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Something I Don't Understand

Something I Don’t Understand

I don’t get it. What is the pleasure in thrillers? Whether novels, nonfiction books, or movies, thrillers are calculated to scare you…and this is supposed to be GOOD? Where is the pleasure in being frightened? Where is the pleasure in having your pulse rate rise and your heart race?

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Dream Come True

Dream Come True

I am very excited. A long-held dream of mine, to make a certain book of mine into an animated Christmas TV special for family viewing, is finally coming true.

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Speeches & Interviews—A Perq Of Authorship

Speeches & Interviews—A Perq Of Authorship

As I write these words, I have just been asked to be interviewed on a video podcast tomorrow. That’s short notice, but I expect the conversation to be freewheeling, so I shouldn’t need to do anything to prepare. When an interview is specific to a book I wrote a year or several years earlier, I really don’t remember it and need to go back and reread or at least skim it, but in this case I don’t think I need to do any prep work. I just need to remember it’s video, not the more common audio-only, so I shouldn’t go digging in my ear or <gasp> pick my nose during the interview.

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Warm Yourself With Winter Reading

Warm Yourself With Winter Reading

Although the Polar Vortex is gone—at least for now—and despite Punxsatawney Phil’s predictions of an early spring (and did you know that statistically he is wrong more often than not?), most of the nation is still in a deep freeze.

What to do with your free time? It’s not gardening weather; it’s too early to plant anything. You can’t go out and practice pitching or batting. You can’t shoot hoops. Not with snow still on the ground in many places, and ice in some. If you’re into winter sports, great, but most of us don’t own snowshoes or a snowmobile, nor live near ski slopes.

How about staying in where it’s warm and curling up or stretching out with a good book?

Books are really an all-season enjoyment, but reading is particularly satisfying when there’s nothing else to do but watch TV. (Blecchh.)

You can buy new books, re-read old faves that you have on your shelf, or go to your local library to borrow a few books (or more. (Naturally, as an author, I hope you’ll BUY a book or a few books to help support my fellow authors—or maybe even buy one of my own books.) But reading books is good wherever you find them.

The dark and cold of winter is a good time to read new books (or books you simply haven’t read yet) from your favorite author, or in your favorite genre, whether that’s sci-fi or self-help, parenting or romance or inspirational/motivational. Bios of famous people? Tell-all tattlers? Political musings? Cookbooks? Craft and hobby help?

So pick a book to read. Heck, pick a few books. And settle back in your favorite comfy chair, or stretch out in front of your fireplace if you have one, or stretch out on (or in) your bed and READ.

Spring will be here before you know it!

Let's Not Promote Hate

Let’s Not Promote Hate

I was reading an unpublished manuscript—I don’t want to name the title or the author, and the circumstances of my reading it are irrelevant here—but the book, a work of fiction, made a group of Muslim refugees the “bad guys.”

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When someone does something well, do you tell them you thought they did a good job? When YOU  do something well, whether it’s cooking a difficult and impressive recipe, growing some spectacular orchids, doing an amazing cabinetry job, or giving a great speech, don’t you like to receive praise that tells you your efforts were appreciated?

Authors are no different. We like to know that our readers appreciate our books.

There are several ways in which you can praise an author’s work. The one that does him or her the most good is to post a good review online. Where did you by the book? If you bought it on Amazon, you can leave a review there. If  you bought it somewhere else, then leave a review wherever you bought it.

There are other things you can do, too. You can post a notice on your Facebook timeline. “I just read a fascinating book,” or whatever words best describe it: “very well written,” “compelling,” “useful,” “helpful,” “marvelous”…. If you’re on other social media, you can post notices there, too.

And you can write to the author directly. Many times, an author’s bio in the book, on the back cover, or on the website from which you bought the book contains a link to the author’s website, and almost all websites have a contact page with a link or a form whereby you can send a message to the site owner—in this case, the author. Your message can be as short as “Loved your book [and insert the title here, as the author may have written more than one book, so let him/her know which book you are referring to].” Or you can be a bit lengthier and tell the author why you loved or liked his or her book.

If you can’t find a direct contact link for the author, try sending him/her a note c/o his/her publisher. Most publishers will forward to the author any email or snailmail that comes in for them.

But authors are people, just like you. They like to know their efforsts are appreciated. Why not tell them? Or tell the world how much you enjoyed what they wrote.

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