In June of 2014 my debut novel ‘The Workshop’ went from being an ethereal and amorphic concept to a physically tangible thing. It had become a published book.
Although ‘The Workshop’ remains a pet project the last year and a half have had an interesting impact on me. The first being the times friends and family now introduce me as a published author an honor I still have trouble bestowing upon myself in a social setting. It is true of course, but it seems strange that this new title now overshadows my business career, if only in identity and not in time or accomplishment. The second is the impact it has on me through others. How people perceive my book, what they think of it and what they find compelling about it. Indeed, as a businessman and a marketer I have pursued those highly coveted reviews. I appreciate every one of them. What I did not recognize that I could also learn from every one of them.
The concept of the story focuses on a playful “what if scenario”, one I have always wanted to develop and think through. However, as I feared the timely relevance of the premise in our world today would be overshadowed by this fanciful notion. That is what I thought, anyway, referring to the backdrop premise of the storyline in vague terms such as the aforementioned “what if scenario”, “the concept”, “a fanciful notion” or “playful ruse”. Yet, it seems many of the reviews I have gotten seem to highlight this element as a reason for accolades, which for me posed the question:
Is it okay to mention the Christmas orientation of the book?
There, I said it!
It makes me a little uncomfortable as I am honored by that fact that the vast majorities of my reviews have been extremely positive but may have miscalculated how the premise might be received prior to the reading of the book.
Now with the Christmas Season upon us, you tell me if this “fanciful twist” on the legend generates interest or turns one off.
The reviews I received on Amazon follow, about 50% of them make reference to the premise I so coyly avoided discussing.
June 13, 2014 – The Workshop
★★★★★An engaging and fast paced read
With knowledge comes power! An engaging & fast paced read – with the timely backdrop of the power of big data and whether those in control of that data can be trusted with it. All with a unique twist to a favorite holiday legend. Looking forward to the Mr. Fremuth’s next adventure.
June 15, 2014 – The Workshop
This book is an enjoyable summer read. Fast paced with a combination of old world style with high tech technology. Imaginative with a plot so realistic it will leave you wondering… if not yet; then when?
July 6, 2014
★★★★★Great read. Love the setting and interesting way of …
Great read. Love the setting and interesting way of weaving the beloved notion of Christmas being anything but innocent. Some parts read so real that you can imagine this really happening in our current major corporations and political arenas. Hope the next book continues with more exposure of greedy people looking for more power.
July 8, 2014 – The Workshop
Entertaining, creative and thought provoking…once you start reading it, you won’t want to put it down.
July 31, 2014 – The Workshop
★★★★★ A love interest, murder
I found the Workshop to be an entertaining novel which combines realism and fantasy. It takes you into the world of computer based industrial espionage. A hint of “1984” bases it in the computerized existence of the world today. Hollywood would have a ball making it into a movie because it contains everything that Hollywood expounds on – quirky location, a love interest, murder, explosions and an opportunity for a sequel.
August 4, 2014 – The Workshop
Awesome book can’t put it down!
August 24, 2014 – The Workshop
★★★★★The novel is a thought-provoking missile. One can …
The novel is a thought-provoking missile. One can fantasize how a minuscule electronic chip in an everyday manufactured product can affect the thoughts and desires of an individual or group in today’s electronic dominated society.
November 4, 2014 – The Workshop
★★★★★Loved this book
Loved this book!! Great read!!! I couldn’t put it down. Keeps you interested from beginning until the very end. I loved the “SANTA” angle and how the author takes you through a realistic twist on the Christmas holiday and combining it with industrial espionage. A must read for the upcoming holiday season.
November 11, 2014 – The Workshop
★★★★★A great seasonal read that puts into perspective a commonly thought …
A “what if” plus technology plus human nature takes the audience on an eerie journey that may strike the reader as unnervingly familiar. Short chapters, a creatively perceived location, intrigue and action keep the plot moving. A great seasonal read that puts into perspective a commonly thought of concept that is not commonly thought through. Be careful what you wish for…
November 18, 2014 – The Workshop
★★★★★Santa knows if you’re naughty or nice. He really does!
The Workshop peaks your interest within the first 5 pages. When it reviles the workshop is actually every child’s dream “Santa’s workshop”. Creative spin of corporate America in the business of making toys. The author does a great job of keeping you in suspense with every new character introduced, and how everyone has a crucial role in telling this story. A must read as you take a ride to the North Pole and become consumed in corporate and world politics of one our most magical holiday.
