirtfront, but is the wisest man in the book.” Yes!—and if I’d had Adler’s comment to mind before I began to write the Duke, it would have made his character a lot easier to develop.

If only I could have Adler whispering in my ear now, as I’m trying to get a handle on the characters in the new Russell story…

Happy 2008, everyone. May your words flow smoothly and your reading always excite.


  1. ***How else do I know if I’ve got it right, if I don’t listen to what careful, trained readers have to say?***

    That’s always assuming the reviewer _is_ careful, trained, and has actually read the book. 😉

    Congrats on the nice review.


  2. Congrats on a well reserved review!

    Perhaps you could invite Dick out, get him talking some, give him some nice port, a good meal, and take notes…maybe. There’s always the dreaded telephone….

    Best wishes and a Happy New Year to yourself and your family.

  3. May this review be the first of many thoughtful, positive reviews.

    Best of everything to you and yours.

  4. “King’s new novel, Touchstone, is one of the best books of any kind published in 2007 — a terrific combination and culmination of her work so far.”

    Just wanted to see that bit again. 🙂 Congratulations!!

  5. The review is well-deserved; Touchstone is, for my money, one of your best yet. Wishing the best for you and yours in the New Year.

  6. Thanks for the kind words–but I should note, in the interest of accuracy, that the book officially has a 2008 pub date, not 2007. Just so you don’t expect to see it on any of the “best of” lists for the past year.


  7. Strawberry Curls says:

    Congrats on the wonderful review of Touchstone. I am half-way through reading it, and it is gripping, just as promised. I am glad, though, that I didn’t read this review until now. It would have robbed me of the gut punch I felt, along with Harris, when he sees Laura and Bennett together for the first time. I’m one of those odd people who don’t like any of the story revealed to them before I get to read it for myself. Oh, BTW — the name Aldous Carstairs has got to be one of the all time great names for a nasty character, it puts you on guard from the very beginning. Must get back to my reading now, I intend to finish Touchstone before I have to rejoin the real world at work on Jan. 3rd. Again, congratulations of a wonderful book and the praise it deserves. Happy 2008!!

  8. Pat Mathews says:

    There was also a good review in the January issue of Book Page, distributed through libraries and at least some book stores.

  9. tangential1 says:

    Congratulations on the excellent review! That’s awesome! 🙂

    I just started reading Touchstone last night; I can’t wait to get a few more chapters in.

  10. I am so excited about the prospect of the new Russell book, as I’ve just re-read the entire series (so far) for the third time and am absolutely craving the next one….In the meantime, I look forward to reading TOUCHSTONE as soon as my copy arrives. Laurie, I’m so glad you are a prolific writer!

    Here’s wishing you a wonderful new year.

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