Opinions

I love to talk. I don’t mean just the usual dialogue that happens between friends and neighbors or a phone conversation with my sister. Nope, I’m talking industrial sized, get the earplugs out, run for the nearest exit, Nina’s opening her mouth kind of chatter.

Seriously. Mr. Nina once bet me that I couldn’t carry on a one-sided conversation for the duration of a three hour car trip—once. The poor man’s ears were bleeding by the time we arrived and I was still going strong. LOL! I have no trouble finding things to talk about.

Marketing on blogs, twitter and facebook are not a problem for me. It releases some of those pent up words. But I digress. This post isn’t really about social media and marketing, it’s about how much I love to share.

So it’s no wonder when I finish reading a really good book, I’ve been known to send the author a note to tell her how much I enjoyed the story. But then I’m quick to give compliments as well. All of us hear so few good things in the course of our day, I like to be that little piece of happiness (and it goes back to my need to chat with everyone) that brightens someone’s day. But I’m an anomaly I’m sure.

It seems like so few readers are willing to write a review for a book they love, let alone pen a quick note or email to their favorite author.

And I wondered why. Is it a new trend created by a generation that would rather text a brief message 40 times a day before sitting down to write a newsy letter? Has it always been this way? I’m curious, have you ever written to an author? Have you thought about it and didn’t for one reason or another? Let me know. I’m curious like that. Because trust me authors love to hear from readers.

Okay, anyone who knows me understands two things 1) I’m assertive and really don’t mind if the opinions I share go against the grain. I don’t expect people to think like me, but I think it’s important to share all sides of a debate (as evidenced by this post). And 2) I hate it when I don’t understand something.

So when I kept hearing about the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) lawsuit against Apple and 5 of the big six publishers my spidey antennaes started twitching. But I’m not pubbed with the Big 6 (Harper Collins, Hachette, McMillan, Penguin Group, Random House, Simon & Schuster) nor do I have any manuscripts languishing, being held captive sitting on the desk of any editor or agent who will pitch my story to the big guns. So I was just kind of ignoring the tingle.

Then I noticed many authors were becoming impassioned by this discussion throwing around terms like “Agency Model”, “Author’s Guild”, “Collusion”, and “World Domination”, errr … I mean “Amazon Monopoly” and the twitch became a slow, burning vibration that could no longer be ignored. I’ve spent a good part of the last 3 days scouring the internet and annoying other writers to figure out what all the hoopla is about. And what I discovered is that this issue is a lot like taking a wild ride standing on top of a bi-plane… lots of wind with dips, twists and gasping that completely mess up your hair, but don’t seem to go anywhere. It’s very confusing and did I mention emotional? Yep, a bunch of “agreeing to disagree” stuff going on with this one.

First let me start with a couple of definitions:

Wholesale Model (or the way the big guys do it):
Publisher sets price ———-> Retailer gets book at 1/2 publisher’s price ————> Customer pays price RETAILER sets

Agency Model (Digital pubs & Self-Pubs):
Publisher sets price ———-> Retailer sells at set price (but receives 30% of sale) ——–> Customer pays price PUBLISHER set

That’s it in a nutshell. But if you’re like me and want a more indepth explanation check out Macstories. Yeah, I know the graphics on that blog are waaaay better, but I’m so much cuter. 😉

Anyhoodles.

Now the author’s guild (of which I’m not a member) and John Konrath are really slamming the whole Agency model of doing business. Why? Because if hardcover publishers use this model it really screws an author out of royalties. Mr. Konrath has a great post HERE about why it sucks (his words not mine).

For me, I repeat … For ME who is self-published and published through digital publishers, the agency model makes all kinds of sense. I know what royalty rate I’m making and whether it’s on net or cover price when I sign the contract. There are no questions.    Number of books X Royalty Percentage = Royalty Payment    Every. Single. Time.

So what’s all the hoopla you ask? Well, if you’re still with me I’ll explain. (In my terms and with a bit of humor NOT legaleze so hang tight.)

