Book Blogger Spotlight: Big Al

Book bloggers provide a vital nexus between the reading public and the writers of books. The fortunes of an individual book can rise or fall on the recommendations of book bloggers. It was mommy bloggers who propelled E.L. James into stardom, highlighting their importance in facilitating the discoverability of books that could otherwise (and all too easily) remain obscure. The point is, they’re kind of a big deal and they deserve a little recognition. This week, we turn the spotlight on one of our faves – an all-around cool guy and tough customer, Big Al.

Big Al runs both Big Al’s Books and Pals and The Indie View. We are also proud to claim him as a feared and respected member of the Indies Unlimited staff. Continue reading “Book Blogger Spotlight: Big Al”

Why I Read

Just after Christmas the Evil Mastermind had a post called “Do Write and Fear Naught,”  about why he writes. His reasons and mine are much different and I thought discussing those differences would make a good post some day. (These differences are the reason why he writes fiction and it’s doubtful I ever will.) This subject immediately went on my subjects-for-posts-when-you’re-out-of-ideas list. This was one of those times. I saw that idea and, as often happens, my brain connected it with a couple of recent thoughts, and I was off on a tangent. My role at IU is more one of a reader than any ability to string words together, why not a post about why I read? As much as I like to think otherwise, it isn’t all about me, but perhaps it will trigger some thoughts about the range of readers and what they’re looking for in their reading experience. As an author hoping to connect with readers it would be valuable to ask yourself a few questions. What do you hope the reader will get out of your book? Does it provide it? Is this something readers are looking for? Continue reading “Why I Read”

Swag: It’s More than a Lamp from the Seventies

“Anyone know what book swag is? Anyone want to write a post about it?” asked Kat.

Behind the scenes at Indies Unlimited, while the Evil Mastermind is in his office plotting world domination (yes, he really does evilly mastermind), his co-conspirator, Kat Brooks, is out in the “bullpen,” rousing, encouraging, and whipping the minions into shape with promises of extra gruel “sometime in the distant future.” You older people (or young people who spend too much time watching old TV on cable) can imagine Kat as Mary Richards to Hise’s Lou Grant. Having had a thing for Mary Tyler Moore since the days when she was shacked up with Rob Petrie, how could I resist? (Only the ancient or trivia buff Rich Meyer will get that reference.)

Jumping up and down like Arnold Horshack I scream, “Ooh-ooh-oooooh! Mr. Kot …” Umm. Let’s try that again.

“Sure, I’ll do it, Mary, I mean Kat” Continue reading “Swag: It’s More than a Lamp from the Seventies”

Bang, Bang – You’re Not Dead

Apparently, even someone who claims he isn’t a writer can get writer’s block and I was stymied for a post topic. Nothing on my short list of post ideas was sparking inspiration, so I threw it out to a group of friends for suggestions. One proposed I write about “violence in books.”

Recent events in the US brought out the normal contingent of “experts,” blaming real violence on pretend violence in movies and video games. Although seldom mentioned, should books get a free ride? Was this idea a trap? An attempt to get me to go political at Indies Unlimited, which seemed like the second quickest way to get The Evil Mastermind to return the post with the message, “Nah, I don’t think so.” (The quickest way is saying BigAl’s favorite word deleted by EM.) Continue reading “Bang, Bang – You’re Not Dead”