Saturday, March 18, 2006

Occupational hazard

I received two books in the mail the other day from a contest. One I immediately liked from the cover. The other, not so much.
So I decide to pop open the more aesthetically pleasing one and try it on. It's not like I need to be editing my short story for Summer Sizzlers for Torrid or anything. *big grin*
And it's not bad. It's from a USA Today Bestselling Author. She has about nine books out and has won the RITA. No names will be mentioned. But I will say that I had never heard of her before.
I'm a third of the way through, and I've noticed an alarming trend. I'm not reading it. I'm STUDYING it.
Instead of diving in and taking everything at face value, I read passages and look at how she uses description. What order she describes in. When she inserts back story. I don't know whether to cheer or cry. This is a borderline book for me. It's not an immersion book. You know, such as Harry Potter or Amy's new book, Unexpected Complication. (Amy, I'll be pleading with you in a private email about a signed copy.)
And it's not like the Sil. Desire I picked up at a thrift store and slogged my way through. And when I was done, I literally threw it away. And I NEVER throw away a book.

The book is okay. It has funny parts. I like the characters. They have depth. They're engaging. All that good stuff. It's just not stellar. I can see what's going to happen and could in the first couple of pages. But it has just enough oomph to keep me reading til the end.
The only really fascinating thing I've read and noted, is that the author uses punctuation marks for description. I found that interesting. I can't remember the hero or heroine's name. I know the plot line. But everything else seems interchangeable.
So I'm pondering. Danica, are you pondering what I'm pondering? (Oops! That's the Take Over the World pondering. A whole other email. hehehe)
I'm simply pondering what in the heck sold this book. What was the key? Was she in the right place at the right time? Does she know someone who knows someone? Does she go to conferences? WHAT?
Because it's a good story but unremarkable.

And since I know how to put those url's in now the neat way, I had a couple of things to say.
Book buying is EXPENSIVE! I go on a bender about once every four to six months. For those of you with TBR piles past your eyeballs, I envy you. BUT...readers such as myself can go to different sites around the web and enter contests. And let me tell you, there are some hellacious books to be had. Authors will post contests and give their books away as prizes. They will also have chats and give away downloads. My Lord! It's literary Utopia courtesy of the web.
If you're interested, check out:
Romance Junkies
Coffee Time Romance
The Romance Studio
Fallen Angel Reviews
Love Romances
And there are so many more! (And no, there were no kickbacks involved in the making of this blog post. LMAO)
So, if it's a sickness for you as it is for me, then check 'em out.
And when you find the magical publishing formula, you can let me know about that. I mean, besides the stars lining up, the editor having a good day, and me having a voodoo priestess say a blessing over my manuscript.


Olga said...

I don't think a magic formula exists. Honestly, I wish it did and I knew it myself! Best of luck with edits, and thank you for the tip!

Tori Lennox said...

I've read books, too, that make me wonder how on earth they ever got published. Boggles the mind, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

You might be interested in this... its a book scavenger hunt!!!

this site to read more about how it works:

this site to start hunting;

chryscat said...

Olga: If I figure it out *wink*, I'll share the wealth.
Tori: To say the least. I'm still pondering.
Anonymous: Thanks so much for the link. I'll check it out.

Michelle said...

Thanks for the recommendations!