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Posts Tagged ‘About Me’

  1. 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.)


  2. 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?


  3. 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? 


  4. 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.


  5. 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?


  6. 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?


  7. Looking back

    June 29, 2014 by Suzi

     
    So I’ve been working on revisions for my current WIP, Varying Degrees of Blame, a young adult contemporary novel. I have a notebook for each story I write where I keep notes and ideas. I’m not a big plotter, but I do a little of it. Or character sketches. Or whatever.
     
    On the first page of the notebook for my current story are two names. Zander and Kylie. Originally, Zander had been my boy mc, and some of my beginning notes use that name. I don’t remember why, but I ended up using Christian instead. And now when I look back, I’m like, Zander—that is so totally not right. It doesn’t seem to fit him at all.
     
    Which is funny because I can’t really tell you what Zander looks like. It’s just not the boy in my story.
     
    Most of the time, once I’ve chosen a name for my mc, I stick with it. Secondary characters names may change, but rarely a main one. And I wish I could remember why I changed Zander’s name to Christian.
     
    But now I’m curious if others do this. Have you ever gone back into your old notes and seen where you’ve changed the name of your mc, and does that original name just seem foreign now? So much that you wonder what you were thinking almost using that name?
     
    Or is it just me?


  8. My Writing Process

    April 20, 2014 by Suzi

    I’m sure you’ve been seeing all the other writers doing The Writing Process blog post lately, and I was nominated by my friend Chloe Banks, who did her post last week. So now you will know all about my writing process.
     
    What I’m working on: I have so many manuscripts that need work. I did a lot of writing before I knew how to do it. So these manuscripts will need a ton of work, and eventually I’ll get to them. But right now I’m working on a contemporary YA about two foster kids. I just gave it to two more betas and hope to start querying maybe by summer time.
     
    How my work differs from others in its genre: I usually go for stories that are about the struggles of teens, whether it’s by their doing or someone else’s. A lot of time in these kinds of stories, the parents are not ‘good’ parents—which of course leads to those problems, or they’re blind to what’s going on with their teens. With my current story and some others, even though I have those bad parents, I also have ‘good’ parents who have a big impact on the main character’s life.
     

    Why I write what I do: I just love to see how my characters grow. Their struggles are real, and they often make bad choices at the beginning, but usually… by the end, the new choices change their lives in a positive way.

     
    How my writing works: I’m more of a pantser. I start off with a basic premise and write. More often now, I start thinking about character traits at the beginning, but I don’t necessarily have it all plotted out. Sometimes I’ll have the turning points, but other times I don’t know until after I start writing. Sometimes I won’t have the ending planned out yet.
     
    It’s different for all the stories, and since I write fast, I end up spending 10x the amount of time editing.
     
    So that’s about it. How about you?


  9. Morning or Night?

    February 23, 2014 by Suzi

    I recently read a post by a friend who admitted she was an insomniac. Since she was talking about getting her novel finished, I assumed she was saying she did a lot of writing at night. And this got me thinking about myself and others.

    Image courtesy of Gualberto107 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


    I’ve seen some people say they write better in the early morning, and others in the evening.
     
    I’ve done both. Written at 6:00 am and stayed up until 2:00 am.
     
    For me, it doesn’t really matter the time of day. What matters more is that it’s uninterrupted time AND if the story is flowing well out of my head. That may be in the early morning, afternoon, or later at night.
     
    So I’m curious how it is for others. If they write better a certain time of day, or if they’re more like me where the time doesn’t matter.
     
    (I apologize if there are a lot of mistakes in this post, because although I really like getting my sleep at night, right now I am wide awake and it’s 5:00 am.)


  10. That’s so cool

    February 17, 2014 by Suzi

    So last week was the release day for a fun new book by two of my friends. Theresa Paolo (writing as Tessa Marie) and Cassie Mae (writing as Becca Ann). I love both of the ladies and even got to meet them for real—not just online!
     
    And I also get to read lots of their stories. Ones that have been published and ones that will be published.
     
    Their first collaboration—King Sized Beds and Happy Trails (that title alone has to peak your interest, and you can read the story blurb below) got me thinking about how lucky I am.
     
    I started this blog in September 2011, and I’ll admit it was kind of lame. (Blogging definitely has a learning curve.) I’d read in other blogs about writers who had these great critique partners and lots of writer friends.
     
    But I had none. And I was kinda jealous of that. But it’s not like I was going to run out there and say, will you be my friend? (Even if that would’ve worked, I probably wouldn’t have done it.)
     
    Then I met this writer in early winter 2011 and we beta’ed each other’s stories. Then I met more writers. And I met Cassie Mae at the beginning of 2012. Then Theresa a few months later. And then they let me start reading their work.
     
    Now a few years later, I know a ton of writers. Some who are like me and haven’t been published yet. But so many more who have published with traditional houses (or are on their way there.) And many who’ve successfully self-published.
     
    It’s so cool to know all these awesome authors. They’ve helped me grow as a writer, and I get to read all these terrific stories, like King Sized Beds and Happy Trails. And eventually, when I am published, I’ll have some terrific resources who’ll help me get through the whole process. :)
     
    So I hope you all have those supportive writer friends too. And if you don’t yet, have patience because it doesn’t happen overnight.
     
    King Sized Beds and Happy Trails by Becca Ann and Tessa Marie
     
    Lexie Boggs needs out of her house… away from her alcoholic mother and far away from the “white trash” label that’s been smacked across her chest. She’s saved every penny from her multiple jobs so she can dart out of there as soon as she graduates. But there’s something else she wants so badly she’s willing to spend every dime she has. Her senior class trip and the chance to seduce the senior hottie, Sean Dixon.
     

    Ryan Parker knows how much college means to his best friend, Lexie. He also knows Sean is a player on a search for how many girls he can get in his bed. So instead of letting Lexie drain out her piggy bank, he forks out the dough to get her on the senior ski trip. Not only because she’s his best friend, but because he’s face-planted in love with her.

     
    When Ryan and Lexie get jammed in the same cabin, with one king-sized bed and a whole lot of history, Ryan fights to keep his feelings hidden, while Lexie discovers some of hers