The DOJ is alleging that 5 of the big six publishers and Apple got together over double double lattes and scones to discuss how Amazon was soooo big they could undercut prices of books and sell them at a loss. If left unchecked this bully could eventually push other publishers out of business and become the only game in town. So these 6 discussed banding together and adopting the Agency Model of selling books. If they all agreed to a particular price for books as publishers, then through the agency model the retailer would have to sell them at that set price. No one could undercut. Unfortunately it’s illegal for a group of friends to make these sort of deals  lounging at the spa getting facials. Collusion is a bad thing and it’s the sort stuff that’ll get you a spanking (and not the good kind) and a hefty fine.

Jane from Dear Author has a very nice explanation of the whole lawsuit if you’d like more detail.

So how’s this affecting you as an author? Hmm, well, guess it depends on where your career fits in the publishing spectrum. The publishing landscape is changing faster than Cher at a concert and it’s important we all stay informed. Emotions run high when it affects our business. The trick is to gather all the information and make the best decision for you and your books. What makes sense for me might not be a good marketing strategy for you.

But I’m going to go out on limb and say … regardless of how the DOJ decides this case, I’m not placing bets on Amazon’s bid for world domination. Yeah they’re moving their armies across the proverbial Risk board. But see that strong hold over there at Kobo and the small armies sitting at Barnes & Noble? I’m betting that the next roll of the dice  will bring them right back into the game. What do you think?

 

One of the things that I’ve learned in this publishing business is that sales beget sales.

You just have to look at 50 Shades of Grey to see what I mean. Readers who wouldn’t have picked up an erotic romance novel, let alone one with a BDSM theme can’t get their hands on this book fast enough! Yet, the fact that this is the best-selling book across all venues (Amazon, iTunes, B&N) says that readers are buying it because everyone else is and they want to find out what all the fuss is about.

This is true of any book on the best-sellers list. A book reaching the top catches the attention of potential readers who buy the book and keep it on the best-selling list. Do the lists drive each and every person in the book-buying population? Of course not. But enough readers look to the top sellers either by category or in general to make decisions about their purchases.

Which means, as an author … WE WANT OUR BOOKS ON THOSE LISTS!

Until I was published for awhile I never quite understood the ranking numbers on Amazon. (And now B&N is showing rankings on books as well, but no categories like Amazon) Here’s a good break down for Amazon sales that I think is pretty accurate:

Bestsellers Overall Rank 8,500 to 40,000 – selling 1 to 10 books a day
Bestsellers Overall Rank 3,000 to 8,500 – selling 10 to 30 books a day
Bestsellers Overall Rank 1,000 to 3,000 – selling 30 to 100 books a day
Bestsellers Overall Rank 450 to 1,000 – selling 100 to 150 books a day
Bestsellers Overall Rank 200 to 450 – selling 150 to 300 books a day
Bestsellers Overall Rank 80 to 200 – selling 300 to 600 books a day
Bestsellers Rank 50 to 80 – selling 600 to 3,000 books a day

But the fact is, no one has been able to crack how Amazon calculates its sales algorithms. Which makes sense. They don’t want publishers to somehow manipulate sales and therefore rankings, which of course would then push more sales.

al·go·rithm
[al-guh-rith-uhm]
noun
a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps, as for finding the greatest common divisor

With the number of books being self-published growing exponentially it seems Amazon is now revising their algorithms to change how FREE! and $.99 books show up on the lists. Did they mention this? Well, no. And as much as I love math, being a science geek and all … I certainly didn’t put the numbers together. But some authors who have had their books in the KDP Select Program–where you can put your book up for free for up to 5 days in a 90 day period–are finding sales after going free have significantly reduced from when the program began. The theory is that the change in algorithms is making it so you have to sell more at a lower price to make it onto the best-selling lists.

