Professional Review!

Hey everybody!

It’s been a while since I last updated. A LOT of stuff has been going on…



Back in April 2020, I entered the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. They recently announced the winners and runner-ups. I didn’t win or place, but I got my commentary back and I thought it was really great! So I wanted to post it. 🙂

(Scale of 1-5, 5 being outstanding, 1 needing improvement)

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4

Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 4

Production Quality and Cover Design: 5

Plot and Story Appeal: 4

Character Appeal and Development: 4

Voice and Writing Style: 5

Judge’s Commentary: This cover hooked me from the start, as did the blurb on the back. I think the production of this cover design and the inside of the book is well executed and the cover art especially will hook the right readers for this story. I really enjoy this type of fiction in which the setting and characters are at once so relatable and similar, and yet something is very, very, askew in their situations so that you know it’s a bit of a problematic situation for them! While this type of alternate America story might be a little close-hitting to the obscurities of our current reality, I didn’t mind reading it and thought it was interesting and clever in the way the plot turns and twists. I would have liked a bit more character development throughout the plot, and to see a bit more of the city and world fleshed out, but I thought the idea of this book was quite interesting. There were a handful of fun moments where things took a turn I was not expecting and I was surprised at how some of the characters responded but in a good way. I like being surprised in that way by stories like these. It was great fun!

Here’s a link to my book if you’re interested: The Underground Dogs by J.C.D. Kerwin

Now I hope to really get moving on completing my other space opera novel and some short stories I have milling around in my head. I haven’t written in a while so I really want to. Maybe this is some motivation I need!