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Posts Tagged ‘About Me’

  1. My very first

    March 16, 2015 by Suzi

    I’ve got something kinda cool to share. The very first story I ever beta read is coming out in about a month. In early winter 2011, I hooked up with Stacy Stokes through AgentQueryConnect.com when we were both looking for beta readers. I’m not sure how many she’d critiqued before, but it was my very first time. Kinda scary and all that. What did I know about critiquing? Would she think it was too much… too little? Critiquing with someone new for the first time really gets your nerves going.
     
    In December we exchanged stories and I think it went okay. She still talks to me, at least. :) But that was the start of something new for me. I’ve learned so much from critiquing other people’s stories, and I’ve become a better writer, but I’ve also come to realize how much I enjoy critiquing and editing.
     
    Back then I was trying to connect with writers and I didn’t know anybody who was published. (Now I know lots. :) ) It was so cool to think then, and even now today, that I had a part in the journey of a story I was reading. That it could someday be published. And now for Stacy, that is happening soon.
     
    So for those who have not heard of it, Where the Staircase Ends by Stacy A. Stokes will be released next month and is now available for pre-order. Check it out here on Goodreads.
     
    Congratulations, Stacy. I can’t wait to read the final version (which she’s said has much changed).
     
    What about anybody else. What was the first book you ever critiqued and was it published?
     
    staircase
     
    Where the Staircase Ends by Stacy A. Stokes
     
    After her best friend orchestrates the lie that destroys her reputation, Taylor wants more than anything to disappear from her life. But when an accident turns this unspoke wish into reality, instead of an angel-filled afterlife, Taylor must climb a seemingly endless staircase into the sky. Instead of going up, the journey plunges her into the past. As she unravels the mystery behind her friend’s betrayal, she must face the truth about life and find the strength to forgive the unforgivable — unless the staircase breaks her first.
     


  2. What would you do?

    February 23, 2015 by Suzi

    So recently, I was at the library and saw this really cool book, but I realized it was actually a sequel. Luckily book one was available and looked just as awesome.
     
    But it wasn’t. The characters fell flat, the plot fell below expectations, the writing didn’t grab me, and I was disappointed. Which happens sometimes, but now I have a dilemma.
     
    Originally, I’d grabbed book two and thought it sounded intriguing. And I still think it does. But do I read it or forget it? Because one was a disappointment. And I can assume that the writing and characters will be similar in two. It’s not like it’s a minor complaint with book one; it was characters, writing and plot.
     
    I didn’t hate book one. I was just severely unimpressed.
     
    What would you do? Give book two a chance and hope it’s way better? Or give up and move on to another writer.


  3. Computer issues

    January 26, 2015 by Suzi

    This last week I’ve been having a problem with my computer and it’s a pain in the butt. It’s the keyboard. About half the time I hit delete, the key sticks and suddenly I’ve deleted a bunch of letters, sometimes a full sentence. Then I have to go hit undo, undo, undo…
     
    I’m going to try clean it, see if that makes a difference. But if not, I’ll have to get a new keyboard. This computer is maybe 6 years old, I’m kinda sorta guessing. So the connector for the keyboard to plug in isn’t even a USB, it’s one of those round thingies with the little spikes inside. Same with the mouse.
     

    Okay, it’s not really that old. :)

    Image courtesy of Exsodus / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    But even if my cleaning helps with the issue, I know eventually not too far down the road, we’ll need to replace the whole thing. (Six year computer, again)
     
    It got me thinking about wireless keyboards and computers. I’m not sure if our next computer should have a tower, or just get one where everything is built into the screen–an all-in-one computer. We have an external DVD drive now, cause the built in one went kaput, and that would be my biggest concern about not having the typical tower computer. I want to use CD/DVDs. But that won’t be an issue since we have the external drive.
     
    For those who still use desktops, do you have any advice? Go for an all-in-one computer or stick with a tower?

    Or does everybody now just use laptops? :) (I have a laptop too, and I’m not keen on getting two. I like having a desktop.)


  4. Merry Christmas

    December 24, 2014 by Suzi

    Image courtesy of duron123 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

     
     
    I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday.
     


  5. A difference of opinion

    December 15, 2014 by Suzi

    I know two people can read the same book and have different opinions about it. Some love the writing, others will think it sucks. Some think it’s an original story, others think it’s cliche. I’ve read enough book reviews to see that. There’s many reasons why people look at books differently, including simple things like their tastes or deeper things involving their history and lookout on life.
     
    Yes, we’re all different, so we see things differently.
     
    But sometimes I question a reviewer’s take on a book–it just no sense to me. Just recently I finished Flawed by Kate Avelynn. I enjoyed the story and after finishing, read through some one and two star reviews to see what the people who didn’t like it said.
     