December 9, 2014 – The Workshop
★★★★★ Compelling, a must read!
Compelling! This book was a very pleasant surprise. I find that many novels have cliché plots, which was not the case with this book. The Workshop was very thought provoking and easily held my attention. I look forward to reading another book from this author. Highly recommend.
January 12, 2015 – The Workshop
★★★★★A real page-turner that has all the right ingredients of a great read. Amazing work of fiction – or maybe …
Suspense, intrigue, fantastical! A real page-turner that has all the right ingredients of a great read. Amazing work of fiction – or maybe truer than any of us would like to admit… You decide…….
March 17, 2015 – The Workshop
★★★★★A Thought Provoking Thriller
The Workshop should be classified as a “Reality Fantasy”. Mr. Fremuth brilliantly entwines a beloved Christmas fantasy with the harsh reality of today’s current events. It leads one to wonder how much we really don’t know about what is going on in the world of technology and espionage. It is a page-turner from the beginning and a disappointment when it ends. I hope there will be a sequel!
March 17, 2015 – The Workshop
While it took me a few chapters to buy into the premise I thoroughly enjoyed the read. A few fantastic twists and very well written.
April 1, 2015 – The Workshop
★★★★Nice job Mr.
I thought this story was going to be all fiction, but…. It really is fiction but it surely could become a reality. Kept me turning pages to see what was going to happen next. The ending really got me. Nice job Mr. Fremuth!! I highly recommend it.
May 27, 2015 – The Workshop
★★★★What a great Christmas movie this would make!
Contemporary and seasonal! As a less than avid reader, I started this book way back when and finished it this spring, but all along I thought what a great Christmas movie this would make that could serve a few different purposes: teach families the evil that lurks behind the modern technology we all utilize every day, warn people about the insidious nature of Big Government and Big Business when it mixes, and remind us all about how to celebrate the season’s tradition of Santa Claus & his elves. I also recommend this book because the author is able to describe a setting so that the reader can transport themselves into either the wintry weather or the office tension, wherever the action is.
June 25, 2015 – The Workshop
★★★★★That’s what a great story should do
Half way into the first paragraph, I realized the premise of this story and I was hooked. I had no idea, though, what kind of ride I was going to be in for when I picked up this book! What Volker was able to do is, show the completely relevant and legitimate concern we have to have about government’s invasion into our lives. We blindly accept the constant upgrades in technology without understanding the possible consequences. As I read the story, I began to look differently at the world around me. That’s what a great story should do!
July 30, 2015 – The Workshop
★★★ This clever twist on a favorite folk legend needed trimming and streamlining
This clever twist on a favorite folk legend needed trimming and streamlining. Though the story was studded with marvelous gems, they were dulled by repetitive narrative. The author’s academic voice was a poor fit for this fun, fanciful, and outrageous tale.
August 28, 2015 – The Workshop
★★★★★Exciting and thought provoking!
A fantastic journey and a real eye-opener! I thoroughly enjoyed reading every single page of this exciting and thought provoking novel. The author has captured our fascination with and reliance upon technology and our constantly “upgraded” devices. He has real insight into human behavior and how easily we are swayed in our thought process. Do you ever feel like someone is telling you how to think and feel? There is a reason for that. We are encouraged to react in a certain way. But to what end?
A brilliant concept using our beloved Christmas holiday as the backdrop for something so nefarious. However, it is only nefarious from our point of view. The masterminds behind this plot only see how they are doing the world a favor. Making us all “good.”
I’m recommending this book to all my friends and family.
September 25, 2015 – The Workshop
★★★★★Who’s watching us?
Even though we all know Santa is a myth, Volker does a great job with this story in making you think that “someone” is watching to see whether we’re naughty or nice. I really liked the way he intertwined this legend in to a real World Corporate scenario. I’m anxious for Volker’s next book.
October 25, 2015 – The Workshop
★★★★★It is such a great story that I could not put it down to …
Warning: It is such a great story that I could not put it down to go to sleep. I had to finish reading the book. I enjoyed the plot, dialogue, character development… everything about the book. I highly recommend it.
November 2, 2015 – The Workshop
A truly amazing and engaging read! Absolutely a must have for those seeking a new book.
November 26, 2015 – The Workshop
★★★★★It makes you think.
I was very impressed with this book. It had me from the first chapter and I couldn’t put the book down. It was well written and thought out. Not only were you reading a story but it also made you think about a possible other way of life. It is not you’re typical mystery. I can’t wait for his next book.