What Stace had to say on Monday, April 5th, 2010
Guest Blog & Giveaway: Ann Aguirre

Ugh, I spent the whole weekend feeling lousy, holed up with a migraine and icky tummy and watching TV. So to anyone who went to Frolicon hoping to see me, I apologize.

But! Today I have a fun guest post here! As I promised last week, Ann Aguirre has popped by to chitty-chat with all of you and even give away a book or two. Ann is a great writer and and very cool person and is responsible for giving UNHOLY GHOSTS my favorite blurb ever in the world (“the ultimate bible of badassery.” How awesome is that?) So without further still-trying-to-feel-better blabber from me…

The Great Divide

When I have a new book out, I often do a few guest posts to raise my profile. But I hate writing about the work itself. In my opinion, it should stand on its own… or not. There’s nothing I can say that will make anyone like my writing more—and in fact, I’ve found that trying to talk yourself up just leaves people thinking you’re a douche and not wanting to buy your books anyway. So I don’t do that.

Which often leaves me scrambling for a topic. Today, I’m writing about what’s on my mind—the idea that authors can’t be reviewers or readers. I had a conversation on Twitter about this with KatieBabs, MCVane, and CranberryTarts. If there were others involved, I apologize. Feel free to chime in here on this post and remind me what you said.

I think there does come a point where you have to choose your hat. Before I sold, I reviewed. This was mostly to get free books because I live in Mexico, and getting new fiction in English is a pain in the ass. But I did it honestly; I tried to explain why things didn’t work for me. Granted, mine is only one opinion—and it doesn’t weigh more heavily than anyone else’s. So my reviews were not of great moment. I hurt a few feelings, I am sure. That was never my intention, but it happens.

However, as my career took off, I decided I was an author first. And part of that means not slagging off my colleagues because honesty aside, there is always the “competition” factor. People read your nasty review and think, damn, she’s just jealous that X is doing so much better than she is. It makes you come across as petty, even if you just genuinely didn’t like the book. MCVane said something that stuck with me, and made me go, yes, that. “Reviewers ‘sell’ their credibility. Authors ‘sell’ their personas & books.” I find this absolutely true, which means there is something of a conflict of interest going on there. It just makes good business sense not to alienate your colleagues, no matter how you feel about their work. If you hate a book, tell your friends; don’t tell the whole internet.

That leaves the author and reader hat. I am, by choice, an author first, but I love books. I still love to read. I’m always bemused when I read authors saying they don’t read. I’m like, then why are you writing? Loving someone else’s work first is what made me want to do this in the first place. Books have always been there for me, even when life was so bad I had no other comfort, nobody else to turn to. But I could always get lost in a book and forget my own pain. As a kid, that meant walking on the highway, age at ten, two miles to the library in town, and one day, a guy in a green El Camino stopped to show me his junk. I ran into the fields and hid until he went away. But even that didn’t stop me from making my weekly trek because books were my world. That kind of lifelong commitment doesn’t go away because I’m writing my own stories now.

And that’s why I’m so puzzled when readers act like I’m not one of them. Like there is some great divide between us. I love words. I love pages. I love the smell of a book. I miss so much being able to go into an all-English bookstore and just stand there, totally surrounded by what I love. I may be a writer, but I am still one of you. I don’t slag my colleagues, but I don’t slag readers either. I respect you because you share my greatest love.
I am grateful when someone buys my books. I am grateful when they tell me I moved or entertained them. That’s so much more than I ever could’ve imagined, as that chunky ten-year-old girl trudging down the gravel shoulder of the highway, carrying a faded Jabberjaw backpack.

Feel free to disagree with me, if you think authors are no longer readers, or if you think authors should be writing fiery, controversial reviews. A random commenter will receive Blue Diablo (if they haven’t read it) and Hell Fire.

45 comments to “Guest Blog & Giveaway: Ann Aguirre”

  1. Cinnamon
    Comment
    1
    · April 5th, 2010 at 10:40 am · Link

    Is there actually a great author who was not first a great reader? I personally can’t fathom not loving to read but I really can’t figure out how one might not love to read and yet still love to write. I can see time constraints preventing an author from reading as much as they like, but it always feels like the best books – the books written by truly passionate authors – are always written by people who love the written word.

