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Discussion Starter #1
This is an interesting angle I didn't realize when I wrote Reprobate:

5.0 out of 5 stars Great new series, January 12, 2013
By DevoGirl - See all my reviews
This review is from: Reprobate - A Katla Novel (Amsterdam Assassin Series) (Kindle Edition)
Katla is a professional assassin for hire, specializing in hits that can't be traced. When the novel begins, she is taking out the owner of a shop selling antique Japanese swords, with his own merchandise, when she is interrupted by a blind man who has come to pick up his order. Katla has a firm policy of not allowing witnesses to her hits to live, but Bram is blind, and totally sexy. She lets him go, but can't seem to stay away from him. So begins an unlikely but fascinating partnership. How will a cold-blooded killer and a pacifist musician find any common ground?

Meanwhile, American DEA agents are brought to Amsterdam to help IPOL break up a drug ring run by a local gang. Katla is unwittingly drawn in to a law enforcement sting operation by a double-crossing client. There is some gory violence as Katla carries out her hits, but the emphasis is firmly on procedure: descriptions of guns and knives, techniques, and the autopsies and forensics afterward.

But for me, the best part was the romance between Bram and Katla. Bram is a terrific character, one of the more realistic portrayals of a blind person that I have read in a while. He's well-adjusted and capable, but not superhuman. He plays the saxophone, practices shiatsu on the local yakuza, and studies aikido. He's just the right combination of strong and vulnerable, and it's oh so sexy. With so many books appearing lately with blind characters that are totally unrealistic, I really appreciate that the author went to the trouble to do the research and get it right.

I also like that Katla is a tough, strong woman who doesn't have trauma or abuse in her past. She's just good at what she does. It's quite a trick to get the audience to root for the killer and the police equally, but the author pulls it off. I'm looking forward to the next books in the series.
The fact that the blind character Bram is considered 'hot and sexy' by this reader, led me to my Wordpress Stats, where I can see if people visit me from certain websites or forums. And I found this thread on paradevo, a website for devotees of disabled persons, where books are discussed and reviewed when they have disabled characters. And the website has its own review section, on books and movies, where an extended review is given, with more attention to what makes Reprobate attractive to devotees of disabled persons.

Although I'm aware of the fact that there are people who are specifically attracted to disabled persons, Reprobate hadn't been written with the idea that people would read the series because it also features disabled characters. And the fact that people who are familiar with disabled persons judge my portrayal of the blind characters realistic is immensely gratifying.
 

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Disabled characters, particularly disabled characters that are portrayed realistically, are still something of a rarity in fiction, so it's only natural that the presence of a realistic and sexy disabled character in your series would be a draw for some.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I strive for verisimilitude in every character, whether it's an assassin, a tattoo artist, or a blind musician. Bram's blindness is not a plot device, but an integral part of the story. There are also quite a few chapters written from his POV, POS, POH, POT, experience...
 

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AA, I put myself through college working with disabled students and helping them learn how to navigate the university system as a whole.  Most of my clients were blind.

When I started, I had NO IDEA what I was doing and I screwed up royally.  However, as time progressed, and thanks to the patient teaching many of them gave me on how to help them learn to help themselves...I developed a keen sense of what they deal with, what they go through, and what they have to overcome on a daily basis.  Something that we do in five seconds often takes them HOURS.  Literally hours.  Yet, they are ashamed to ask for help because people are freaked out, don't understand what they need, make things worse, or avoid them entirely because they are "different".  

For every single one of them, their number one complaint was wishing "normal" people understood them better.

I'm not sure if you know this or not, but the fact that you have a character in your book that is blind and they are finding that character to be realistic and admirable...that is an UNBELIEVABLY GIGANTIC compliment.  

Nice job.  

Keep it up and you will soon have a very loyal following  :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Madeline said:
I'm not sure if you know this or not, but the fact that you have a character in your book that is blind and they are finding that character to be realistic and admirable...that is an UNBELIEVABLY GIGANTIC compliment.
Well, I'm still waiting on the assassins to chime in whether my depiction was accurate... *grin*

Madeline said:
Keep it up and you will soon have a very loyal following :D
Let's hope so, I think the Amsterdam Assassin Series deserves a wider audience than the current few who enjoyed it.

Caitie Quinn said:
*SOLD* *adds to post exam TBR list*

I loved everything about the review. Can't wait to pick it up.
Cool. If you can, let me know what you think about the book. And keep in mind that there's a second novel with the same main characters.
 

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AmsterdamAssassin said:
This is an interesting angle I didn't realize when I wrote Reprobate:

The fact that the blind character Bram is considered 'hot and sexy' by this reader, led me to my Wordpress Stats, where I can see if people visit me from certain websites or forums. And I found this thread on paradevo, a website for devotees of disabled persons, where books are discussed and reviewed when they have disabled characters. And the website has its own review section, on books and movies, where an extended review is given, with more attention to what makes Reprobate attractive to devotees of disabled persons.

Although I'm aware of the fact that there are people who are specifically attracted to disabled persons, Reprobate hadn't been written with the idea that people would read the series because it also features disabled characters. And the fact that people who are familiar with disabled persons judge my portrayal of the blind characters realistic is immensely gratifying.
Just so you know, Devogirl and I are very close. I am one of the main authors of disabled devoteeism work. So yeah, when you talk about devs, remember that you've got one among you ;)

You are going to have an interview on my website and I've also suggested it on my Dev Love Press newsletter.

Almost no books are written specifically for a devotee audience. We enjoy finding books with appropriate and realistic portrayals of people with disabilities what ever led the author to write them.
 

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lol. I'll forward you a copy of the newsletter, it just went out yesterday (to, like, 50 people, but it's something!). I haven't read your book yet, but I trust DevoGirl's taste very much.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
RuthMadison said:
lol. I'll forward you a copy of the newsletter, it just went out yesterday (to, like, 50 people, but it's something!). I haven't read your book yet, but I trust DevoGirl's taste very much.
Would you like a review copy? I think it would be right up your alley.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
RuthMadison said:
If you want to get me the links for the book on BN, Kobo, iTunes, then I can add those in.
I'd like that very much, Ruth. The links are all available on the front page of my blog, and the front page of my Tao of Violence website.
 
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