Being Merely a Reader

Conventional wisdom says that as soon as you publish one book you should write the next. The point of this advice is understandable: don’t obsess about who’s buying your work, don’t rest on your laurels, build your backlog, be professional and proliferative. To tell you the truth, though, the idea of diving into another novel right now makes me want to cry. I’m exhausted. I imagine it’s like being in a delivery room after a natural childbirth while the goo is still being sucked from the nose of your newborn and before the endorphins have kicked in, hearing your husband say, “Let’s have another one. Or two. Or ten.” People have been murdered for less.

I don’t really want to commit a capital crime, so I’ve decided to ignore conventional wisdom for a while and shut off the stories in my head to go back to something I used to love: reading. For pleasure. Switching off the computer and all of the lights and curling up to spend half the night turning the pages to find out what happens or just to be wrapped in the atmosphere of the words. Continue reading “Being Merely a Reader”

Writing Reviews: What many readers don’t know

A Guest Post
by T.K. McEachin

It’s no secret to those who know me personally that I am not a huge fan of the Harry Potter novels. Needless to say, if these novels or any others encourage reading in children, that alone is reason enough to admire & respect the authors. So, a few months ago, J.K. Rowling enters the adult fiction genre with her latest book, The Casual Vacancy. After reading so many of the bad reviews that were unrelated to the quality of the book itself (silly comparisons to Harry Potter, for example), I realized one thing: many readers simply do not understand the purpose of the reviewing ability many websites give them. I estimate that approximately 20-40% of reader reviews are unfair & biased (which is their right upon coughing up the cash for the book, technically). Many are useless in that they tell you nothing about the book itself. I’m one of those avid readers who will peruse dozens of reviews for a work of fiction, to aid in my buying decision. This is especially the case, when deciding whether or not to buy a new book that a seasoned author has written, when I didn’t care for the previous one(s). Even if I don’t like a book, I don’t always give up on an author and when reviewing, I try to find some redeeming quality to share along with the negative aspects, after all, I’m a writer as well. Continue reading “Writing Reviews: What many readers don’t know”