Friday, December 05, 2014

My Seven Deadly Sins of Reading

The uber-talented Crystal Collier tagged me in the Seven Deadly Sins of the Literary World blog tag. Since all writers are bookworms at heart, I couldn't resist. The rules are simply to answer the questions and tag others. Here we go...

Greed--What is your most inexpensive book? I'm currently reading Accidentally Evil by the awesome Lara Chapman for free, thanks to Edelweiss. Fellow Aladdin M!x author Jen Malone told me about Edelweiss and I love it. You get free books months in advance of release in exchange for reviewing them. As a newly-published author myself, I now realize how beneficial those early reviews can be to building buzz, so I always post a Goodreads review, then go back in and post an Amazon review once the book is out.

Wrath--Who's the author with whom you have a love/hate relationship? Stephen King, of course! I grew up reading his books and he inspired me to write. I read both 11/22/63 and Under the Dome and, while I loved both books, I just found them so long-winded. I find myself starting his books, then reading the summary on Wikipedia to find out how they end because his books just go on and on and on and on and I have a short attention span.

Gluttony--What book have you devoured over and over again with no shame? There's Stephen King's The Stand, my favorite of all time. But if we're talking "true guilty pleasure," I'd have to say V.C. Andrews' Flowers in the Attic. I recently re-read the first two books in that series and had forgotten what guilty pleasures her books were!

Sloth--Which book have you neglected reading due to laziness? Everything on my Goodreads to-read list. It seems to keep growing. The oldest book on my to-read list is Under the Light by Lara Whitcomb. I found A Certain Slant of Light fascinating and meant to read the rest of the books in the series. It looks like that probably won't happen.

Pride--What books do you talk about most in order to sound like an intellectual reader? I don't even try to fake it. I spend my life reading books written for girls between the ages of six and 14. When I'm not doing that, I'm probably reading something by Harlan Coben. Why lie? I'm proud of my preference for contemporary commercial fiction. My snooty friends who said you have to read literary classics to be a writer still aren't published, so perhaps I'm onto something...

Lust--What attributes do you find attractive in a male or female character? Flaws. I think characters who are flawed are much more relatable than those who are surfacy and shallow.

Envy--What book would you like to receive most as a gift? Since I buy all of my books for Kindle, I'm not sure anyone can do that...what I'd love is an Amazon gift card. I'd just load my Kindle up!

Here are my tags. No pressure...I just always use "tagging" as an opportunity to introduce people to bloggers! Check these great bloggers out.

What book have you been putting off reading? What one author is your guilty pleasure?

Everyone check out the new cover for The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow. Is it not awesome? Click here to see the cover reveal, including an interview with the authors.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

All Writers Are at Least a Little Insecure

Today marks an exciting occasion--this is my first post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. If you haven't heard of this group, check it out. The first Wednesday of each month, the IWSG meets for the sole purpose of supporting and encouraging each other. What writer can't use a little support every now and then?

When you start writing, you're so focused on finding an agent and publisher, you rarely think beyond that initial goal. You assume that once you're published, red carpets will roll out and you'll be whisked away to the Hollywood premiere of the movie version of your bestseller.

But that doesn't happen. The date of your book release approaches and...guess what? You have no idea what you're doing.

Doctors prepare for years for their first surgery. They practice. They study. They watch mentors. Writers prepare for years to become better writers. Booksignings? School visits? Interviews with local publications? Notsomuch.

So you play it by ear, but all the while you're sure everyone else knows what they're doing but you. As you go to conferences and network with other published authors, however, you realize that's not at all true. In fact, very few published authors know what to do in the weeks leading up to release day. This goes for traditionally-published authors, as well as those who are self published. All you can do is ask for advice and play it by ear and hope you aren't doing it all wrong.

If you'd like to join in on the IWSG, add your link here and post your blog the first Wednesday of each month. It's a wonderful, supportive group.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Walking and Talking

My job as a freelance writer occasionally requires me to speak on the phone. I say "occasionally" because 99.9 percent of the time I decline a job if the words "let's have a quick call" are mentioned.

A couple of times, I've made the mistake of agreeing to a call, only to realize about five minutes in that the person on the other end is interviewing me. To write a 500-word article! I've even had someone ask me the "strengths and weaknesses" question.

When I found myself in that situation, I should have politely declined and hung up. Instead, I went through with the interview and found I was actually nervous. Like it was this kind of job interview.

I noticed something. When I'm nervous and talking on the phone, I do this.

What is it about talking on the phone that makes us do strange things? Like this:

What do you do while you're talking on the phone?