    Seriously, how weird would that be. “Mamma, I don’t really care for reading but I’m going to be a best-selling author some day!” It just doesn’t work. When have you seen a coach that doesn’t play his sport or a chef that doesn’t like food? True passion comes from immersing yourself in your craft – reading is a part of writing.



  2. Amber S
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    2
    · April 5th, 2010 at 10:57 am · Link

    Great post, Ann! Authors read probably more than the average reader, not just to keep up with market trends but because they genuinely love reading. I don’t understand how being an author exempts anyone from being a reader anymore.

    I haven’t read Blue Diablo but I love Sirantha Jack and would to give this series a try! Thanks for the chance to win :)



  3. Devon Ellington
    Comment
    3
    · April 5th, 2010 at 11:09 am · Link

    I think you have a lot of great points in that, especially that authors are readers. I mean, most of us got into this because we love books and we love stories.

    The whole reviewing thing is a bit of a sticky wicket. I totally understand your point and I think it’s great that you made the decision that works for you, and that you put your own writing first.

    I’m published, I make my living writing, but none of the names I write under have the recognition you do. One of my steadiest and best paying gigs is as a book reviewer for a Major Publication. The reviews do not have bylines, and I had to sign a confidentiality agreement when I passed the initial test that I would not review the books elsewhere, etc. I am allowed to use the reviews as clips to land other paying gigs. And I’m honest in my reviews, stating what does and doesn’t work and why.

    The agreement I made with my editors is that, if they assigned me a book by someone I know (be it virtually or in person), I would tell them and we would discuss whether or not I should review the book. If we all agree, even if the writer is a friend, I review it. However, I do not tell that person that I was the reviewer for this particular publication. Very few of the people who know me know I work for them (confidentiality agreement). I also told them that, if they assigned me a book by someone whose writing I loathe, or who I can’t stand as a human being, I would return the book so they could assign someone else and the book has the best shot at a fair review.

    We all work too hard in this profession and it’s too hard to earn a living for us to turn on each other without good reason.

    When I talk about books I like in my blog or tweet about them, I’m specific about title and author, etc. When I’m discussing a book I don’t like, I often don’t mention title or author, and I’m careful not to reveal too much detail. I’m not here to hurt anyone.

    However, I also think it’s important for a certain segment of the critical population to speak out when there’s something that really bothers them about the book, or if someone is being a hypocrite or whatever. Genuine criticism is an art, and I think we can all learn from it.

    Unfortunately, so much of what passes for book “reviewing” nowadays is either a grade-school level “book report” or a personal vendetta.

    In the rare times when I believed I had the evidence to back up a strong critical argument, I said what I had to stay and stood by it. When I don’t feel I can fashion a truly solid critical argument, or I think that personal bias influences my response, I keep quiet and huff and puff at a friend or two or in a personal journal.

    it’s a tightrope. I hope to be in your position someday, where I’m publishing solidly enough and earning enough to give up some of the other gigs and I can make the same choice. And if I’m asked to do a guest review for Some Big Publication, I’ll have to consider it on a case-by-case basis.

    Until then, I do the best I can, and I try to be as fair as I can.

    Funnily enough, I’m writing this on a break as I’m struggling to finish a review!



  4. synde
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    4
    · April 5th, 2010 at 11:12 am · Link

    love your books Ann! Awesome to see you here…thanks for stopping by



  5. Cherry Mischievous
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    5
    · April 5th, 2010 at 11:12 am · Link

    I think it’s a matter of choice really. Individual preferences, and all that. But frankly, it never even crossed my mind that somebody should stop reading because he/she started writing. Illogical. But then there are a lot of people out there who does not make sense to me, so there you are… However it does make sense to me that once somebody becomes a writer that he/she should start excersing good marketing sense, i.e., don’t slam another author. How far one would go to accommodate good marketing sense against one’s need to tell the truth in incindiary form is ones decision. And that is my 2 cents 😉 …



  6. Cherry Mischievous
    Comment
    6
    · April 5th, 2010 at 11:17 am · Link

    Re-posted your contest at: http://contests-freebies.blogspot.com/2010/04/win-ann-aguirre-books-at-stacia-and.html

    Twitted: http://twitter.com/cherrymischivus/status/11650044942

    And thank you for the chance to win and start reading this series!! Wonderful!!



