Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Do you review books you don't like?

In my quest to be a better reader and review more books, I (of course) immediately hit a snag. The book I just finished reading? I didn't like it...

And it wasn't an 'it was okay, just not the best' kind of dislike--I really, really didn't like it. The only reason I finished it was because I bought it, and thought I should finish. Like when you buy those store-brand ginger snaps, and you eat them in spite of their sucky-ness.

I decided not to review the book, since it could be just me. And as an author, I know how much those bad reviews can sting.

How about you, YA Sleutheri? Do you review books you don't like?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

How to be a good reader

As a newbie author, you learn a few things along the way.

Okay, so you learn a lot of things. Like how fun it is to meet new readers at a book signing. How you have to introduce yourself to Barnes and Noble customers, because no one will find you if you stay at your table, hidden behind the Nook display. How perfect strangers, in person or just on Twitter, can be so supportive of you and your book, even though they barely know you. People can be pretty awesome.

The hard part about being a debut is asking for that awesomeness. Asking people for help, that is. To come see you at a book signing, so you don't look so sad. And to review your book if they like it. Having my own book to sell made me realize that I haven't always been such a good reader. Because as an author, you're a reader first, and I've read a boatload of books. But how many have I actually reviewed at various outlets? Not many...

So this year, I'm resolving to be a better reader (a very, very late 2013 resolution, I know). This was inspired by author friend Simon Wood, who wrote a great blog post: 5 Things A Reader Can Do To Help Their Favorite Writers. Check it out, it's good stuff.

And thank you, awesome readers who've supported me so far. You inspire me to be a better reader myself.




Friday, February 15, 2013

If you find yourself in Gulfport this Saturday...

...Come see me at Barnes and Noble!

I'm signing Double Vision at 2 p.m. and would love to see a friendly face.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What's The Difference Between Thriller And Mystery?

One of the coolest things about writing for kids is when I get to hear from those kids themselves. You'd think that happens very often, but you'd be surprised. Since I'm still new at the author gig, I mostly talk to librarians, teachers, parents, grandparents--those people who will be buying books for the tweens in their life.

So it was cool to hear from a friend who bought the book for his son, but then he told me his teacher wouldn't let him read it for his required mystery book. Since Double Vision is a thriller. This kid ended up reading the book anyway once the assignment was finished (my readers are cool that way). Not that I disagree with the teacher--there are certainly many middle-grade books that are stronger mysteries--but it did make wonder...

What makes a mystery, and what makes a thriller? Is it the puzzle versus the chase?

I do think Double Vision is more of a thriller, so the teacher was right. But isn't it also a mystery? There's a puzzle and a whodunit to solve...

What do you think makes each category? Or is it all just nonsense, this labeling?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Paperman (Or: Why Silence Can Be Awesome)

Apologies for the blog silence--I've been a bit under the weather. On the upside, I'm all caught up on Justified, and I started writing the third book in the Double Vision series. Exciting!

Oddly, I gained a ton of Twitter followers while I was away, so perhaps I should shut up more often.

On the topic of silence, I thought I'd share this short silent film by the Disney people called Paperman. When I first saw it as a preview to some other movie I was about to see, I loved it, and you could hear a pin drop in the theater. I think it's up for an Oscar, so fingers crossed.