“More Than You Think You Know” first published review, by an East Side Librarian who rocks!

Jenna says a sailing glossary would come in handy. I didn't realize I was getting technical; that's why beta readers are such wonderful helpers!

Jenna says a sailing glossary would come in handy. I didn’t realize I was getting technical; that’s why beta readers are such wonderful helpers!

Cyndi note: The original working title for my novel was “Loop Dee Doo.” It’s since been changed to “More Than You Think You Know.”

Found in my inbox this afternoon:

Loop Dee Doo by Cyndi Perkins

So you know how Kate Haas & I have a menopause book club, right? Okay, even if you don’t, Cyndi Perkins does. She found us through my website (or some nefarious means) and invited us to read her novel-in-progress. Loop Dee Doo is about three 40+ women making their way on the river, with hot flashes. It’s a sailing novel! Who knew?

The primary protagonist, Hailey, abused by her husband and meh’d by her disappointing grown children, has a surprising past and does some unexpected things. The second in the trio is flawed-but-lovable sea captain Robin, who is loaded, in two senses of the word, and the third is Trish. She keeps everyone looking spiffy and can real talk about men, even if she’s temporarily vulnerable to their charms. Even so, in this women’s road (river) novel, Trish is totally down with her travel mates when their dog comes before her man.

Back to the menopause theme, Hailey is dealing with physical symptoms and a life transition. Is it the mood swings and hormonal upheaval that impel her to leave her husband? I like the idea of peri/menopause as a next-stage Saturn Return where people with female sex organs evaluate their lives and make new choices.

I also like the buddy aspect of the book, how the three women take great care of each other. They’ve all got their issues, but loyalty isn’t one of them. Some bad things happen in this book, and if you find depictions of alcohol abuse or emotional violence hard to tolerate, you may have a hard time reading it.

Shag: Robin
Marry: Hailey
Kill: those dudes on that boat in one of the locks

Finished: June something

I’m deeply grateful for the kindness of a beautiful stranger (two, actually) who agreed to read my novel. It feels magical and I feel blessed. I found Jenna’s “Menopause Book Club” blog while I was looking, again, for comparables to “Loop Dee Doo.” It’s part of the query process: Agents and/or publishers want to know where your book fits in the market. What other book is it like? After being cautioned that the “M” word is considered distasteful to many agents and publishers I was dancing around the fact that menopause plays a huge role in why Loop Dee Doo’s characters do what they do. It was a revelation to discover readers who are more curious than turned off by this supposedly off-limits topic. Jenna questioned why one of life’s major passages has historically been overlooked in literature. It was an affirmation that my subject matter matters, especially since she and her writer-editor buddy weren’t interested in light-hearted chick-lit spins on the subject, a la “Red Hat” or “Hot Flash Club.” Coincidentally I’d just read a piece in AARP magazine that noted 6,000 women enter menopause every day at the average age of 51. In addition to being members of the largest demographic group in the nation – women 44-65 – menopausal women are also the most avid readers and book buyers. Knowing there are readers waiting for “Loop Dee Doo” motivates me to stay positive as I continue working hard to bring this novel to market.

Does Jenna’s review make you want to read “Loop Dee Doo?” Why or why not?

Note: In 2014 the “Loop Dee Doo” manuscript was accepted for publication by Beating Windward Press. The newly titled novel, “More Than You Think You Know,” comes to readers in 2015.

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