  7. Cherry Mischievous
    Comment
    7
    · April 5th, 2010 at 11:18 am · Link

    changed the twitted url, here is the right one: http://twitter.com/cherrymischivus/status/11650991168



  8. Christa Holland
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    8
    · April 5th, 2010 at 12:20 pm · Link

    I can see the problem between being a reviewer (online especially) and being an author. It really has potential to come across as needlessly bad-mouthing the competition, whether that’s the intention or not & so that element has to be weighed against how you want to be perceived as an author. I would make the same choice to stop reviewing in that situation. (Of course, I’m mostly speaking of those that aren’t making money reviewing… if it’s your day job, that’s a whole new topic).

    However, I agree that authors that stop reading puzzle me to. I mean, I understand that reading time gives way to writing time, so they may read less (a lot less, depending), but to stop reading all together? Where’s the “refill” of their creative tank coming from then?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts & inviting us to participate. I’d love a copy of your books… I haven’t read either yet, but I’ve eyed them in the store before reminding myself I shouldn’t spend the money, lol. 😉



  9. KMont
    Comment
    9
    · April 5th, 2010 at 12:23 pm · Link

    I can’t imagine an author not also being a reader. Now, I have known some to prolong reading in the genre they’re trying to write until they’re done. That I can understand, but I’ve yet to see/hear of an author who gives up reading entirely. Don’t authors inspire one another? I would think that alone would be a great incentive.

    *Unfortunately, so much of what passes for book “reviewing” nowadays is either a grade-school level “book report” or a personal vendetta.*

    I must be ignoring the majority of book reviews then. Well, that’s probably very true actually, who has time to read the majority of them anyway. From what I do read, tho, this hasn’t been the case for me, the grade-school level or book report format. But hey – I loved book reports as a kid. Maybe that’s part of what makes me odd? Then again, I think opinions on reviews and what amounts to quality in them is as varied/subjective as opinions on anything else.

    And please don’t enter me in the giveaway. I’ve had a chance to read both books.



  10. CrystalGB
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    10
    · April 5th, 2010 at 12:54 pm · Link

    Great post Ann. I can’t imagine an author not being a reader. :smile: I love your books.



  11. Ann Aguirre
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    11
    · April 5th, 2010 at 1:48 pm · Link

    I have seen a few authors say they don’t much like to read, and it was shocking to me.

    Thanks for the great comments, everyone!



  12. Jackie B Central Texas
    Comment
    12
    · April 5th, 2010 at 4:52 pm · Link

    😀 {DO NOT ENTER ME just supporting Ann}Coming over to say that having read a great post like this it makes me so proud to say that have Blue Diablo proudly read and on my book shelf and Hell Fire is on it’s way to me in the mail! Truly dedicated young lady you were to “trek” for miles just to get your reading fix Ann, I am thrilled to know that you still love to read others written works as much as we your fans love to read yours.
    i really enjoy authors who come out at promotion time and give us some unique perspective on why they write as well as how much they love to read, really makes us more aware that you still “put your pants on one leg at a time even though you are a well known name in the reading and writing communities”! Thanks for the honest and personal post and more thanks for getting your wonderful imagination in print!

    jackie



  13. Mariska
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    13
    · April 5th, 2010 at 7:07 pm · Link

    OH, i love the smell of books too, Ann.
    And i rather stay in bookshop for two hours rather than do shopping :)

    And I love to read your books, since i haven’t read any !



  14. Kate L @ YzhaBella's BookShelf
    Comment
    14
    · April 5th, 2010 at 7:30 pm · Link

    Words are our passions, the outlets for our tears, and the alternate universe that we can escape to any time, any where, and for any reason! I can’t understand why an author would not want to read, unless he or she simply finds more words after a long day of writing to be daunting.