Check out THIS post that discusses in depth the changes at Amazon. The original posts by Edward Robertson can be found HERE. Whether you’re an author or a reader you should take a look. Go ahead, I’ll wait …

Interesting what Amazon appears to be doing isn’t it? Are they trying to move authors (and therefore readers) away from the FREE! and $.99 bargains where they make little or no money from sales? Hard to say. But many authors are finding better success with higher prices. Question is whether that’s getting them up on lists where readers are finding them and purchasing the books or are readers perceiving higher priced books are better quality? Wish I knew the answer.

What I do know … and what I’m advising authors just starting out in the self-publishing business … what worked two years ago for John Locke and Amanda Hocking, heck what worked for your author friend just six months ago probably isn’t going to work as a marketing strategy for a book being published today. $.99 rolled into hundreds of thousands of sales a year or two ago. I don’t believe that will work anymore, especially with Amazon (possibly) working to change the rules of the game. Check out THIS POST to see how I’ve used the FREE! marketing technique for my series. Am I saying NEVER put a book out for FREE! or $.99? Not at all. I’m simply saying, carefully look at your particular circumstances and find a marketing strategy that works for you.

So blog readers … Is your book buying driven by lists? Are there other factors that influence your choices? Of course I’m asking … you know me, I’m curious like that.

 

Okay, I seem to be in one of those moods where the world is just making me scratch my head. (I rarely step into personal opinion mode, but I just need to spout today.) First RWA and now the American Humanist Association. If you’re not up for another rant you’ll want to move along now …

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure I want to let you know I’m Catholic. Baptized. Confirmed. And married in the Catholic church. And though I’m not practicing it’s who I am to the very soles of my feet. This information will become significant in a moment.

A few months ago a 16 year old high school student in Cranston, RI decided that the prayer banner hanging in the gymnasium of her high school violated her constitutional rights because it contained the words “Heavenly Father” and “Amen”. You see, she’s an atheist. She was forced to see the banner every time they had mandatory school assemblies in the gymnasium where it was displayed. And I suspect during mandatory gym classes as well.

Now wait … let me finish. She is welcome to her beliefs. This isn’t about that. This is about AHA standing behind this young woman to try to make a point. This young lady sued the school system to have the banner removed. The argument for the banner wasn’t to display the Christian beliefs, but to preserve an historic artifact. The prayer was written by a member of the first graduating class of the high school. Yes, the student body at the time the school was built in the 50’s was no doubt a homogenous group of middle income Christian young men and women. And it is true life has changed and that is no longer the case. But students with other religious beliefs didn’t find the banner offensive. They didn’t bring a lawsuit that cost the town and school system $150,000. (Like a school system in this day and age can afford that amount of money out of their budget. *headdesk*) It was this group standing behind this young lady (and covering her court costs) trying to make a statement.

I get it. There are atheists among us. So? There are also muslims, jews, buddhists, protestants, catholics and agnostics rubbing elbows with us at the mall or sharing a seat with us on the bus. Why do I care if they’re reading a Bible or the Koran next to me? I don’t. Can’t we all respect each other?

Because now it seems like the AHA is emboldened by having the court decide in their favor and now they’re going after a soldier memorial in Providence. The memorial is on city property in front of the town hall and displays a cross.

Seriously folks … why? I can honestly say that if this soldier had been jewish and the monument had a Star of David displayed, I would not be offended as I passed it going into the town hall. The monument is historical. Is this group of activists so intent on making sure nothing religious is displayed in public that they’re willing to erase all historical artifacts from every piece of public property in the United States? I seriously believe they’re going after another Rhode Island landmark because they know the state won’t spend the money pushing the lawsuit up the judicial ladder.

And it just irks me. I understand this group doesn’t want to be bombarded with religious symbols. But it’s a part of who we are. The United States is a melting pot. That means people of all races and religions are living within our borders. For goodness sake stop trying to act as if there is no religious history in our nation.

Am I way off base here? What do you think of all of this? Because you know me … I’m always curious about stuff like this.