    And I read something that kinda shocked me.
     
    Spoiler alert. If you don’t want to know the ending, skip ahead to where I say spoiler end.
     
    The reviewer was unhappy because the MC had a HEA. And I was like, huh? A happily ever after?
     
    -The MC’s mother died during the story.
     
    -The MC will have to deal with the affects of her father’s abuse for the rest of her life.
     
    -The MC’s brother killed her boyfriend, who was also the brother’s best friend.
     
    -The MC’s brother, whom she deeply loved, also killed himself.
     
    That is nowhere near a HEA to me. I guess the reviewer wanted the MC to either be physically hurt or killed and anything other than that was a happy ending.
     
     
    Spoiler End.
     

    So obviously, me and that reviewer have drastically different definitions of happy. :) I can understand people view stylistic things differently, but this difference of opinion seems big. And honestly, it makes me wonder about this person. What they are like and how they generally view life.
     
    Have you ever had a similar experience reading a review, not just a difference in opinion, but something that makes you curious about the reviewer and what it was in their lives that helped shaped their outlook, and hence the review you just can’t understand. (Sorry, that’s kind of a mouthful.)


  6. Skipping ahead or leaving it all behind

    November 10, 2014 by Suzi

    Not long ago I finished reading a book. And by finished, I mean I read the last few chapters. But I didn’t read ALL the chapters.
     
    This book is by a popular author but I never connected with the characters, didn’t find the story all that interesting either.

    Image courtesy of Traffic Barrier by mapichai / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


    Because of some busy times a few weeks ago, I put the book down at about the 60% mark, and I could’ve walked away. Would’ve never given it another thought, but I wanted to read the ending—which I’d sorta heard about anyway, but didn’t know the exact details.
     
    So I did something I haven’t really done. I just skimmed a few chapters and jumped to the end.
     
    The ending didn’t change my mind about the story, by the way, and I didn’t regret skipping 1/3 of the story.
     
    Usually, if I quit a book, I quit fully. I don’t look to the end to see what happened. I just stop. (Of course, I normally stop before the 60% mark though too. And really, the only reason I read that far was because it was going fast and I kept wanting to like it like everybody else did.)
     
    So I was wondering what others do. If you give up on a book, do you jump ahead to the end to see what happens? Do you read spoilers in reviews to get an idea? Or do you just walk away and forget it?


  7. Finding what you didn’t know

    November 2, 2014 by Suzi

    Halloween is over but I’m sure I got my fill of candy. The DVR is filled with some cheesy horror movies and some decent ones.
     
    A weird thing happened this week. Okay, it’s not really weird, but more surprising. I’ve seen all the Nightmare on Elm Street movies—or I thought I did. With all the horror movies on AMC this month, I found one I missed. And that surprised me. (Even though there’s like a hundred, I figured I’d seen every one. :) )
     
    The same thing happened with some books this same week. I stumbled upon an author I’ve never heard of. Amy Reed. She just released her 5th book (since 2010) from Simon Pulse and her books are the type of I would read.
     
    And I was like, why haven’t I heard of her?
     
    Maybe I’d run across one of her books somewhere, and maybe then the cover or title didn’t strike me to read the blurb. But usually I’d at least have some memory of that book. I don’t have any recognition of her name or titles.
     
    She writes in a genre I’d like to be in and she’s published (five times over) by a major publisher. None of her books are in our local library, but they are in the library of the city next to us—of which I frequent sometimes. So it’s just weird to me that she just got onto my radar.
     
    If it were some Indie author, I can understand, but I bet she’s in Barnes and Noble too. (I’ll have to look.)
     
    And now I’ll have to check out her books.
     

    Anybody else ever had a similar situation like this occur? When you discovered a prolific writer in your genre that you probably should’ve known about by now?
     
    Have you ever read Amy Reed’s books? 


  8. School rivalries

    October 12, 2014 by Suzi

    This last week two of my friends released their first collaboration together. Cassie Mae and Jessica Salyer. Secret Catch is a fun ya contemporary about a school rivalry and a girl and boy caught in between it.
     
    The boy is a football player and the girl goes to his rival school, and has a cousin who is very hateful towards anybody from the boy’s school. You’ll love both Tyler and Sam. They have a terrific chemistry and I’m sure you’ll be rooting for them being together like I did.
     
    Their whole story got me thinking about school rivalry things. I grew up in a town with two high schools. I didn’t know hardly anyone from the other school, and I wasn’t an athlete. Whenever we played them in hockey, football or basketball, the games were always big, but the rivalry was more in fun.
     
    Whereas in Secret Catch, the rivalry is serious stuff.
     

