Tag Archives: books

In Defense

The writing world is full of haters.

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Author: Mohylek 16:38, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Before I became serious about turning my writing into publishable works, I was one of many armchair critics. As I sat behind my glowing computer screen, writing reviews on Facebook and Goodreads (that – honestly – no one besides my two best friends would really ever read), I found it easy to dismiss a story as trite, pretentious, boring, vapid, or amateurish. The words would vomit into a hastily written post that would reiterate my own selfish belief that the consumer was the ultimate judge of literature.

And while I still believe that the reader is a key component to the complex relationships between author, agent, editor, publisher, and fan, I believe we all need to take a deep breath, step back, and learn when to shut up. Let’s reevaluate ourselves for a moment.

 1. Have you ever written a novel?

If no, shut up.

2. Have you ever edited your finished novel?

If no, shut up.

3. Have you ever rewritten entire sections of your novel?

If no, shut up.

4. Have you ever shared your novel with a group of friends?

If no, shut up.

5. Have you ever written a query letter?

If no, shut up.

6. Have you ever written a synopsis?

If no, shut up.

7. Have you had an agent invite you to be a client?

If no, shut up.

8. Has your agent managed to sign your book to a major publisher?

If no, shut up.

9. Has your novel survived the editing process and made it to the press?

If no, shut up.

10. Have you received an advance for your book series–an advance in the realm of $750,000?

If no, shut up.

11. Has your series appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list for 142 weeks? How about for even one week?

If no, shut up.

12. Have you signed a movie deal for your novels?

If no, shut up.

13. Have those movies based on your books made millions of dollars?

If no, shut up.

14. Is your estimated worth around $125 million?

If no, shut up.

 

Stephenie Meyer is constantly bashed on, ripped apart, and mocked for her success. And I have to admit that I have ridiculed her work from time to time, but I sometimes have to get my own reality check. I can’t answer yes to very many of those questions, but Mrs. Meyer can say yes to every single one.

Stephen King and other professional writers can critique all they wants – how many of the previous questions could those individuals answer with a resounding, “Yes”?

And before anyone jumps on me for making this about money and notoriety, it’s not. That’s not why most writers write. But let’s be honest. All of the money and notoriety helps. And it’s oftentimes how authors are judged.

Do I write despite not being able to answer yes to very many of those questions? Absolutely.

Do I still critique other writers’ works? Yes.

But I take those few seconds to take a breath, think of the person behind the words, and keep my reactions in perspective. There is no use adding more hate to the writing world. It’s a cutthroat enough industry as it is.

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Rising Sidhe Book Cover

livingstone font rising sidhe cover copy

Book cover for Rising Sidhe – book three in the Keening Trilogy. To be released July 2013.

Final edits are being completed, cover art is ready to add, but are you ready for the final book of the Keening Trilogy?

I’m not sure if I’m even ready. Putting characters to rest and inviting new ones out to play–now I know how the gods feel.

Book blurb has yet to be written. Design of back cover to be done.

July, here we come!

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Value of the Written Word

My husband and I were in bed the other night, watching another enthralling episode of Storage Wars–yes, I watch such reality tv once in a while, and I happen to agree with someone else who said they watched it and could not figure out why they liked it so much–when one of the buyers came across some old books. I was busy chuckling as the appraiser to whom he took the books started pulling out old textbooks from the early 1900s and telling the guy they were worthless. Duh, was my first response. I don’t think there is much of a market for outdated college Biology books, but maybe that’s just me. I suppose if someone wanted to decorate an office with books they have never read and never intend to read, then that would work, but people like that annoy me.

As the appraiser continues through the box, he’s totalled about $14 worth of books. Then he comes across a book identical to one which I picked up at a Nampa used book store for $9.99. A First Edition A Farewell to Arms. No sleeve or signature, but still a first edition. The value? About $200. This was kind of like an Antiques Roadshow moment for me, so I turned to my husband–who hates when I “collect” things–and said, “See? That’s the same exact book I have!” Without even batting an eye he replied, “Then why don’t you go sell it?” I’d only thought of selling the book back when I first bought it a few years ago, but how could I give up such a find, especially when it’s one of my favorite books from one of my favorite authors?

So this had me thinking of the real price we put on books–those meant to educate, entertain, or question the status quo. There is such power in words that cannot be fully explained unless you have truly experienced reading or writing something which has changed a bit of your self. That is the true value of the written word.

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Hidden Sidhe

My first draft of Hidden Sidhe, book two in the Keening Trilogy, is complete! Yeah! Happy dance!

Now comes the fun part. Editing. There is a lot for me to add and modify, but hopefully my writing group, Chix with Stix, is up for the task of helping me find gaps, errors, and inconsistencies.

I hated to see it end, but it was also beautiful at the same time.

I also need to map out book three as I edit book two–to make sure everything syncs and I didn’t forget to include any details that are vital for book three.

 

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