This is a crazy month for me. Lots of traveling to visit family which is wonderful, but it also is cutting into my writing time. This is only a problem because I’ve really got to pull my act together and start working. I have plenty of projects, but I can’t seem to settle on one and get it finished. But I’ve decided that since my life is still kind of crazy at the moment that writing something totally new is a bit overwhelming. So I’ve decided to pull out a never-published book and do a complete rewrite. I’ve always loved the story, but it’s never caught the eye of a publisher. Which is fine. I’m sending it out in the world on my own. It’s a romantic suspense novel, which I understand isn’t selling through NY. Got to love this whole self-publishing avenue available to me now.

Anyway, since my other self-published books are beginning to sell I’d like to keep it going by releasing a new book. That means the pressure is now on to produce. Again, it’s my own personal goals that create the pressure, but still.

Every writer (whether they work full time at their craft or squeeze it in around another job) tries to find the balance between creating new stories and editing upcoming releases, promoting their books — and real life. Sometimes it’s a precarious balance.

I’ve found myself over the last few months ago frittering away my days. Bad. Very Bad. I spent my days typing at the computer, but somehow emails, Facebook, Twitter and visiting blogs were more important than putting words together to form chapters. 😀 hee hee. That’s me.

When I was in high school about every three months I’d fall apart, tears streaming down my cheeks claiming I couldn’t possibly live up to everyone’s expectations. My mother would calmly suggest I drop out of this or turn over the responsibility of something to someone else. I’d claim I couldn’t do it. Then I’d mop up my tears and rise to the challenge and of course I’d push through and meet all the deadlines and fulfill my responsibilities. It’s what I do.

After all these years, I’ve come to realize it’s how I’m hard wired. I can’t change it. Nothing but deadlines … a goal to finish by a certain date … works for me. It even happened when I was teaching. Even though I knew I wanted to create a new program I never buckled down and actually did it until I had the first group scheduled to come for the program. Then it was no holds barred until the research was done and the lesson plan complete. The deadline has to be real.

I’ve tried to participate in writing challenges, but there were no repercussions. No one except me knew if I didn’t finish. 1k 1 hour … just can’t seem to do it. I need to know something tangible is at the end. So, after being a published author for nearly four years, I’m finally figuring out what makes me tick.

So authors, how do you work best? Do you find deadlines (either actual or self imposed) motivational or do you like the freedom to create at your own pace? And if you have any secrets about keeping your productivity up, please share!

Curious authors want to know.

With Amazon, B&N and other venues making it so easy to publish a book, there’s lots of talk in the publishing world about editing.

When I first started writing I believed I’d send my manuscript in and some editor-type person would have a look at it, tell me they liked it, but …

And I thought that “but” would be how to improve, make it stronger and yes, could they please send me an advance check and they’d be happy to work with me to get my manuscript ship shape and on the local bookstore, Target and Wal-mart book shelves.

Ha! Make that a hearty, roll on the floor, bust a gut, hahahahahahahahaha!

What I’ve learned in the years since I submitted my first manuscript is that publishing companies don’t have the resources to take a newbie writer and help them polish. Agents don’t want to represent someone who is still learning the craft. I’m not criticizing … I’m just stating fact.

I do think there was a time when publishing houses molded and refined a manuscript. But that was loooong before the first “Once Upon a Time” ever got typed on my computer. I used to quake in my shoes when I read the words “polish to one inch of your manuscript’s life” on the submission guidelines for an agent or a publishing house. I don’t anymore, because I get it.

After I write my manuscript, I have a couple friends read it. Does it flow? Is it free of typos? Did I answer all the questions for the suspense plot? Did I do a reasonable job of making you care about the hero and heroine? I’ve got some awesome friends who are amazing when it comes to that stuff and I wouldn’t have the confidence to continue to submit my work if it weren’t for the efforts they put in for me.

