Digging Up Blurbs

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I was looking for a book in an airport recently, just in case the three paperbacks and the hundred or so novels stored in my Kindle failed to suffice, when I came upon a novel by a writer I’d never heard of before: Witches on the Road Tonight, by Sheri Holman. The book looked interesting, and the first page passed the acid test, but what pushed me over the edge was a glowing blurb by Jane Smiley, whose work I love. I bought the book and was amply rewarded.

I remembered this incident when my editor at Viking asked if I had any suggestions for writers who might give us blurbs for my upcoming novel, A DANGEROUS FICTION. As it happened, I did know a few writers who I thought might be willing to read, which they graciously agreed to do.

But why stop there? I thought. I made a list of writers whose work I admired. Most of them I didn’t dare approach, knowing that famous and bestselling writers are besieged with such requests. The writers who remained on the list would, I knew, be difficult to reach. But with the help of my cousin the medium, I was able to make contact, and I’m pleased to report that they were all happy to oblige.

Their responses after reading went beyond anything I could have hoped for. I’m delighted to share their blurbs with you now.



“This is a brave book, with heart and guts and kidneys. This book charges straight up the hill, bayonetting all who stand in its path.” “Ernest Hemingway

“I wish I’d written this book.” Jane Austen

“A book is a book is a book, but not all books smell this sweet.” Gertrude Stein

“At last I have found my Dulcinea!” Cervantes

“Kid’s got a mouth on her. I like it.” Dashiell Hammett


“It is a far, far better book than I have read before, and nearly as good as any I have written.” Charles Dickens



“Such stuff as dreams are made of.” William Shakespeare

“I can’t wait for her next.” Homer
Many thanks to my esteemed colleagues, may they rest in peace.


A DANGEROUS FICTION is now available on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Books-A-Million, and other bookstores; also available as an audio book.

About Barbara Rogan

I am the author of nine novels, including A DANGEROUS FICTION, published by Viking and Penguin. I'm also a former editor and literary agent. Currently I teach fiction writing on my online school, www.nextlevelworkshop.com.
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12 Responses to Digging Up Blurbs

  1. Linda Grimes says:

    Ha! I love it. If only I’d thought of this myself!

    Can’t wait to add A DANGEROUS FICTION to the Barbara Rogan corner of my bookshelf. 🙂

  2. Zan Marie says:

    LOL! I love it, Barbara. This takes blurb hunting to a whole new level. ; )

  3. I think I’ll try this next time I’m looking for reviews of my books.[g]

  4. You should. I think Robert Louis Stevenson would love your pirates.

  5. deniz says:

    That’s wonderful! And this book is already on my wishlist 🙂

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  8. Harv Griffin says:

    Thanks for this post, Barbara (tracked it from your GoodReads post on promotion tips) – I’ve already got one good tweet out of it, and if I want to go full-tilt-boogie on this meme I can glom many more. Cheers!

    Damn. The only blurb Homer gave me for my time-travel novel DAUGHTER MOON was: “The journey is the thing.” He wouldn’t even look at me!


    • Hi Harv, good to see you here. Thanks for the tweet! I’m new on twitter myself, so do look me up as @RoganBarbara.

      LOVE the Homer quote. In fact, I’m jealous. Next time will sprinkle more blood on the grave.

      • Harv Griffin says:

        Hey, Barbara!

        I’ve decided to run with your meme for awhile. It’s fun. And since my novel is about time travel, it sort of gives me an excuse to be time traveling myself to obtain blurbs from dead writers.

        All Shakespeare said about my time travel novel MOON was: “What man art thou that thus bescreen’d in night So stumblest on my counsel?”

        “Housekeeping ain’t no joke,” Louisa May Alcott said as I tried to get a blurb from her for my time travel novel while doing her laundry.



  9. Brenda says:

    Turned down by RowenaBlair, I see. The nerve of her.

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