Joanne's Reviews > House of Silence

House of Silence by Linda Gillard
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's review
Oct 09, 2012

it was amazing

I don't often give 5 stars to anything, but I loved this book. Linda Gillard is a genius - I finished this book in just over a day!
What I loved about this story was that it is so skillfully written you completely lose yourself in the story. Gwen, the main character, is drawn into the strange world of her actor-boyfriend, Alfie, and pulled into a mystery so deep before long she is completely immersed - and so are you! Fantastic characterisation, great narrative voice, brilliant use of first and third person viewpoints ... I could rave about it all day. But I won't - I'll just say two more words: Read it.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Linda (new)

Linda Gillard Thank you for this wonderful review! I'm the author. I'm so impressed that you don't usually give 5 stars but you thought HoS was worth that. :-)))

HoS was rejected by every UK editor (including my own publisher) for 2 solid years and in the end my agent gave up submitting it. I never lost faith in the novel (it was such fun to write and I so loved those characters) and in the end I indy-published it on Kindle. It becamse a Kindle bestseller and my best-selling book, bringing me 1000s of new readers.

Editors... huh, what do they know?

Joanne Hi Linda,
I know - I read about you in Writing Magazine :) Funny though - I downloaded this just because I fancied it, and it was only when I finished it I realised it was you!

It depresses me that this book was so roundly rejected. I'm an author too, also self-published on Kindle, and I think to myself: If fantastically talented authors like you are rejected by traditional publishers, what hope is there for the rest of us?

And you are so right about genre, and some publishers' fears about how to market certain books. I think the categories you've got House of Silence in are bang on, and it's readers' opinions that count, after all :)
x Jo

message 3: by Linda (new)

Linda Gillard I should have guessed you were writer from that perceptive review!

HoS was a heartbreaking life event for me. Piatkus raved over the 1st half, bought it, but declined to read the synopsis which I offered several times. (My editor said she didn't want to know what happened.) I delivered the book and she asked for a complete re-write. She wanted it turned into chick lit. She wanted Marek (hero) downgraded. ("Does he have to be a psychiatrist? Couldn't he just be a good listener?") The deal-breaker was her insistence that the heroine should end up with Alfie, ie the guy she starts off with. (No reason was ever given for this.) She also said, "If you don't turn it into a romance, I don't know how we're going to market it."

I said it would be easier to write another book than butcher this one, but she insisted that she wasn't asking for much in the way of re-working! With my agent's backing I withdrew the manuscript. I got an email *the next day* asking for my advance to be paid back.

Some months later I offered them UNTYING THE KNOT, my most romantic book yet, but my editor declined to even look at it and told me I was being dropped for "disappointing sales" of STAR GAZING.

The next 2 years of solid rejection were hell. Then I went indy. Result!

Who needs publishers? They don't think about readers, only pleasing the chief book buyer at Tesco. I used to make just 50p if one of my pbs sold in Waterstones at full price. Amazon sales generated almost no income. Now each Kindle sales makes me over £1. I'm finally earning a living from writing.

Indy is definitely the way to go, as I'm sure you've discovered. It looks as if you're a Kindle bestseller. Congratulations! I've downloaded CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT and "liked" your FB page. I have an author page here -

Did you produce your pb through Amazon? I'm always being asked about pbs of my Kindle books and I don't know where to start. My priority is getting HoS into print but I want it all to be easy-peasy as I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago and I'm currently undergoing chemo and recovering from surgery.

Do you know about the Alliance of Independent Authors? It costs $99 to join but I think this is the way forward and will get indy authors taken seriously. The FB group is really useful, as is the blog.

I'm very pleased to have "met" you. I hope you'll stay in touch.

Best wishes


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