    Just because I am not an author (yet(???!!!)) doesn’t mean I can’t share the same satisfaction from reading the written word an author would gain from writing it. And, of course, the reverse is true as well! Every writer was a reader before they ever became an author!

    I agree that writing a review may be viewed as “slagging” the opponent, for some. But, honestly, we are all readers who are entitled to our own opinions. If an author doesn’t particularly like a story, I don’t think he or she should be expected to withhold his/ her opinion. There is most definitely a right and wrong way to express that opinion, but as a long as the reviewer is honest and eloquent in their views, then I say go for it! Whether he or she publicly shares a review, depends on his/her level of comfort with the choice of platform. This all boils down to one thing and that is choice. To review or not to review is one’s choice and one should never be condemned for making that choice. If I review a book I didn’t like, I would be sure to be polite and respectful, but still get my point made. If others can’t see that I am simply sharing my thoughts, with no ulterior motive, then that is THEIR choice and they need to own it.

    Lol, thanks for letting me blabber on! I’d love to be entered for the draw for Blue Diablo & Hell Fire!



  15. Lisa Richards
    Comment
    15
    · April 5th, 2010 at 7:39 pm · Link

    I can see where an author may not have as much time as they would like to read but if they don’t read how do they know what we want to read.



  16. Angie
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    16
    · April 5th, 2010 at 8:13 pm · Link

    I agree with you about not reviewing. I think it’s kind of ridiculous that we have to refrain, mind you. I know I’m objective about this sort of thing, and anyone who knows me knows that I never bullshit about writing, ever, whether the person who wrote a story is my best friend or my worst enemy. The vast majority out there who don’t know me can’t be expected to know that, though. So yeah, whenever a writer posts a negative review, there’s always going to be a thought swirling through the audience about pettiness and jealousy and trying to backstab the competition. Which is annoying, but there you go, that’s how people are.

    Angie, who not only doesn’t review, but doesn’t post star-ratings for fiction on places like Goodreads



  17. Brenda B. Hill
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    17
    · April 5th, 2010 at 9:42 pm · Link

    A writer who does not read is not a writer. All writers read and they get ideas for their own stories by reading. Any writer who says they don’t read is not a writer…

    I am subscriber

    I follow via twitter (@misskallllie2000)

    RT 4-5-10
    Latest: StaciaKane Hey all! @ann_aguirre is over at my blog, being all deep & giving away books! http://www.staciakane.net/2010/04/05/ann-aguirre/ Retweeted by you less than 20 seconds ago



  18. Ann Aguirre
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    18
    · April 5th, 2010 at 9:48 pm · Link

    Well, everyone has to make that choice, in terms of the reviewing. For me, it wasn’t worth risking alienating my colleagues. I don’t think I have the right to decide for anyone else, though.



  19. Jessica S.
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    19
    · April 6th, 2010 at 3:44 pm · Link

    At some point all writers are readers. Why would you write things if you don’t enjoy reading them? I love reading urban fantasy and that’s why I am writing urban fantasy and plan on being a published writer someday soon. *wishing on stars right now despite daylight hours! :mrgreen: *

    In terms of reviewing, well everyone has an opinion but it’s harder to review when you are an author because people will think you’re comparing it to your own writing or something. In terms of long reviews.

    We know that authors still love to read because we see their comments or blurbs or whatever they are technically called on covers of books that praise it and I think that’s enough. Or even a small paragraph, because usually that’s where the quote comes from right? I am only guessing on that info here, I really have no idea how accurate it is. But sometimes when readers see that little comment from an author they like it might inspire them to buy the book of a new author. So, really it reviews or these comments from other authors on books can be helpful to gain new readers.

    I’ve tried several new authors because I’ve seen authors whose books I love, have praising comments written on the covers of new books and now I love those books and authors as well.



  20. Mardel
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    20
    · April 6th, 2010 at 9:08 pm · Link

    I agree that as an author, you need to be very careful with reviews if you even review anymore. There is a big chance of alienating colleagues. What if you end up having to share a panel, or book signing with someone that you had written a bad review about? It could get awkward.