Then, and only then, after I’ve gone through it line by line and they’ve gone through it line by line do I submit. That’s what the publisher/agent wants to see. They aren’t interested in seeing the first draft of my work. Heck, half the time, I’m not interested in the first draft of my work. 😀

But once the manuscript is accepted … that’s only the beginning. One of my novellas … which will remain nameless 😉 had to have a couple scenes rewritten before it even went into editing. No problem. I happily made the changes because the suggestions were awesome observations by the acquisitions editor.

Not all publishers edit the same and you should be aware of this before going through the process. There are some who simply do line edits … look for typos, misplaced or missing commas or the wrong “there”, “they’re” or “their” word. That kind of stuff. The editing department isn’t looking for plots that don’t come together or storylines that aren’t complete. They assume the author has done that already. Just be aware your potential publisher may fall into this category and make sure your novel(la) has been read by more than one person and all the ends are tied up (or not if it’s a series) satisfactorily.

Fortunately for me, the publishers I’ve worked with have full service editing department. That means the editors I’ve worked with (and I’ve had some amazing editors in my writing journey), point out poor wording choices or plot inconsistencies. (They’ve all given up trying to teach me about comma placement … I’m a hopeless cause when it comes to that. As a couple of them have said, I sprinkle commas like a pepper shaker.) Fortunately I’ve only had one who’s actually tried to change wording which actually changed my voice, but understood when I stuck to my guns. You have to remember, an editor’s job is to push me to write the best story I can.

Now that I’m looking to self-publish my first original book, I need to find a freelance editor. I won’t have a trusted person at a publisher looking through my book. I’m gonna tell you, it’s just a little intimidating, but I feel more comfortable knowing I’ve been through this process and I know what I’m looking for in an editor. It certainly will make it easier searching for someone who fits with my style.

Editing doesn’t hurt … it’s an awesome learning process for me. And I’m grateful to the publishers I’ve worked with who are so thorough with their editing. So don’t be intimidated when a publisher/agent asks you to edit your manuscript before you submit. They aren’t looking for you to be a NYT best seller right of the starting block … they just want to know that you care enough to send them your very best work.

Since I started the week on an educational bent, I thought I’d stick to that. Because over the weekend, 60 Minutes did a segment on a new trend known asredshirting“.

Wikipedia defines redshirting as:
“… the practice of postponing entrance into kindergarten of age-eligible children in order to allow extra time for socioemotional, intellectual, or physical growth. This occurs most frequently where children’s birthdays are so close to the cut-off dates that they are very likely to be among the youngest in their kindergarten class.”

Parents are doing this purposefully to give their children an advantage not just in school–but in life. The theory holds that if they begin school as the oldest student instead of one of the youngest in their class they will step to the head of the class in kindergarten because they’re bigger and more mature. Which in turn means they’ll begin first grade ahead of the curve and so on and so on, with the effect mulitplying over the years. It is thought that these children will grow up more confident and likely will become leaders at an early age. Schools are balking at the idea and holding staunchily to their entry dates. (Which vary by state.) Too many parents were redshirting children and causing problems in school districts.

Of course if a significant number of parents hold their child out of school then several “older” kindergartners will end up in the same classroom and negate the whole reason for keeping a child back. And many schools are finding second and third grade students who were redshirted have become behavior problems because they’re bored.

My husband has an early September birthday and he did begin school at 4. He is a smart man, but struggled all through school and didn’t really come into his own until he went to college. So when our son was born in mid-November, we were pleased he didn’t make the Oct 31 cutoff. He did begin school at 5 and was one of the first to turn 6. But you know what? He wasn’t a reader when he went into school. (Mostly because as an educator, I knew he had the ability, but not the interest and I didn’t push it.) He actually didn’t show an interest in reading until a third of the way through 1st grade where he went from the lowest reading group to the top reading group in two weeks when he figured out he enjoyed reading books, not just listening to his parents read them. As the youngest of three he is a gentle soul and defers to others and their feelings when it comes to making decisions. It’s just not in his personality to be a leader.

