Charlaine Harris (she of True Blood, etc – do I really need to write more?) has totally blogged Narelle M Harris’s The Opposite of Life in a very positive light:
An Australian publisher handed THE OPPOSITE OF LIFE to me at Bouchercon, and I began it with great interest. It’s certainly a most unusual vampire novel. Lissa Wilson, librarian, geek, and young woman about town, has a horrendous evening in a club when she opens a restroom door to find two dead girls. But that’s just the beginning of Lissa’s trials and tribulations. She seems to be the magnet for trouble. Even her attraction to a new man, Daniel, comes to an abrupt end when Daniel vanishes. Along the road of discovery about the underworld of her city, Lissa learns a lot about the people around her, and even more about herself. She’s a wonderful character; not because she’s an heroic supergirl, but because she rings true. If you can get this book, do. It’s really a refreshing take on a common theme. (http://www.charlaineharris.com/bb/bb_current.html)
Squeeeeeeeeeeeeee! The Opposite of Life was one of the first books out of lovely Brisbane independent Pulp Fiction Press, so this is a fantastic result. I know precisely how much work goes into their books – Ron and Diane produce books to be proud of and are wonderful editors and crafters of the fiction they take on – and I don’t just say this coz I’m one of their ‘flensers’. Writers are very, very lucky to get taken on by a small press with such high values and with editors who damn well know their stuff – especially considering how many of the bigger publishers seem to be regarding the editing and proofreading phases of their job as “optional”. Oooops, did I slip into a rant? Well, it happens.
You are, of course, absolutely right about slipping standards with the big publishers. It’s f’king embarrassing, actually. So this is a nice reward for the Pulpers, and for Narelle. May there be many more!