    There are a few writers who do write about books that they’ve enjoyed, and that’s probably a good middle ground. A lot of readers of one author probably would be interested in what books that author has enjoyed.



    • Mardel
      Comment
      20.1
      · April 6th, 2010 at 10:31 pm · Link

      Stacia, hope your migraine has left you! Those little demon-headasches suck!



  21. Aik
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    21
    · April 7th, 2010 at 4:34 am · Link

    I think a writer definitely has to be a reader before he/she can produce a “masterpiece”. If a writer doesn’t read, I can’t imagine how he/she can write books for others to read! I’ve never read both books, so I’d like to be entered for the contest! Thanks!



  22. Sandy G
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    22
    · April 7th, 2010 at 8:05 am · Link

    I can understand why a published writer wouldn’t want to write book reviews. And actually If it’s an author I like I’d rather that they sepen the time writting more books for me for read.

    But I can’t see how any author can say they aren’t a reader. If you don’t love books and reading then why would you want to be an author?



  23. Tynga
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    23
    · April 7th, 2010 at 8:30 am · Link

    I totally understand you not reviewing books anymore, but I’m sure you can’t hold back when you really like a book. I know I wouldn’t be lol WHen I love a book I have to tell anyone, even my co-worker who won’t be reading said book because they don’t speak english. I’m actually working on some of them to push them and try reding english books lol

    And I guess being a writer makes it harder to read because you prolly don’t have as much free time for that stuff, but I see why you can’t away and like I have a hard time figuring out how an author can not-read. I love reading so much!

    Thanks for stopping by =) I’ve been wanting to read your books but haven’t got around to buy them yet, I guess there’s also my 130+ book TBR shelf holding me back to lol I’m such a compulsive book buyer o.0

    Tynga
    TyngaUF(a)gmail.com



  24. Ann Aguirre
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    24
    · April 7th, 2010 at 8:32 am · Link

    Sandy, time is also a factor. I’ve had to cut down my online stuff for this reason. I can write blogs or I can write books. Mostly, I do the latter. This was an exception. *g*



  25. Raelena
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    25
    · April 7th, 2010 at 9:07 am · Link

    I can see where writing negative reviews about others work is probably not a good idea, but if there is a book you absolutely love I don’t see why it would be a bad idea to review THAT book. It surprises me that some authors don’t read. I always thought that reading and writing would go hand in hand. That automatically, a writer would be passionate about reading.



  26. Caitlin U
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    26
    · April 7th, 2010 at 9:18 am · Link

    This was an amazing guest blog. I thought it was honest and I really like that. I am a reader and in no way a writer but I believe that its because we all like to get lost in the worlds and characters that is important and special. I can’t wait to get lost in the world you created.



  27. kisah jackson
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    27
    · April 7th, 2010 at 10:11 am · Link

    only a fellow book lover/reader can love the smell of a book! no one else understands! lol but seriously, if you read a book you love, why shouldn’t you be able to shout it from the rooftops if you wish?



    • Angie
      Comment
      27.1
      · April 7th, 2010 at 10:18 am · Link

      Kisah — well, suppose you make a habit of posting rave reviews on your blog every time you read a book you love. Then suppose you read a book by a friend of yours, and you don’t love it. Your friend knows you publicly rave about books you love, so when you don’t, they get hurt or mad. Or maybe they turn out to be one of those writers who goes insane on the internet and starts trashing you.

      I’ll occasionally join in a conversation elsewhere if someone comments on a book I loved, and I’ll do a “Me too — wasn’t that great!” comment, but I don’t do it very often, much less regularly, and I don’t do it on my own blog, so no one’s feelings get hurt if I don’t rave about their book. It’s a matter of wanting to avoid drama. :/

      Angie



  28. Caitlin F.
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    28
    · April 7th, 2010 at 10:27 am · Link

    It never occured to me that writer would NOT be a reader. They’re two sides of the same coin. Writers love words, readers love words. To me, it just makes sense.

