Monday, 30 May 2011

What Are You Reading?

There are so many genres, so many wonderful authors, that sometimes its hard to choose.  Do you read more than one book at a time, more than one author?  And if so, why?

Do you finish reading a book once you start it or are you able to close its cover and move on to something else?  What do you think of the books offered at the bookstores or on line?  Are there fewer and fewer good ones to select from?

I'd love to hear your opinion.  I've been a reader far longer than a writer and I have noticed a difference in the quality and quantity of books being offered these days.  Or is it just me?  I'd love to hear your opinions.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Writers are Wonderful - Don't You Think?

And, as a newbie to the writing game, I'm not saying I'm one of the wonderful ones who work so hard - yet, in this morning in this post.  I'm speaking of those dedicated, professional writers who have thrilled, inspired, and motivated us with their books and speak, post, sometimes travel great distances to  book signings to promote their works..

The publishing industry today is a confusing one.  Whether a writer goes the traditional route - agents, publisher, print book, or e-book or self-publishing (according to the latest stats - sales of e-books are phenomenal) the road facing the writer is still a long, arduous, frustrating, but hopefully, when all is said and done, a rewarding one.

Writers today work hard at promotion - social networking on facebook, twitter, blogs and e-mail - as well as public appearances at libraries, book signings and the like. 

I live in Nova Scotia, Canada, our country stretches, like the U.S., from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans (unlike our wonderful neighbours to the south, we don't border on those warm southern waters) however, are population is much smaller and spread out. 

This morning I would like to mention three Canadian authors who are taking the time after the writer's conference to make for book signing at a local mall in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  They are Barbara Fradkin (Inspector Green series), Thomas Rendall Curran (Inspector Eric Stride series) and Mary Jane Maffini (Sleuth Charlotte Adams). 

Hats off to them and all hard-working authors who know the toil of promoting their products. 

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The Hook

Ask someone who sews about hooks and you will get a discourse on the different types, styles, strength and overall visibility.  Ask someone who fishes about hooks and you will get a discourse that could go on for days.  Ask a writer or reader about hooks and this is where the discourse moves from concrete to subjective.  The conversation takes on a very personal flavour.

In the submission process, writers put out the hook and hope a publisher or an agent takes the bait.  But like food and drink, the response varies according to taste.  The writer may choose to go the e-book route and hook the readers directly.  Again, it's a matter of taste.  In these cases, there's no right or wrong hook just preferences.

So, as a reader or writer, what is your all time favourite hook?  Why did it draw you into the story?  What made you want to know more? 

Monday, 16 May 2011

How Much Time Is Too Much Time

As a writer, I struggle with parcling out my day while trying to set aside time for writing.  I'm not always in balance.  If the truth be known, more times than nought, I'm out of balance.

We all live busy lives but when writing is added to the mix, priorities get shuffled, stress comes calling, and exhaustion works into our minds and bodies.  Commitments to family, friends, work, exercise, meals, leisure time all compete for our attention.  As a writer, the time I set aside tugs hard.  And, when I'm in the zone, balance is lost and chaos reigns. 

I would love to hear from fellow writers and readers (reading can be quite as absorbing and time consuming as writing) on how you find the struggle for balance.  And those enlightened souls who manage to do so, please share your secrets with the rest of us.   

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Let's Talk The Twist

A surprise ending in a mystery novel gives me one of my greatest reading joys.  I love to be outwitted by an author who plays fair, scatters clues throughout the book, and still manages to knock my socks off.  I take great pleasure in going back to the beginning and searching out the clues I missed. 

And when I find them, it's - of course, I should have seen it.  Nothing better!  As the years go by, I seem to be more adept at figuring out who the culprit is (sigh), although some of my favourite authors still manage to bewilder me.

How about you?  Who blew you out of the mystery waters? 

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Welcome Mystery Book Lovers

I haven been a fan of mystery books since I was very young and am still smitten.  I would love to dialogue with other mystery readers and writers.  I have made the transition from reader to mystery writer with the completion of my first short story The Potting Shed Murder which I recently uploaded on Amazon's Kindle.  I am excited about the transition but in my heart of hearts, I am and will always be a reader of mysteries. 

If you too have piles of TBR's all over the place, follow mystery blogs, are always on the alert for new mystery writers and re-read your favourites, it's safe to say you have been bitten by the mystery bug as well. 

Question:  Who is your favourite mystery writer and why?