Underappreciated Authors

I don’t like it when this term is tossed around. I don’t like it one bit.

Whenever someone says one particular author is underappreciated, that tells me that they’re saying some other author is undeserving of whatever they’ve earned as an author. We could be talking money, fame, awards, anything.

We all understand that there are plenty of great authors out there who haven’t been discovered or don’t sell many books despite critical acclaim. We get it. But it’s not like some of the most popular authors are sabotaging everyone else. Sure they get more attention and resources from their publishers, but it’s because they sell. No one ever said only the best authors can be bestsellers. It’s a little ridiculous and disrespectful to start saying one person deserves something over someone else who has already put in the work and hours to achieve their success. It isn’t easy for anyone in publishing. No one knows which authors are going to become bestsellers and which aren’t. (strictly referring to unknown writers and not celebrities.)

There’s an author who’s written a few books (three, maybe?) and they’re just as good as any I’ve read. But I’d be willing to bet that not a single one of you would even know who he is. Heck, I don’t even know what he looks like. But I’d never go so far as to say that he should be more widely read than he is and someone else shouldn’t be. Come on.

What do you think about this?

On Writing Rooms

I mean, what?

I just read something about writing rooms and it got me thinking about how ridiculous I think they are. I mean, if you’re making millions from your writing and you have a writing room, then who am I to criticize? But if you’re a nobody like me and constantly tweeting with #amwriting and you claim to have a writing room, then you’re just being ridiculous.

What, does it only have certain colors? Or maybe a big window? Or music from the writing station on SiriusXM? I would not be surprised if there were a real station. I mean, do you need a hundred different things to be right just to get some writing done? And I’m using the term ‘some writing’ pretty loosely here because people will tweet out that they just wrote for two hours and added 300 words. Welp.

I think the whole notion behind writing rooms is flat out dumb. If you need music, then play some. If you need your family to be away or asleep, then okay. But what do you need a room for when you’re writing 100 words an hour?

Ugh. People.

Do you have a writing room? Say no.

On this day in 2014 I published The Reader in Me.


Well Look at This!

Just a few short days ago I told y’all about Steve Hamilton’s dispute with his publisher that ultimately led to the buyout of his publishing contract. He signed with a new publisher less than a week later. In that post I mentioned that his new book (which will start a new series) will now be released next year.

But there’s more to the story now. It was just announced yesterday that Lionsgate has purchased the film rights to the first book that could end up being a series on the big screen. Think about that. He’d written some great books for St. Martin’s for nearly two decades and never once did we get wind of a movie deal, and he signs with a new publisher and immediately gets one. That’s pretty remarkable. It also doesn’t hurt that his agent (who bought out his previous contract) also happens to be a prominent screenwriter. And Nina Jacobson is already attached to the project. She’s done The Hunger Games movies.

Steve Hamilton is simply on a roll. And I imagine his forthcoming book will become a bestseller.

Have you ever heard anything happening quite like this in such a short amount of time? I know I haven’t.

Jennifer Lawrence Loves Reading

I’ve actually known this for some time now since she’s my future wife and all, but now I know WHAT she likes reading too. These seven books are among her favorites. And will likely become some of mine.

The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory.

Those books following Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters by J.D. Salinger.

The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson.

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Wells.

Looks like I got some reading to do. I haven’t read anything on here except for the first two HP books. But after a long day on set I’m sure she’ll sometimes just want to read one of these and then ask me what I think of them. But I won’t know until I read them.

Have any thoughts on Jen’s (yes, I call her Jen) favorite books?

On this day in 2014 I published What Moves Your Characters?.


R.L. Stine Interview

“Don’t ask me about nonfiction. I never read it. I hate anything real.” ~ R.L. Stine.

Probably due to the new Goosebumps movie coming out, R.L. Stine has been more in the news lately. An interview he did with The New York Times gave me a chuckle, but also an insight into the mind of a brilliant writer.

See the article here, and find out for yourself how droll he is.

In it you’ll learn he hates nonfiction, adores Ray Bradbury, thinks horror is funny, and hasn’t yet read the “autobiography” about himself written by five other people.

Many of his questions are humorous, and it was interesting seeing him through his own eyes.

I’m not going to deny, I couldn’t read the Goosebumps books when I was a kid. Self-proclaimed scaredy-cat. They gave me nightmares. John is not at all like that. But I sure am.

Looking back, I know they weren’t nearly as scary as my adolescent mind made them to be, and I’m tempted to go and re-read them.

But the one quote that struck me above all the others was the one I posted at the beginning of this post. He hates anything real?

As a fiction writer, myself, I can understand the lure of escaping the real world, but there is so much to learn from history and current events. And many times, history is fictionalized and we end up reading about “real” life anyway.