    I can understand not reviewing though. Even an honest opinion can be taken the wrong way. Just because you didn’t like the book doesn’t mean you think the writing is bad or you think less of the person who wrote it. The material itself just didn’t work for you. Every reader has different tastes, so do writers.

    I haven’t read either either book, but I’d love the chance to. Thanks very much.



  29. Stella (Ex Libris)
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    29
    · April 7th, 2010 at 12:02 pm · Link

    I think it is absurd to say that an author isn’t a reader. Or if there are some authors who don’t read well that would sure make me pause and shock me. Don’t you become an author because you had a story to tell? A story you weren’t able to find anywhere but wanted to share with the world? For me the possibility of someone creating stories but not reading them is hard to believe. In my opinion the two go together.

    But I agree with what you wrote Ann. Once someone becomes a selling author I’m sure they are more critised and examined if they dare write a negative review of another author’s book than if a “no-name reviewer” did it. Exactly because people will be mean and say the reviewing author had ulterior motives than simply not liking the book and wanting to tell others their opinion. In my opinion authors shouldn’t give up being reviewers once they become authors just because of that, but I see that prudence and tact may dictate that so to avoid all the petty attacks.

    If I like an author and I’m a fan of their works I like to read their thoughts on other books because it may help me decide if I will like that particular book or not. But again, the author may put themselves out in the open for unwarranted attacks.

    Thank you for this giveaway, I haven’t read your books yet, but they are on my TBR list as I’ve heard great things about them! (from other authors too 😉 lol :mrgreen: )

    ps: sorry for my rambling.. 😳



  30. Katie A
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    30
    · April 7th, 2010 at 12:23 pm · Link

    At the end of the day, it all comes down to a subjective point of view – what we like and don’t like is so hard to quantify. Some of the best book recs I’ve gotten from people have been in line at book signings – I think there’s something very valuable about the opinion of someone who you know has similar interests as you (i.e. types of books), be it a reader or an author, but there is no such thing as an authority on the subject, no matter how many books someone has written or read. Why do we like anything? And how many times have you read a supposedly “great” book and hated every page of it? I think it’s nice to have people point us in the general direction of good stuff, but it’s a game you can’t win because no matter what you say someone is going to get offended. I think you’re wise to sit it out.



  31. Teresa W.
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    31
    · April 7th, 2010 at 1:42 pm · Link

    I enjoyed the first book and looking forward to the latest!



  32. Marianna G.
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    · April 7th, 2010 at 8:44 pm · Link

    Great post! I really like the things you brought up! I never really thought about the divide I put between myself, the reader, and authors I admire (or not). It probably has to do with the fact that as a reader I don’t really know the author of the book I am reading. I tend to assume, probably wrongly, that the author believes themself to be a superior being. “I have been published! My words are that of a god!” I met an author, a small time guy, he was extremely self-obsessed and he tainted my image of the general person behind the words. No matter the amount of words I read, I don’t think I could be completely sure of what the person writing them was like. So all I can do is assume.



  33. Athena W.
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    33
    · April 7th, 2010 at 8:59 pm · Link

    I can’t imagine any author not making time to read and refill the tank so to speak. I read an essay by Stephen King that simply said that to write well one must read and write. A lot. King says that he, reads around 90 books a year and I would imagine that he has a rather busy writing schedule. My problem is that I get so immersed in other worlds that the ones I create never make it to paper. I may construct an entire world and characters and even a plot line in my head, but I never make the time to write simply because I can’t tear myself away from other stories. By the way I would love to win!



  34. Tori [Book Faery]
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    34
    · April 7th, 2010 at 9:05 pm · Link

    Like you said, you don’t want to alienate your colleagues by criticizing their work, which means that the negative “reviews” should definitely be reserved for discussions with friends.

    Book reviewing is a reader’s mode of networking, just like interviews and the like are one of the author’s.

    There definitely is a divide, though, between the reader and the author–whether it’s intentional or not. It can’t be helped. The author should always maintain an air of professionalism, whereas, the reader can say whatever he or she wants without wretched consequences–like losing book buyers.



