If I am writing a novel (fiction) . . .
And, I am self-publishing under a fictional publisher . . .
And, if I am writing under a pseudonym (fictional author) . . .
. . . then why not develop some fictional criticism. Why not, indeed!
I consider it an ingenious idea; except for the dedication, it is as if the entire book – cover-to-cover – just dropped out of the sky – the big-bang theory, as it is applied to books.
I have labeled the criticism page OUTSTANDING ACCLAIM and clearly marked each blurb as fictional.
It is as if The Remains of the Corps fell out of the sky. My name isn't anywhere to be found.
The purpose of blurbs inside the front of your book or on the back cover is to let potential readers know what is in between the covers. Ninety-five percent of what is in my fictional blurbs is information-based and not opinion-based. The important thing is to clearly mark the blurbs as fictional – the names of the fictional reviewers are clearly fictional-based, one being the “tongue-in-cheek” THE DAILY TIMES UNION TELEGRAPH STANDARD ADVOCATE GAZETTE.
I further highlight the fictional status of the OUTSTANDING ACCLAIM on the E G & A Publishing website with the following:
The Remains of the Corps is a NOVEL (a work of FICTION). The author is Will Remain (a pseudonym / a FICTIONAL author). Most of the OUTSTANDING ACCLAIM is also FICTIONAL, and it is clearly marked as such. However, they are the sort of accolades that The Remains of the Corps might have garnered from FICTIONAL reviewers at the time of publication (late 1970s) in the storybook world in which it is set. The FICTIONAL comments are provided (with a touch of humor) mostly to acquaint the reader with the novel’s contents. The only way to determine if the FICTIONAL CRITICISM is on the mark is to buy the book.
“[Kenneth Remain, a] starry-eyed college student who yearns to be a hero rushes headlong into World War I . . . In this first installment in a promised [multi-volume, generational saga], fictional author ‘Will Remain’ [USMC Vietnam veteran] is on a quest to pen an epic story of a Marine Corps family—and secure his own sanity . . .
In a style reminiscent of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author presents, in a superbly described setting, Harvard of the early 20th century as an oak-lined world of social clubs, stained-glass windows and marble plaques honoring alumni who died in battle.
Velvety description and devil-may-care dialogue paint the tale of a romantic young man eager to test himself amid the blood, mud, and barbed wire of the Great War.”
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then illustrator Tara Kazmaier’s eighty on-target portraits and fifty fire-for-effect sketches more than double the size of author Will Remain’s literary output. The seeing-eyes of Remain and Kazmaier help us to visualize a world more than a half-century in the past.”
––MILITARY ILLUSTRATOR’S MAGAZINE (fictional)
“Tired of trying to conjure up a fictional scene described by an author? Weary of having to imagine what a novel’s characters look like given the clues provided by the writer? With The Remains of the Corps, you can set your imagination on cruise control. Apt scene illustrations and revealing character portraiture abound—images to complement words. Kazmaier’s stirring drawings enhance author Remain’s powerful writing. Illustrator and writer are completely in synch – collaboration at its finest. You can judge this book by its cover!”
––SOCIETY FOR THE RETURN OF ILLUSTRATIONS TO NOVELS (fictional)
“More than any fiction-writer I know, F. Scott Fitzgerald made use of the popular music that coincided with the setting of his novels. Will Remain proves a worthwhile challenger in that regard. Writing about the period 1913 to 1917, he not only charts, in some detail, the importance of music in America’s reaction to and involvement in the World War, he makes remarkably specific use of the music of that era: military, religious, romantic, patriotic, whimsical. Into the bargain, Remain incorporates no less than a dozen lyrical allusions. Like FSF, Remain selects songs and lyrics that bring his scenes and characters to life by setting the mood and conveying emotion.”
––LITERARY MONTHLY (fictional)
“A robust literary endeavor, brimming with signifying symbolism, meaningful allusion, sensory imagery, dramatic foreshadowing, classic clichés, rhythmic alliteration, meaningful epigraphs, and a myriad of other literary devices. In particular, author Remain employs the story-within-a-story literary device to great effect. A colorful Texas cowboy, a mysterious Irish immigrant, a reformed Navy chaplain, and an emotionally-scarred French capitaine tell their extraordinary tales.”
––THE LITERARY DEVICE GUILD (fictional)
“A wonderful period piece that captures American (and Ivy League) volunteerism and patriotism at its finest.”
––THE DAILY TIMES UNION TELEGRAPH STANDARD ADVOCATE GAZETTE (fictional)
“‘ATTENTION reader!’ Author Will Remain, a third-generation Marine, has put fictional faces on more than eighty 1917 Marines headed for France. A battalion commander (the only true-life Marine in this story so far), twenty-six officers (including Will’s grandfather), eleven NCOs, and forty-six enlisted men man the pages of The Remains of the Corps. These fictional Marines represent the 30,000+ Marines who served in France in 1917 and 1918. Among other things, we learn of their birthplaces, ages, nicknames, educations, civilian careers, family backgrounds, military service backgrounds, ranks, tours of duty, religious leanings, personalities, strengths, Achilles’ heels, post-war aspirations, and how they came to be Marines. Thanks to the vintage sketches of Tara Kazmaier, we even have faces to go with the facts. The Remains of the Corps is an admirably expansive endeavor to shine a light on the United States Marine Corps and its individual Marines. In that it attempts to honor both the Corps and the millions of men who have lived up to its core values, it deserves our full ATTENTION.”
––THE GYRENE JOURNAL (fictional)
“REMAIN is more than an anagram for MARINE. It is a commitment by Will REMAIN to REMAIN committed to telling the Corps’ illustrious history and to living up to the Corps’ ideals . . . most clever and meaningful use of an anagram I have seen in ‘myna eyras.’”
––ANAGRAMS ANONYMOUS (fictional)