I don’t know about this whole thing. I guess I’m just a little jaded. I’ve watched the kids who were ahead of the game in the first few years of elementary school flounder as their peers caught up with them then surpassed them. Very few held on to those positions. They seemed to stumble and faulter when they were no longer number one, not sure how to handle a setback. Leadership and confidence is so much more than age and maturity. As a parent we can encourage our children, but there are some things that are part of who they are no matter how we push and cojole. (Not that I did that, I’m just saying.) Natural leaders just seem to step out of the crowd. Maybe not in kindergarten, but they certainly come into their own. They can’t help it. It’s part of who they are.

So what do you think? Have you heard of this redshirting? How do you feel about it? Because even when it’s not related to writing, I’m curious.

This is one of my favortie posts from years past. Since I’m taking an unexpected trip home for family business, I don’t have time to come up with something original for my blog. I hope you’ll enjoy this post from a few years ago…

We’ve already established. I read ROMANCE. I write ROMANCE. I’m not ashamed. I don’t hide it and frankly I don’t care if other people think I’m some bimbo who’s not capable of understanding a complex sentence or able to string more than three words together without giggling. What I choose for relaxing has no bearing on whether I can discuss the latest green technology or cook a seven course meal (which I can’t, but that’s not my point).

So the romance genre gets a bad rap. Who cares? Get over it.

There have been blog posts in the past where people have lumped the whole genre under “Bodice Rippers“. The outcry from romance authors was a firestorm of indignation. Comments posted on the blogs went viral. I couldn’t understand why it mattered. Granted, the term Bodice Ripper seems to originate from a 1980 New York Times article:

“Women too have their pornography: Harlequin romances, novels of ‘sweet savagery,’ – bodice-rippers.”

It no doubt was spurred on by images of covers like those above (which I love, thank you very much). It’s meant as a derogatory term. Yeah, so? Some people don’t like romance. Like this guy who thinks romance is disguising itself as thrillers, suspense and paranormals. Um, no buddy, romance stories ARE thrillers, suspense and paranormals. But you know it’s okay if he doesn’t like romance. I don’t like Dr. Pepper, rude people, documentaries about wars or men named Charlie (that last one I just made up). Sue me. Point is, Dr. Pepper commercials will never appeal to me no matter how much dancing, cute puppies or sexy men are involved. They aren’t going to get me to buy their product.

Not only do I write romance, but I go even deeper into the red-headed stepchild realm by daring to write smut porn erotica. And no matter how much someone might like romance stories (despite the fact that even mainstream is becoming hotter and hotter) there are some who wouldn’t pick up an erotic book if George Clooney said he’d read it to them. Frankly, I’d let George read me my grocery list … but I digress.

I’ve had people look down their nose at me and claim I write Smut. “That’s ROMANTIC smut actually.” See? I don’t care. When someone says they wouldn’t like my stories because they don’t read that. I smile and tell them “oh, but you’d like mine”. Okay, maybe not the erotica, but still, I’m proud of what I write. I’m happy to be part of the biggest market share of the publishing industry.

An English professor at the university I attended a few years ago said “Hemingway is way up here. We’re somewhere down here. Our goal is to improve in writing so we’re somewhere in the middle. That means we’re successful.” Ummm, excuse me? Hemingway died a lonely alcoholic at his own hand. Most people read his stuff in high school or college classes and never think about it beyond the test. That’s really not what I’m striving for. I want to entertain, to sweep readers away on a fantasy and if I can create memorable characters along the way that wiggle their way into the reader’s hearts … all the better. Yeah, I’m quite happy being part of the Bodice Ripper genre thank you very much.

I don’t know if Hollywood is getting lazy or if there are just so many cineplexes with 8 and 10 movies running, but it seems like more and more books are being brought to the big screen. Of course it may be the phenomenal successes of the Harry Potter and the Twilight series that are fueling the frenzy. I’ve read a few of the books that have been made into movies and seen a few of the movies without reading the book. Since there’s always the question of whether the book is better than the movie or vice versa, I’m never sure which way I want to go. But let me just share a few of the book/movies that have come out recently or are soon to be released.

