Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG: Reading Through a Writer's Eyes

Our February topic asked if we read differently now that we're writers. No question about it. YES! In a way, being on the other side of the book cover tarnished my innocent enjoyment of plunging into a story. As a writer, I'm a hard market to crack. I can narrow this down to two big challenges: Time and Technique.

Now that I'm busy writing during my non-8-to-5 hours, I have precious little opportunity to escape read. Things that cross my path are manuscripts I'm critiquing for others, genres I'm investigating, and my increasingly shrinking MUST READ list of authors. My Kindle runneth over with intriguing adventures I may never have the chance to take. Because time is so valued, the quality of the book has to be top notch. To keep me from dozing off during my allotted reading hour before bedtime, that book has to grab me and hold me hostage. If it doesn't move, I snooze. If I spend more than a couple of nights trying to get involved in it, I put it aside. If the prose is choppy, if the POV uneven, the editing poor, there is no second chance. There are just too many good books out there to labor over the pages. This is sad because in my pre-published days, I would push ahead, and sometimes would find a diamond hidden in that early rough.

The lessons I learned from the above are: 1) Make those first pages COUNT! They have to reach out to that finicky or weary reader to spark interest and excitement right away. Begin with the body, not the backstory. 2) Don't discount word of mouth. If a writer/reader friend is raving about something they read, yes, I will investigate. If you've read a book you love, leave a REVIEW! Clue in the time-deficit reader that this one is worth the investment. Even if it's just to say "LOVED IT!", your voice doesn't go unheard.

What are you reading, fellow writers? Are you loving it? Share the love, save an author.

Here's what's up with me: A preorder and sale book tour! PRINCE OF POWER, Book 2 in my new "House of Terriot" dark paranormal shapeshifter series will be available February 27 and is up for preorder now!

Obsessed with an enemy - the only female to ever walk away from him . . .

Colin . . . Prince in the House of Terriot

Brawny, cynical negotiator for his clan, Colin Terriot sees a move to New Orleans as an escape from a painful past and his reputation as a legendary lover. What he didn't expect was to fall hard for a rival spy, the female who tricked and betrayed him by leaving his bed for his brother's. Now, he now must work with her, up close and personal, as the envoy for her clan. Things are about to heat up.

Determined to have him - even if having him means losing all . . .

Mia . . . Strong-willed Guedry heir

Denied her rightful legacy, Mia Guedry plans to stake her claim over the bodies of those who killed her family. But best laid plans fall before her desire for the one male she can't resist, the one who will never trust her once burned by her necessary deceptions. Saving her Terriot prince from plans already in motion may cost more than her inheritance . . . the price could be her life.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For those who haven't started the series, here's a fab opportunity with my "Get It While It's Hot" book tour. Sign up to host a spotlight only or just come along for the ride and a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card. PRINCE OF HONOR, Book 1 in the "H.O.T." series will be on sale for just $.99 during the tour, from Feb. 19 to 25!

It's a month made for romance. Get it while it's H.O.T.!

Happy Reading!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG 

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the January 4th posting will be Misha Gericke, LK Hill, Juneta Key, Christy and Joylene Buter!


  1. Excellent advice - Don't start your story with backstory.
    Shalom aleichem,

  2. Great post! Totally agree that the book's beginning has to count. I wish I could not finish books. Even if it's terrible, I have something of a finishing complex. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    1. Ahhhh, the martyr complex. As if anyone is going to know you stopped at page 47! My OCD peeve was I'd spent 8 hours and $6.99 and I'm going to through this if it kills me!

  3. Great advice as always, Nancy! Word of mouth is one of the surefire ways I find great reads. Whether it's a book that has hit the bestseller radar or a soon to be discovered hidden gem - I know I can trust my circle of reading buddies when they say "Read This!"

    1. I've found wonderful authors because a friend shoved their book into my hand and said "Read!"

  4. Ah, yes, my pet peeve, writers who don't throw out the "free writing" they did to get their head into the story...do they really think we will invest that much time to get into their story, too?

    1. Yes, I always want a five page description of every piece of furniture in the room . . . well, except if I want to buy a couch!

  5. Life is too short to read bad books. If that isn't a bumper sticker, it should be. I have way too many books on my Kindle. I'll have to live another lifetime to read them all. But if a books hooks me, I dive in. If not, it's going in my DNF file. I always want to share a great book--a review on Goodreads and Amazon, of course. Best wishes on that new release.

    1. Totally agree, Di. I used to feel sooooo guilty about not finishing until after slogging through 600 pages of dreck thinking it would get better . . . and it never did. Enough was enough.

  6. Congratulations on your upcoming release.
    I'll usually give a book about three chapters, but you're right those first few pages are so important. They set the tone and sometimes that tone can't be broken.

  7. Well said.

    I HATE to give up on a book, which means I've finished quite a few books I should have abandoned. I want to give every author the chance to shine, but unfortunately, some of them never do, so at the conclusion of some books, I'm more likely to say, "Thank God it's over!" than "Ohmigod, that was amazing!"

    But I also think we can learn something from every book, even it it's only a matter of learning what NOT to do.

  8. Great post and advice. Thanks for visiting my blog.
    Happy IWSG Belated Day!
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

  9. OMG, what an intriguing intro for the Prince! Love it! Got to get a copy for sure, because I need those escapes. I worked twelve hours straight yesterday on a book and a few other book details, and desperately needed to read something by one of my favorite authors, Christine Rains, she never disappoints. Loved it. You're book sounds like just what I'll need the next time I want to escape! Thank you!

  10. I agree that the start of a book is important. It's what grabs my attention when it comes to a new book or series I'm starting.


  11. Congratulations on your upcoming book!
    I think that the first few pages have to grab me for me to even consider reading the book. I'm willing to go past the first sentence or two, but the blurb matters and the first few pages matter.

  12. Those are two great lessons. I find I'm having the same experience these days -- if I fall asleep within the first few pages, there's a good chance I won't come back to that book :-( Some books are easier on print than on screen -- I've been trying to read Moby Dick for years and it's only now that I have a pocket sized hardcover that I'm finally halfway through it!

  13. Excellent advice, info dump right at the beginning will throw the reader out of the story.