M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Book Turn-Offs?

The Reads ...  A given.  Not every book you start to read -- even in your favorite genre -- will hold your interest.  While reading how to survive when the economy collapses, I kept taking books off the to-read pile and transferring them to the trade pile.  Two authors who got caught in the shift, Lori G. Armstrong and Anne Ursu, both popular and respected authors.
Why didn't I read them?
Lori G. Armstrong had lots of potentially interesting characters running around in the beginning of Blood Ties and an interesting premise.  Hey, I bought the book, after all.  The protagonist is a no-nonsense, take-the-bit-in-her-teeth kind of gal with some convoluted family issues which aren't the worse others in the cast of characters must face.  Still, I did no more than skim it.  My internal editor just wouldn't turn off, and the "red pen" got a little heavy.  

Anne Ursu's The Shadow Thieves, the first in her The Cronus Chronicles, didn't even get a skim.   This was a contribution from the NYC fantasy readers, and I was looking forward to reading a middle grade novel ... after putting Emma on the shelf.  I didn't get beyond page 7.  The telling voice just ... plain ... turned ... me ... off.

What kinds of things turn you off when you settle down, expecting a reality-suspending read?

Must admit that, Beka, Blood Hound finally came in.

Web Stuff ...

All  writers need support ... and northern Colorado writers of all levels and genres have the Northern Colorado Writers thanks to Kerrie Flanagan.  Members, like me, enjoy many benefits like coffees, classes, conferences with big-time agents/editors, a Yahoo group, newsletter ... and an informative blog.   M-F, five different writers offer helpful info and insights about writing.

Fridays are especially valuable for writer's without much time to scour the web.  Brooke Favero of "The Writing Bug" does the slogging for you.  This last week she included outstanding info on querying agents, building platforms, and improving your writing craft skills.  --  To tell the truth, she's always includes outstanding information from some of the best bloggers on the web.

And then, there's Facebook.  After a couple months of experimenting,I recently limited my Facebook page to family and real friends who I might even talk to once in awhile.  For the life of me, I couldn't comprehend how a my page would help me as a writer.  Maybe you wonder the same thing?  Well, Jessica Faust in her Bookends blog gives some pointers on how build a business platform on Facebook.  She uses one of her clients, Ellery Adams of A Killer Plot, as an example.  Check it out.

[For me, it came at an opportune time.]

Progress ...
The Voices, the Voices ... got new chapters tacked on them last week ... in spite of me having to write promotional material for Taking Vengeance.  I think my decision to just write 1,000 words a day -- no matter what kind of cr*p it is -- might work.  I knew I had to go back and add description as soon as I noticed I was staring at my end-of-chapter hook.  The chapter also has that unusual problem of "telling" rather than showing the action.

Then, there are the Demons, Gargoyles, and Britt ... have loads of changes to make, thank to my lovely beta reader.  [Now, if she'll only send me her chapters.  Hint.  Hint.]

I'm getting a down and busy view of the publishing world.  No more day-dreaming.  Have sent my contract, bio, and back cover copy to WolfSinger Publications.  [You might check them out at Amazon or Barns & Noble.] -- No, my teeny effort (We're talking 12,000 words.) won't be published until sometime in 2011.

A reality check on the odds of acceptance.  I'm assuming a couple hundred submissions were made last year.  I'm one of 11-2 contracts offered for 2011.  WolfSinger also publishes a couple e-magazines.  You can check the guidelines and contracts out.  Sorcerous Signals closed to submissions on June 15th.

Trivia ...

The robins were squawking up a storm yesterday morning.  I woke up to something chirring back at them.  I opened the blinds to the robins dive-bombing something with a bushy tail disappearing over the fence. --  I don't think robins like raccoons.  (Another good reason to keep the cats indoors, as if the hawks weren't enough.)
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