    In our town, we had three junior high schools. Two of the junior highs were funneled straight to each of the high schools. But the third school got split. Half went to one high school and half went to the other. So maybe that made a difference too because some athletes played against kids who had once been their teammates a few years before.
     

    Since I wasn’t an athlete, I have a different perspective, but I’m curious for those who were athletes. Does it make those rivalries seem more intense when you have a personal stake in that game? You’re involved, whereas I was just a spectator.
     
    Or maybe school rivalries weren’t as important to me because I’m not a super competitive person. That’s entirely possible too.
     
    And maybe there were so kids who were super serious about the rivalry, and I just didn’t know it.

     
    So I’m curious how it was for you. Were you an athlete in high school? Did you have any intense high school rivalries? Have you read Secret Catch?
     

    If you haven’t, go here to find it on Amazon.
     

    Secret Catch by Jessica Salyer and Cassie Mae
     
    Tyler Koontz is Trojan gold all the way. There’s nowhere he loves to be more than on the football field.
     

    Sam Nolan is Skyhawk red born and raised. With her mom’s depression problem and her dad’s recent death, she lives for her little brother who is a big football fanatic.
     

    There’s one rule in this town…
     

    Trojans and Skyhawks don’t date. EVER.
     

    So when Tyler and Sam fall fast and hard for each other, what are they to do? Keep it a secret of course.
     

    The problem is in a town this small, secrets don’t stay secret for long.


  9. Awknowledge this…

    September 28, 2014 by Suzi

     
    I just picked up a new book from the library, and I did what I usually do: Skim the first page and then turn to the acknowledgements. I like to see if an agent is listed, especially when it’s a writer in the same genre/category as me. And it’s interesting to see how some write their acknowledgements. Fun, with voice. Boring. Long. Short.
     
    The book I got is we were liars by e. lockhart. And no, that’s not my mistake. Neither the title nor her name is capitalized on the cover. For anybody that doesn’t know, e. lockhart is a successful (mostly) contemporary YA writer. I’ve read a few of her books and have heard a lot good about this one.
     
    So anyway, I was reading the acknowledgements and I’m like whoa. Holy name dropping. She sends thank yous to other successful writers including: Justine Larbalestier, Lauren Myracle, Scott Westerfield, Sara Zarr, Libba Bray, Gayle Forman and many many more. (Those were the ones I’m most familiar with.)
     
    And it got me thinking. Were most of these authors ones she met after becomming a well known writer? Or were some of them (I’ll assume not all, of course) her CPs that have been there during a lot of her publishing journey.
     
    It makes me wonder too if a lot of these authors who make the bestsellers list associate together. If they’re friend, or if they just have professional working relationships.
     
    Maybe in ten years, somebody will read my acknowledgement page and say, wow—she knows all those awesome writers? And I’ll be able to say, yeah—I’ve known them for years because they were my friends when I started out. They helped me become the writer I am today. (And well, maybe I helped them too. :) )
     
    Wouldn’t that be cool? (No need to answer, of course it would.)
     
    Do you usually read the acknowledgements page before starting a book?


  10. A happier reader

    August 3, 2014 by Suzi

    Last week I talked about getting novels, collaborations specifically, signed by both authors and how hard that can be. Rebecca Barrow had said this in her comment: I see your problem with author collabs, but I think the solution is easy–win the lottery and fly wherever you want to get them signed! Simple, right?
     
    And that got me thinking. I’d love to win the lottery, of course, but would it affect reading habits much?
     
    Yes, of course. I would love to buy a huge house and have the perfect library. You know, wall to wall shelves, a fireplace, and several comfy seating options. Fill it with hundreds of books. Thousands, maybe.
     
    But…
     
    Would I be a happier reader?
     
    Right now I have 308 books on my to read list on Goodreads. And I know I’m missing many more I’d like to read. And granted, I’d have a little more time to read if I won the lottery, but not that significant of an increase. And then my stress leves would increase.
     
    I’d have all these books on my shelf and no way of ever reading them. Not enough time. And I’d keep buying more books I’d probably never get to read.
     
    Wouldn’t that suck? Standing in front of your thousands of books knowing you’ll never get to enjoy them all. Even though they’re right there in front of you.
     
    I guess if I were super rich, I could hire an awesome therapist who would help me get through it. But still, every day I’d have too look at all those books I’d never read.
     
    Then again, I could share my special books with others, and that would make me feel better.
     
    Yes, that’s what I’ll do if I ever win the lottery. And hopefully the happiness of sharing will outweigh the depression of not getting to read all those books.
     
    So if you won the lottery and got to build your own personal library, would it stress you out to know you’d never have enough time to read all those books?