By Thonie Hevron
Back in May 2013, I submitted BY FORCE OR FEAR to The Writer’s Digest Annual Self-published e-Book Awards. Okay, I didn’t win. I didn’t even place but I was so very encouraged by what the judge wrote as a commentary that I had to share! Another shout-out to my fabulous editor, Billie Payton-Settles! Thanks!!
Writer’s Digest Annual Self-Published e-Book Awards
Entry Title: By Force or Fear
Author: Thonie Hevron
Judge Number: 2
Entry Category: Fiction
Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. “0” indicates not applicable. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.
Structure and Organization: 4
Production Quality and Cover Design: 4
Plot (if applicable): 4
Character Development (if applicable): 4
The author has a strong skill when it comes to scene setting. I love the Sonoma setting for this thriller novel. Strong female lead and nice procedural research add to a strong plot and clever conflict throughout. I particularly like the way that the author uses short chapters to keep the tension level high and the pages turning.
The cover is intriguing and while the blurb leaves a little to be desired, the story comes through in the end.
Nice mix of narrative and dialogue and the dialogue was realistic. My only recommendation is that you take a look at the use of acronyms. Be sure the reader knows what you’re referring to here. I know that most readers are educated when it comes to these terms (DOA, DA, etc.) due to all the cop and forensics shows on these days. But, be sure that you don’t assume the readers knowledge here.
In fact, it was hard to find problems on the editorial side. I believe this book has been professionally editing and that is a refreshing find. I would recommend another look at this on the formatting side of things. There are quite a few extra spaces throughout and when the chapters begin at the bottom or middle of the page it can be disorienting.
–Judge, Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards