I was asked the other day by a sweet woman who purchased my book two brilliant questions, "As an author, is it harder to read others books and review them? Do you still get lost in the story or do you find yourself critiquing them?"
I had to ponder this for a bit. Let me start from the beginning of my shift in how I read stories. Two Christmases ago my son was gifted a Kindle. By March I had hijacked it. Before immersing myself into the electronic reading I would frequent our local Barnes & Noble and my "cup of tea" books were and still are, historical, ie The Tudors, The Borgias, the rise and fall of queens, stories about the flapper era, and mobsters.
I was curious about the hoopla in regards to The Fifty Shades of Grey series and that was my first taste of Erotica/Romance. That was when the shift began. Though intrigued by the books material I found myself becoming irritated with the writing. I pushed myself through the first book because I am one those people that I require closure. No matter how awful the books, I need to read them all. By the end of the third book I was less inclined to punch Ana in the throat but I had my moments with eye rolls and annoyed sighs.
As time went on my literary library grew. I eventually gave Logan's Kindle back to him and I was gifted my very own.
Now, back to the questions presented to me. Is it harder for me to read other authors books and review them? Yes and no. This is more personal for me. When I networking before I published Deadly Deception, I interacted with a lot of different authors, indie and traditional. Some I had truly admired and was excited for their input. What I discovered is that some authors are not always willing to help or they will blow you off for whatever reason. I found that disheartening and because of that I no longer read their books.
There are genre's I have a difficult time reading; YA, NA, and, Erotica. That's not to say that I haven't read some amazing books in those genre's. The authors created a strong plot, story line, and characters that I was pulled in to and loved the book. I adore Sylvia Day, Shelly Crane, and R.K. Lilley and though they are out of my normal reading realm, their stories just suck me in.
Do I still get lost in a story? Absolutely. My reading schedule is so limited so when I sit down to read I need a story that will keep me on my toes. I don't want fluff. I don't want page after page of filler. I need fast pace. I don't need crazy sex scenes. I guess, I write how I want to read a story. Does that make sense? People that read Deadly Deception always tell me how fast paced it was but it kept them guessing. They loved the intrigue of it. Not everyone enjoys a book like that. Some need more in-between, some need steamy sex, and not everyone will love my book. But this is how I write. The majority of people that have read my book love my writing and that makes me smile. To be honest, I just want to tell my stories. I am lucky that we are in an age of self-publishing and I can share my stories with others.
Do I critique others while I read their books? Only if they have asked me to;-) If I catch a grammatical error here and there I don't call it out on my review. What I learned early on is that each reader filters scenes and characters differently. When I read, I filter the story in my own way. Recently I saw a person on Goodreads give Romeo and Juliet two stars. What? Really? And The Odyssey three stars, and Little Women three stars. Really? Those are classics, how could that person not rate those books higher? Well, that is how that reader filters those books.
After all this I can say that being an author has changed my "readers" eyes.
Has it you? What's your viewpoint?
Not really merlot and pearls but over on Goodreads you can enter to win a signed Deadly Deception paperback.
Giveaway ends in May and people are already throwing their names in, so, hurry! Enter! Share! Tell your friends! Tell your neighbors! Tell your cousins husbands sisters step-daughter!
Shift those fabulous eyes to the right and you can enter there. See. Over there.
My self-publishing journey began November 2012. It has been an amazing journey. I have learned so much from so many other wonderful authors. The ones who answered each of crazy questions. The ones who took time out of their insane schedules to pat my hand and tell me 'don't stress, it will be fine'. The ones who talked me down off the writers ledge.
My editor and dear friend passed along two articles about rushing the publishing process and regretting it later. Self-publish/indie authors receive enough flack to last a lifetime. We see other authors churning out books, remaining prevalent in the readers spotlight and the majority of those books are fantastic. They have built a team to assist them. The ones starting out, we fear that our first book will fall into the abyss if we don't continue pushing out books in a three to four month time spans. It is terrifying.
Then, one day, you realize that your priorities have become muddled. I homeschool my twelve year old son. As much as I would love to lock myself away into a writing cave and write until my fingers are numb and my book is complete, I can't. I just can't. The stress of this process has taken it's toll on our schooling. Between networking, writing, re-writing, composing articles, schooling, field trips, spending time with friends, whew, my brain is spent.
The reality that my son feels that his schooling has taken a backseat is unacceptable. He cried while telling me because he knows writing is my passion but I quickly told him, "Teaching is my passion, it has been for years. And you are my number one priority." It took a lot for him to tell me that.
The same day, my editor and I discussed the time frame of Deadly Redemption. We are in round two of content edits and I fired a million questions at her (she loves me, anyway). As much as I want to get Deadly Redemption out there, I can't rush it. I don't want to rush the process and put out something that is sub-par. Deadly Redemption is dark and emotionally charged and I want the readers to soak it all in. Melissa emailed me over these two amazing articles about rushing the process:
A weight was lifted when I said to myself 'I can't rush this and Logan's education is number one.' I'm not throwing in the writing towel, please don't hear that. I am allowing the process to happen naturally and stop forcing it prematurely.
I promised my son that we would figure it and I would get back to being the fun fabulous homeschool mom who creates messy science experiments in the kitchen and travels around the state seeking out new places to learn and experience.
Needless to say, I feel guilty and I have been sucking as a teacher for months. Shame on me. It's not about balance for me, more--priority. I would get on my laptop at 8am and BAM before I knew it, it was noon. Writing and networking is a time warp, I swear, ha!
Deadly Redemption will be released soon, that I can promise. I won't leaving you dangling from that cliffhanger. But I truly hope you stick with me because the second book won't disappoint. Just think, you'll have an amazing new book to read while kicking off summer vacation;-)
I am grateful for the stellar readers, authors, book bloggers, and promoting sites that have spread the word about Deadly Deception, who have taken the time to review it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads, who have sent me messages and emails of encouragement and support.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
You are stuck with me for a very long time.
Anne, Adam, and Carter are also very grateful;-)
Myself and a ton of fabulous authors are giving away some pretty fantastic goods. Here is the link.
6 Days Left!
Go! Hurry! Enter Now!
Here is a run-down of what's to win:
Prizes include: 6 pieces of jewelry- Designed by Terminal Funkalocity// 1 pair designer Guess sunglasses valued $120 1 pair- signed copies of Love by Design and Life by Design-Elizabeth James// 1 signed copy Deadly Deception- Andrea Johnson Beck// 1 signed copy Kade's Dark Embrace Kym Grosso// 1 e-copy With Love Shawnte Borris// 2 e-copies Strong Enough Alexis Alexander when released// 1 e-copy of each book A Cat's Chance in Hell and All Hell Breaks Loose Sharon Hannaford// 1 25 Amazon gift card and 3 copies of The Perfection of Love when released J.L. Monro// 1 e-copy Ever Enough Stacy Borel when released May 3rd// 1 e-copy Kim Karr's book Connected Melanie Dawn// 3 combo packs Forever Fae and Betrayals of Spring with 3 signed swag packs 2 e-copies Love's Second Chance L.P. Author // 1 e-book of their choice 2.99 or less Jeanene Mainville// 1 15 Amazon gift card 2 e-copies of Love Realized when released end of April Melanie Codina
Are you still reading this? Go to the link people! ;-)