Water For Elephants
This is a movie I saw, but didn’t read the book. The movie was well done in that the violence toward human and animal is intimated, but done off-screen. I’m not sure how they handle it in the book, but even in writing, violence is very hard for me to handle. I enjoyed the movie, but the ladies sitting in front of me from a bookclub enjoyed the book so much more.

The Help
My mother read this book last summer and highly recommended it. And though it was on my TBR list, I hadn’t gotten around to it by the time the movie was released. My daughter and I saw it. I haven’t cried so much in a movie in a long time. What I liked best is the story of these african-american maids was told through the eyes of a caucasian author who is simply trying to share the trials and tribulations of their lives in a book she is writing. It is so well done and I have no doubt the author of the book, Kathryn Stockett based the stories on a lot of research. Thankfully, it’s interspersed with lots of humor and the movie is very enjoyable despite its difficult subject matter.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I read this book. Correction … I tried to read this book. But I was part of that 1% that just couldn’t get into it. And I did something I don’t usually do, I forced myself to keep reading, convinced that if so many people enjoyed it, surely I would get to the good parts. It never happened. I abandoned the book with a mere 50 pages left. Really, I couldn’t get through it. I will however, go and see the movie. I desperately want to know what the “mystery” was around the story. The missing girl? The murder? I’m not sure. I did read into it enough to know what happened (or didn’t happen) to the girl … yeah, well I figured that out the first time she was mentioned. Anyway, I’m hoping I’ll enjoy the movie, though my son already told me the ending stinks. His girlfriend, who loved the book, said it was true to the story, which is not surprising since there are two other books in this series.

Hunger Games
I’ve been hearing so much about the book that when the trailer showed at a movie I was watching I knew it was time to check it out. I’m currently reading the book and the premise of 24 young people battling to death is intriguing. I’m only half way through, but since I can’t put it down, I expect to finish it in the next day or so. Since I’ve just admitted I don’t like violence, I’m wondering how the author will handle the visciousness that will be the killings. I really don’t want the heroine of the story to commit any horrible murders even if it is to save her life. Anyway, this is one of the few times I’m actually reading the book with the anticipation of seeing the movie.

One For The Money
This is another example of a genre I just couldn’t get into. I listened to one of Janet Evanovich’s stories on audio books, but wasn’t moved to read any others. There’s such a huge following for Stephanie Plum who find the books laugh-out-loud funny that I have no doubt I’ll drag Mr. Nina to the movie when it comes out. I’m sure it will translate well to the big screen.

So what about you? Do you enjoy book to movies? Are there any movies that you’ve seen or books that you’ve read that you would recommend?

I know. I know. So many of you out there really don’t care for the The Twilight series.

I love the premise of the story. I loved the books. There I’ve said it. It’s not a popular feeling among my collegues and I almost didn’t say anything about my love of these stories because I know so many who visit here don’t like the stories at all.

Yes, some famous authors and some not so famous authors have said that Stephanie Meyer is basically a hack writer. I don’t know about that. Many say the same thing about Nicholas Sparks. But both of these authors have found a voice and stories that resonate with readers.

Isn’t that what we want as authors? Isn’t that why we tell our stories? To connect with readers and hope they fall in love with our characters even as they fall in love with each other? As much as many people don’t like either Meyer or Sparks, they definitely have connected with a significant number of readers, including me. And at the moment I couldn’t tell you what has me devouring these books when I pick them up. Maybe because they are quick reads and fit the bill when I’m looking for something that isn’t deep with complicated twisting plots. Ya know, kind of a “beach read”.

What do you think? Love ’em or Hate ’em? (I don’t think there’s any middle ground.) And will you be among the masses (like me) making your way to the theater to watch the movie? Here’s the trailer…

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