Last week I said we would take a look at what the end result of a Kirkus review looks like. The below review is for a book called “Floor Sample: A Creative Memoir” by Julia Cameron. You can see the original here.
New Age writing guru Cameron (The Dark Room, 1998, etc.) tells of her frenetic, peripatetic life as screenwriter, playwright, novelist, columnist and poet.
The author breezily describes her Catholic education, her early addiction to alcohol and her promising start as a magazine writer before a brief marriage to Martin Scorsese took her to Hollywood. There she discovered cocaine, and her life spiraled downward. On the advice of “sober alcoholics” (a term she uses to describe herself), the desperate Cameron quit drinking, gave up drugs and began writing under a new regimen, which called for a quota of just three pages a day. In time, she began teaching her writing technique to others, putting together a course on unblocking creativity and connecting it with spirituality. Spiritual guidance has evidently played a major role in Cameron’s life decisions since then. She repeatedly moved—back and forth across the United States, to and from England—often at the impetus of guiding voices. She ricocheted from New York to Los Angeles, Chicago, Taos, London, Dublin, never finding a comfortable home or compatible working environment. All the while, she sought out astrologers, psychics and other guiding spirits. In a career that combined prolific writing with running a program designed to teach others how to tap into their own creativity, she bounced back from near disasters again and again, even recovering from a nervous breakdown that landed her in the hospital with a diagnosis of manic depression. Throughout, the author never stopped exploring new genres, tackling big projects and discovering new talent in unexpected areas. She is a “floor sample of my own tool kit,” and devotees of her creativity classes may well be inspired by this enthusiastic outpouring.
An absorbing narrative revealing a woman of extraordinary energy, drive and confidence.
This is what you can expect your Kirkus review to look like once completed. How much impact does a review like this have on the market? We’ll take a look at that next week!