In The #ReadingCommunity

I don’t often go through Twitter’s #readingcommunity hashtag. As I am revising and editing, and nearing the end of my latest, I thought I would pause and get a sense of what some readers – rather than writers – are out there tweeting about. We should be unsurprised it is a rather different hashtag from what we see on the #writingcommunity one. Here’s a sample:

Oh, my. Not the most encouraging of openers. I don’t know I want to know about that sort of thing.

Most authors’ books are not electronically all that pricey. If you read the free sample (Amazon, for example, always has one) – which may be as much as 10 percent of the book anyway – that should give you a good sense of if it is to your liking and worth your money. As a reader too myself, that is what I do.

I also know that many readers are strapped for cash. But please bear in mind too that most of those illegal download sites are hosted in countries where an author from outside (or even from inside it) would have a rather tough time confronting that thief. Our laws often get laughed at there.

Having your entire book stolen and uploaded on the net for free… and someone(s) else making money from it and you the author don’t see a penny of that… is one of the most soul-destroying experiences an author ever endures. For while those sites may be free to you, trust me someone is making money from them – and they are not the author. Please do NOT visit such sites and enrich some criminal third party who has stolen someone’s hard work.

Indeed, it is. I have never come away from reading a decent book without having learned something that I did not know before. It may seem of little value at that exact moment to you. However, you do accumulate a great deal of new knowledge over the years doing so… and broadening what you know is never a bad thing.

Ah, I live for a statement like that.

For even in fiction there is plenty of non-fiction. For instance, my (now late) uncle – who had been a crime and police novelist – and I once sat in his home office, and I was glancing around at his always stuffed bookshelves (as his houses were never quite large enough for all his books; he always had overflow shelves in hallways and even once I recall on a staircase landing). When I asked him about his habit of mixing history books and novels on his shelves often side by side, he told that much younger (and rather more immature) version of me back in the mid-1990s: “Fiction comes from fact, and lots of fact makes great fiction when you re-write it as fiction.”

I never forgot that comment and about twenty years later I slipped that non-fiction into my own “fiction.”

He had also back then been, uh, rather infatuated with a then friend of mine – she much younger than himself – which was another bit of non-fiction I got into that fiction, too. (And having read of that in one of my books and been reminded of it some twenty years later, he did not even mind I had “fictionalized” it.) See how that may work? LOL!

Really? I am not so sure about that. LOL!

Not everything will ever be to everyone’s taste, of course, but I certainly hope no one feels that way about mine.

The most telling words there for me are “well-executed.” I don’t really like “love triangles.” But they do happen in life we know, so we cannot pretend as authors that they don’t.

But I don’t think it really should be “well-executed” in a tale. I think it should be messy and messed-up. After all, those “triangular” situations tend to be precisely that.

I will let “Sylvie” answer…

[“Sylvie” from Emily In Paris.]

Of course “happy endings” do not have to be “American.” That is a joke. Yet it is something of a “stereotypical” belief among the French that Americans demand happy endings.

Do I like them even as an American? I will say I prefer a “real” ending. I am not interested in fairy tales for adults.

Sorry, but I must disagree again. Superficially that sounds great. However, in reality who does not believe it is much better to have read “100” excellent books just once each in your life than to be able to quote Fifty Shades or Twilight line by line from memory?

Again, notice: Goodreads is not for authors. See? It is for readers.

That is why I do not use Goodreads. I do not believe I should be there. My opinions about my own writing and books are not APPROPRIATE to share there.

On that one I “100 percent” agree. I will always be impressed by what some readers tell me about my own books that I had not even noticed (at least not consciously) myself. Some see things in them I had not imagined I was trying to convey… and that is fine with me.

Once you own a book, it becomes yours.

[Photo by me, January 2022.]

And now I will get back to working on my latest one. You see the proof copy in the pic above. It is on the upper right, sitting on top of that Duke of Wellington biography. LOL!

Have a good reading day, wherever you are in the world. 🙂