What do you think? Do you like nonfiction? Fiction? What do you think of his opinion? (Unless it was sarcastic. I won’t know. Ask John. I’m a doof when it comes to sarcasm).


~ Amy

Harry Potter Taylor Swift Mashup?

I first saw this like a month ago and thought it was pretty creative and interesting. This girl decided to make video about two of the things she loves most. Taylor Swift and Harry Potter. I know you might not immediately see how the two can go together, but somehow she makes it work.

I don’t remember exactly why she did it or if she’s done any similar ones, but this is pretty awesome. And just entertaining to watch for a few minutes. Maybe you might want to watch a few times. Or a hundred. It’s nice and catchy. If you find yourself trying to learn the words, don’t worry. I’m sure you’re not the first.

What did you think? Cool, huh?

On this day in 2014 I published Judging a Book by its Author.


Have you Heard of TuneIn?

You probably haven’t. But you likely know a radio station they broadcast. One of my favorite stations I listen to each day happens to be one of theirs. I think. Because there’s a little message they play when returning from a commercial break a that says “a TuneIn radio station” and I never knew what it was talking about until today.

TuneIn is aiming to compete directly with SiriusXM. They currently offer free listening of over 100,000 stations, but now they’re offering a paid tier. Which is nice, but I wouldn’t care about it if it didn’t have something to do with books. And it does. They’ve reached agreements with several Big 5 publishers to include some 40,000 audiobooks at launch with their paid service.

I’m not sure exactly how it’d work, but I guess there would be a few different stations that simply play audiobooks instead of music or talk shows on the radio? Maybe they’ll be separated by genre? I’m not sure. And I’m not sure I even like the idea.

We already have Audible, right? I think they’re currently the biggest player in audiobooks. They offer their audiobook library for a fee each month, but you can obviously decide on your own which books you listen to. And you can also always buy a single audiobook if you’re only interested in one. But audiobooks streamed through the radio seems a bit weird for me. I don’t think it’s the best use of the medium, and I’m not sure the company will see many new subscribers just for this part of the service. There’s also music and sports involved in their new deal.

What do you think of TuneIn offering audiobooks in their new paid tier? And how do you think it’ll work on the radio?

On this day in 2014 I published ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Blogger Edition. You can read the post, but the video is no longer online, so you’ll just have to believe that I did it.


Game of Thrones on TV Will Finish Before the Books are Written

Wait, what?

I’ve never watched the series on TV or read any of the books, though I do have the first four now. I couldn’t tell you anything about it. Except that George R. R. Martin is the author and that he kills off characters all the time. I think?

Again, I can’t even talk about the differences between the TV show and the books, but this still seems a bit odd to me. Adaptations are not always loyal to the original work, but how can a TV series finish when there’s still more the author wants to tell in the story?

I think Martin has been between books for awhile now, right? So perhaps at this point he just doesn’t care anymore. Or maybe the show has contractual obligations to finish up at a particular point in time. I don’t know. And maybe the fans of the show don’t care how or when the show ends as long as it does.

To me, a series based on books should try to be as loyal to the original as possible. Otherwise, it could have been adapted into a movie. What do you think about all this?

Stop Telling me What to Read

Just stop.

How many times have I said on here that I DO NOT TAKE BOOK SUGGESTIONS? I wish I had a count. Because I’ve said it more than enough. But it seems that every week someone will read a post or page of mine and then comment that I should read this book or that one.

I mean, do you realize what you’re even doing when you do that? You’re making yourself out to be some kind of authority on which books should be read and which ones shouldn’t. Not to mention the fact that you know absolutely nothing about me. In what world are you living in?

There are a few people on here who I’ve asked specifically to recommend books to me, for various reasons. But when I say a few people, I’m talking about a handful. Maybe. Not every person who happens upon my blog. It’s ridiculous and annoying. And when I respond that I don’t take recommendations the other person wants to act like I’m saying something outrageous and pretend to be upset.

Just leave me to decide what I should read next. Thanks.

New or Used?

At the end of the day it shouldn’t matter. I’ve always said I don’t buy used books, and I’m not sure that’ll ever completely change. But working in a used bookstore has changed my position just a bit.

There are PLENTY of books in very good condition throughout the store. This fact has already done something for me. It’s pushed me to start reading new authors I haven’t read before. Four, to be exact. John Sandford. Stuart Woods. Robert Ludlum. Tom Clancy. Why these four? Because I’ve always known them, but never have I really looked into reading any of them. And I imagine I’ll be introduced to a number of new authors during my time at Half Price Books.

The point is that used books are slowly going to make their way onto my shelves here at home, something that had not been happening hardly at all until 2015.

Do you prefer new books over used? Or maybe vice-versa?

On this day in 2014 I published The Perks of Being a Writer.