Survey Sunday

What is your favorite genre for reading and writing?

It’s hard to choose just one for each of the categories! I love to read mysteries, historical fiction and nonfiction, sci fi and chick lit. Over the past 12 months, I’ve participated in four wrimos and have written in a few different genres. I finished one sci fi novel, as well as a sci fi fantasy romance, started a mystery and struggled through the beginning of another sci fi story. My project for November is a suspense novel with a few sci fi and romance elements. I’m equally comfortable writing in terms of the real world as I am speculative fiction. 

What’s the last book you read? Did you enjoy it? Give us your thoughts. 

The last book I read was a YA novel called They All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach. It was centered around four high school seniors whose lives change abruptly when an asteroid is on a collision course with the earth. I enjoyed it on the whole because it had excellent character development and deep plot lines as they adjust to the likelihood of the fate of the planet. I won’t give anything away, but the end was very much a cliffhanger that left the typical wrapping up of storylines unresolved. I didn’t particularly like that element because it felt so abrupt. Normally this doesn’t bother me, but in most cases of books that end this way, there are a few clues as to what might happen. This may just be me, but that’s my take on it. 

Do you prefer paper books or ebooks? 

I love both. I grew up with paper books, so I love the touch and smell of reading one. Ebooks are great, too. Storage is not an issue and the backlit displays are very easy to see. 

What’s your take on fanfiction?

I love it. I know there are various mindsets among authors on this issue, but I think writing or reading fanfiction can be very rewarding. Before the Internet and sites for fanfiction, I can imagine a lot of creative types wrote it before anyone gave it a name. I know I did; I wrote a resolution to the end of the television show Quantum Leap as a teenager. In my opinion, anything that gets more people, especially the young, involved in reading and writing is a good thing. Writing on the basis of already established characters and plots and still being able to make it feel authentic and true to the source is not easy, and I think it prepares a lot of the skills one uses to write original fiction. I know a lot of people started out in a fanfiction setting and kindled their love of writing into the world of original works. 

What’s your favorite way to spend your free time?

I love to relax by hanging out with people I love or being alone… Both suit me equally well. I love reading, watching films, listening to music, exercising, shopping. There are many ways to fill a free day, depending on what’s going on!

Self Publishing

This morning, I need to speak my mind on a topic which I know is relevant to every writer who decides to publish. I am honestly quite tired of seeing so many derisive opinions regarding self publishing. I think it is wonderful that anyone who is willing to put in the long hours and other commitments to writing a book is able to have a fair chance to publish it, regardless of money or status. If only other things in our society were so equal!

Self publishing is an evolving form of media. Like it or not, it’s here to stay, so we might as well get our misconceptions straight.

I am early in the phase of my own publication journey, so I’ll use my experience as a consumer to explain my view. When I am searching for a new book to read, I have never separated traditionally published books from those that are self published. I ask myself the very same things as I am perusing the choices. Does the book interest me? Does it look enjoyable? How long is it? Is it reasonably priced? Did other customers have positive reactions?

I have never decided against buying a book because it was self published. I never will. After all, won’t the consumers be the ones to delineate what is good and what is not? As I read book lists on sources such as the USA Today bestseller lineup, there are quite a few self published books that rank alongside their traditionally published counterparts. Just like any other book, if it is well written and enjoyable, it will catch on with readers. Once it becomes a hit on its own merit, who will care from where it came? We read to be informed and entertained and challenged in our respective worlds. If a book covers these bases, it is among great company of other works that do the same. Indie music is celebrated, so why not indie books?