  35. Carol Thompson
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    35
    · April 8th, 2010 at 12:44 am · Link

    As with most commenters, I agree that it really seems odd when a writer says they don’t read. Surely one becomes a writer because one loves books?

    I agree that there is a danger when an author also becomes a reviewer but if one really felt one had to review a book, then I suggest the author could use a different pen name that could not be traced back to them.

    Carol T



  36. Eva SB
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    36
    · April 8th, 2010 at 12:50 am · Link

    Anyone who reads books is a reader.
    And if I was an author discovering that an author I admired enjoyed my books it would be fantastic.
    I can understand author’s not having time to read, or not wanting to read in their own genre but not to read at all seems at little aloof and patronizing -‘I’m such a fabulous author no one else’s books are worth my time’

    I also agree about publishing negative reviews – I always react badly to authors criticizing another’s work: it sounds bitchy and petty.

    This is an interesting subject and I enjoyed having my say.



  37. Amelia
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    37
    · April 8th, 2010 at 8:30 am · Link

    I have been wanting to read Blue Diablo, great review.



  38. Ann Aguirre
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    38
    · April 8th, 2010 at 9:18 am · Link

    Well, I do still post squees about books I have loved. But they’re not analytical reviews by any means. They’re just “OMG this book rocked my world, go out and get it, no, wait, I’ll give away some copies, whee, I looooooooved it!” *g*



  39. Julie
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    39
    · April 8th, 2010 at 1:08 pm · Link

    I really don’t see how on could write with any ability whatsoever without reading regularly. But then again, I’ve never finished anything I’ve tried to write, usually because I get distracted by reading!

    I’d love to read this new series, just finished my first Ann Aguirre and loved it!



  40. Michele Lee
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    40
    · April 9th, 2010 at 9:34 pm · Link

    I love all of you who can’t imagine a writer not being a reader. That always confused the heck out of me too. The writer/reviewer thing has been a hard choice for me too. In fact I think I’m going to blog it, but essentially it comes down to these things:

    -I don’t see writing/publishing as a competition. I get so excited for writer friends who are successful and good books are good books, whether I wrote them or not. I always hope to know writers who are better than me because I still want to know the magic of reading a fantastic story, and also readers have different tastes and great readers are voracious and rarely read just one book or author.

    -I think that you should be able to be honest with your friends. I think that you can be disappointed with, or even hate their work, and still want to see them be successful. I get that online is different than in a private conversation, but I still believe the greatest sin when it comes to commenting on other author’s works is not saying anything at all. Bad and good are still discussion, apathy is the death of a book.

    -At this point reviewing pays significantly better for me than my fiction. This means it deserves time and energy (for the same reason writing is your priority). It also allows me to, IMHO, give back to the genres in a wider scope than just writing does. I also review a lot of small press work, which gets little attention as is.

    I totally understand and respect your opinion though Ann. It’s a hard choice to make, and I do anticipate that someday I will have to hang up my reviewing hat.

    (Also, don’t enter me in the contest. I already have my copy of Hell Fire.)



  41. Pamk
    Comment
    41
    · April 10th, 2010 at 6:15 pm · Link

    I think authors can be readers too and are entitled to their own opinion. I don’t usually read a lot of reviews I normally like to make my own opinion lol. But if an author I like likes another authors work. I likely give them a try if their book struck my fancy. Loved Blue diablo and am looking forward to the next book.



  42. Lura
    Comment
    42
    · April 13th, 2010 at 3:00 am · Link

    How did I miss this post before? Oh yeah, I was sick last week. Still am sick, actually. This cold will not go away!

    Loved “Blue Diablo”! Can’t wait to read “Hell Fire”. If the contest is still open, please enter me.

    Thanks.
    Lura ^_^



  43. writtenwyrdd
    Comment
    43
    · April 16th, 2010 at 11:19 am · Link

    Of course writers can be readers. You have to read to keep your head in the game and aware of what’s being published, anyhow. But it cannot be all work or your creative juices would dry up, lol.

    BTW I read and loved Blue Diablo. Looking forward to the sequel.



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