Saturday, May 3, 2008

TBR

Three days until Generation Dead hits the stores...

My good friends at Girl's Life are running an animated banner ad for GD that looks really slick. See it at www.girlslife.com here. You might have to refresh the page a couple times because it rotates with a couple other banner ads.

There is a new review of GD that actually makes me blush at The Story Siren that you can read here. Even I wanted to buy the book after reading it.

Speaking of buying books, I've kind of been going on a tear lately. My TBR pile looms and leans, threatening to crush me under weighty words. I've read 51 books thus far this year, and I've got at least that many more waiting.

I don't throw that number out to brag, although non-readers generally gasp if the sheer volume of my reading comes up. "Wow!" the exclaim, and I ego trip for a brief moment until they continue with "So that explains why you are a pale, myopic hunchback!"

Much of what I read is not Great Literature, although much of it is. I like steak and cheeseburgers (actually I'm not real big on red met, but it's late and that was the best I could come up with. I read for pleasure, but I'm lucky enough that my business life and my pleasure life have intersected and merges.

There are three things that a writer needs to do. There may be many more, but there are three that I am absolutely certain of. The first is obvious, but you would be surprised at how many aspiring writers overlook this simple fact: a writer needs to write. Second, a writer has to read. This is a law I am certain of. I'm less sure of the laws based around what and how a writer should read, but I'm sure of what works for me, in the same way I know "Crushing Belial" or "Where Eagles Dare" will get me going at the keyboard.

I read writers I admire obsessively, and if a work catches me I will probably rush out and get more from the same author, so I'm the proverbial "loyal reader". If I really, really like a book, I'll read everything the author wrote even if I hate the next couple I read. I take notes when I read. I read a metric ton of genre fiction every year, a lot of horror and science fiction. I will read a few classics I've somehow avoided each year, and I'll reread a handful of books each year. About a quarter of what I read is nonfiction. I'm a sucker for mystery novels with recurring characters, and I look forward to each new Spenser, Elvis Cole, Derek Strange, Sunny Randall, Dave Robichaux, Easy Rawlins, Jesse Stone, Nick Stefanos,Joe Pike, and Fearless Jones novel that comes out. I read books that I know are bad and sometimes I enjoy them. Sometimes I enjoy them because they are bad. I suspect that the bad books won't make me a better writer the way the good books have the potential to do. I read the Hot New Writers. I love old paperbacks from the 60's and 70's. What I read is usually, but not always, completely disconnected from what I'm writing. I'm in the library at least every other week. Strangely, I have read very little YA fiction, and am slowly beginning to correct that fact. I write a mini review of each book I read.

Again, that's some stuff that works for me.

A short review: 1. A writer must write 2. A writer must read.

I'll tell you the third thing later. I'm kind of tired and this writer must sleep.
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