Feedback from Critics on “DOTS”

Due to my perfectionist nature, I have put “Daughters of the Soil” (“DOTS”) through the wringer (five covers, uncountable revisions, pre-view of Chapter 1 via FB and e-mail, and many literary workshops). It has emerged looking better for the wear.
Disclaimer: These are not official Amazon book reviews.  

Good job crafting a story with a very clear sense of conflict and tension, combined with loss. You do a good job of using precise diction.

The description of the setting in this piece is on the lighter-side; you’re using the characters to illuminate the place.

I loved getting to know David and his run to the police station. It tells us so much about him, the town, everything else going on. SD

Good job of tying everything together about the two characters and by this point, I have established in my mind who Officers Audu and Orile are. AJ

·         Love this: The imagery, care taken symbolized by the imagery “raw brown eggs” – eggs being delicate and brown ones being even much rarer; I Love This Entire Imagery and dynamic portrayed here with Obi Udara’s family.

·         I read the first chapter and really appreciate the detail, description, and desperation that is in the run of David to the police station. I look forward to reading the entire book. –CM

·         I think more dialogue should occur between Emelda and Florence.

·         Regarding pacing, you could reduce how much time is spent on Emelda’s beauty.

·         Duplicate words slow down the pacing.

·         I would like to stay a little longer in Emelda and Obi’s bedroom when the shirt fell.

·         This is a great example of Showing us how the character feels about his family vs. telling us.–Ousmane

·         I have been hooked and pulled into this “world” of these characters. I am intrigued and want to read more.

·         The elegance of your writing, the synchronicities of each detail weaving into the next, seamlessly. I loved reading this; and again, I want more.

Your attention to detail is impressive!

The intricate personal traits you gave regarding Emelda, and the other characters, remind me of Flannery O’Connor’s work. When the narrator dipped into Emelda and Florence’s heads in a third-person omniscient, which is an older style, that is also in tune with O’Connor’s writing.–Deb

I feel like your story was something like Brave New World by Aldous Huxley because of your unusual word-smithing and “the women wanting to join the police force.” You have created so many lexicons and phrases. Is this the future?

The work reads beautifully.

·         Wow – there is so much elegance in your writing here (and throughout the piece). This section gives me a solid sense of Emelda’s character. I have a strong…bond with her character due to the care taken in describing her in this passage.

·         We, the readers, are learning so much about Emelda here – about her perfect mixture of class and humility. Wow. This is great writing. Thank you!

“The prose is fluid, lush, and vivid throughout. You have a good sense of rhythm and the dialogue flows naturally throughout. There’s also a strong sense of tension and conflict in the piece, which engages the reader and propels them to continue with the story.” SD

·         I love the way you wrap so many insights into your language, giving us the customs, fears, and hopes of the people in this country, not just the main characters. Really lovely piece. Excellent work. –SC

You have a wonderful lyrical and almost mystical quality in your work. Your work reminds me of Jhumpa Lahiri; Lydia Yuknavich; Amy Bloom; Isabel Alledne; Elena Ferrante; and magical realists like Bolano and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.” Sarah S.

Using an emotional physical space like a kitchen to do the work of revealing character, plot, tension and setting is so difficult, but you do it effortlessly.

·         Compelling characters and plot!

·         You have a real sense of symbolism in this piece, and reading it, it occurred to me that this is really your strength in terms of atmosphere, tone, and mood.  Your work always has an undercurrent to what’s happening on the surface, which is one of the strongest ways to establish symbolism without making it seem clichéd or forced. JG

·         Very strong work, attention to detail, and diction.

Daughters of the Soil–My New Novel

Daughters of the Soil

  • Cover is ready(?), but getting there took its sweet time.
    • ISBN is assigned!
    • LCCN is assigned!!
    • Front and back matters are ready!
      • What’s the hold? Editing/revising!!!


Prior to 2013: Toying with the cover: At the time, the title was A Very Smooth Murder.


Stethoscope--Huse--large Stethoscope--Huse--small 2 Very Smooth Mortar--compressed for web page Very Smooth Mortar--dark and big hue saturation  wooden mortar--small



2013 Cover Progression for Daughters of the Soil: Notice all the nuances: font type, font size, color changes, background color, dropping the plural letter, putting back the plural letter, piling images on images, peeling off images, superimposing images. Phew!


Heather McCorkle is patient!! I give her all the respect in the world for her professionalism. Once I saw this image, I knew the woman was Emelda dead on! She had to stay.  There were times when I wanted to find another Emelda because I did not receive internal validation for what my intuition was saying to me.

Young beautiful pregnant african woman   Daughter mock cover 2   grunge  ??????   ????????????  ??????  ??????   ??????   ????????????   ??????   ??????



Fast forward to 2014. Repeat the process:

2014 Cover Progression: I tried Fiverr. 

Daughter_of_the_Soil_Fiverr_Cover    Daughter_of_the_Soil_Fiverr_Cover2 



Still fastforwarding into 2014. Repeat the process: 

2014 Cover Progression

Notice all the nuances: font type, font size, color changes, background color, dropping the plural letter, putting back the plural letter, piling images on images, peeling off images, superimposing images. Phew!

Betty  Gunn is patient!! I meet all these wonderfully patient illustrators. I am lucky! I give betty kudos. She worked on the cover for weeks, never tiring. I give Betty a lot of respect for her professionalism.


blue_background2   blue_background3    blue_background   Glass  broken  shot  bullet   134178443_Bullet_hole    Emelda_in_purple_and_hat     Emelda_worried_DollarphotoNigerian police cap   Daughters_Soil_3_moved    Daughters_Soil_rev_police_uniform2   Daughters_Final_M&P_in_front   Daughters_Blood_Drippping_white_had    Daughters_Final_RED   Daughter_Final_BLK_Kindle2   Daughters_Final_BLK    Daughters_Final_BLK_Kindle

Please post a comment below regarding the cover or the name. Feel free to ask me questions regarding my journey so far. I looking forward to bonding with you. Thank you for stopping by today. Take care.