Tag Archives: readers

My library

No, not the one at home. With our recent (01 April, 2017) move, all my books are pretty much still in boxes. Heck, some of those babies are still at the old place. I mean, we shared a house with my brother before buying our own, and he still lives there. And is even using some of our stuff, so… NBD? 

Yep, NBD. 

Anyway, I’m talking about our local public library. For five loooong years, we lived in an unincorporated township buried within city limits. So we were outside city limits while being surrounded by the actual city. Other than having to wait for the county sheriff department, do you know what that means? 

$80 per year to have a library card. 

Eighty dollars. 

I just couldn’t afford it – there was always something that needed that money more than the library. And I’m a huge library supporter. 

So yes, one of the first things I did was establish a library card. Yay!! 

I’m there a couple times every week or two. Lately, I’m on a huge cozy mystery kick. I especially love historical cozies (for this genre, Rhys Bowen is Queen). 

New to me are the Kate Shackleton mysteries by Frances Brody. I’m only on book 2, but that’s because I try to read in order. Very good. I definitely recommend them! 

I’ve also discovered Victoria Hamilton‘s Vintage Kitchen series lately. Ive read a few of these out of order, so I’m trying to correct that now – it might involve buying the first, but that’s perfectly fine. She has another series, that I’ve picked up a few books from. 
My favorite thing about her Vintage Kitchen sleuth? Mid-thirties (I’m early 40’s now so I can still relate), doesn’t want a career but likes to work odd jobs around her quaint Michigan village, and best of all? She’s a huge romance fan, and big names are dropped. 

So today, I brought home six cozies and one historical romance. And it’s even a new-to-me author. Kelly Bowen. 


I think I’ll start this one first. I’ll let you know what I think!

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Questions for the Audience

I am trying to build an audience here, and I know we frequently visit each other’s sites and like posts… But I want to increase interaction with you, my beloved audience.

In that vein, I have created a poll that I hope you will take a few minutes to answer. I did set it to allow you to enter your own answers, so please, be honest.

Audience Participation
What would increase your interaction with my blog?

A Book to Review

I have a ton of books. Really. I’ll bet almost every single person who bothers to read this particular blog does, too. Well, I started this blog with the intention of reading and reviewing one book per week. I’ve reviewed exactly one. What?? So, what’s a girl to do when she breaks her promise to herself?

Renew her commitment to said reviews, of course. It might not be one every week, but you will get at least two per month.

I have to start somewhere, though. And of all the books I’ve been given or bought, where do I start? Well, I have to start with the ones I was given with the specific intent of gaining a review. So, back to reading The Devil In Duke’s Clothes. To temper this, I am also going to read The Troublesome Apprentice by Liza O’Connor.

What are you reading right now?

To What Do I Owe the Pleasure…

Question: Do we, as authors, have a responsibility to our readers to not disappoint them? What if we added the caveat of not hurting them “too badly”?

No. I am entirely serious. What do you, as authors, think?

Someone posted this sentiment in one of my online writing groups recently. I do not remember which one, nor would I name it if I did. Nor do I even remember the frame of the conversation at the time.

But let me tell you how I felt when I saw those words. Frankly, I was taken aback. I kept my opinions to myself to avoid starting any sort of drama or nonsense. Let me share them with you here; that is why I have this blog, right?

If you could not already tell, I absolutely disagree with the idea that I have a responsibility to not disappoint my readers. I immediately disagreed, but allowed myself 48 hours to reassess my feelings.

Nope.

I don’t know about other writers, but I write adult-themed books. Even if the action in my books never goes past second base, I am not writing young adult fiction.

Adults. Grown up humans. Decidedly not children. I expect adults to react to situations, including disappointment, as adults. It is not my responsibility to shield adults from something as mundane as disappointment. Frankly, it isn’t my responsibility to shield children from disappointment.

There is also the fact that I am writing for myself. Perhaps one day, I will consider trying to publish, but that just isn’t a goal right now. Here’s a tiny secret though: even if I do one day publish something, I’ll still be writing for myself. No one else.

Does this mean I don’t want readers to like my story? No. Are you telling me that people will only like what I write if I write for them and not myself? Do you think the greats worried about disappointing their audience? You know they didn’t. It seems to me that readers are smart enough to know an authentic voice from that of someone targeting an audience. And if I write to avoid disappointing everyone, I will lose my authenticity.

Want to know what I consider my responsibility to any potential future writers? Compelling characters and stories. Nothing more.

On Beta Readers

I love the idea of beta readers, although I might be too sensitive to have someone else read my works… I’m not sure I could take the criticism. Constructive criticism showing me what needs improved upon, yes. But you and I both know not everyone is capable as a critique partner.

The Husband and I are going to try to attend a local writer’s group next week, but we might not go as we might have to leave early. These are rando’s – I don’t know them, they don’t know me. I guess I could handle that.

So, everyone talks about their beta readers. How do you go about finding one? How can you trust them to give you constructive criticism as opposed to jackassery?

 

I do not have a writing prompt to share today, though it is Sunday. I do, however, have an announcement to share: Since changing my focus to historical romance I’ve actually completed a FULL outline AND the rough draft of my first chapter.

The premise and designing principle and all that nonsense? Not so much. But yes, a WHOLE chapter (and the prologue)…

To celebrate, I am giving myself time off to be that constructive beta reader for two people plus read (AND REVIEW, DAMN IT) something on my Kindle app.

 

Happy Sunday!

Journeys

So, I don’t know if it’s because I’m just a forgetful person or what but until I started researching plot structures and whatnot, I had no concept of the “Hero’s Journey”. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read books that use the concept and I can recognize it, especially in fantasy/science fiction. But it wasn’t something that had a name. It wasn’t official. And yet, I just didn’t “get it”. Is this a lack of education? A lack of comprehension? Or an inability to connect with something that just doesn’t fit my writing style?

Well, let’s take a look at that. What, exactly, is my writing style? Do I even have a writing style? I’ve mentioned it before – my reading styles vary drastically. As do my writing styles, I suppose. Yet there has never been a question in my mind that my main lead character is always female. I can, and do, write from the male perspective but my main, main, main is still female. So when I stumbled upon the Heroine’s Journey, I was intrigued. I haven’t bought the book, but I did read the two entries at this blog. And it made sense. I connected with this journey almost immediately. Is it because it’s more internal vs external? Absolutely. Will all this internal reflection make my strong female character weak and readers unable to relate to her? I say absolutely not. And not because I want to write for females. More than anything, I write for myself but outside of me, I write for all readers. All ages, all genders. What I do believe is that this journey will help me, with no formal training, create a better character. One that has depth and feelings. One that I, personally, can like. Even if I want to smack the crap out of her at times.

Here, by the way, is the book discussed on that blog: 45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. I guess I’ll add it to my Amazon Wish List. It looks both interesting and helpful.