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Fact or Fiction?


Last week I think this was one of those daily prompts on here because I saw a number of posts about this particular question that got me thinking. Do I prefer reading fiction over non-fiction or is it the other way around?

Some of the posts I read through took hundreds of words to tell the reader why they liked one or the other or both. I won’t be doing that because it is a very easy question for me to answer. I prefer fiction. And I always will. Why? Because there’s a certain mystery to all fictional stories. A good book will always have you wondering what happens next, right? That quality is absent once you get to reading non-fiction. I own a handful of non-fiction books, literally five, and I know the basic story before I ever start reading. Anne Frank. BTK. Lone Survivor. These are all great books. They’re well written and informative, but reading them just isn’t the same as reading a fictional story. At least not for me.

So tell me, fact or fiction?

BTK to Help Write Book


First off, do you have any idea who BTK is? I would say most people wouldn’t. But I do. And I have for a long time. He’s a serial killer from Kansas who killed ten people between 1974 and 1991. I wrote about him during my time as an undergrad. His real name is Dennis Rader and he was apprehended by police in 2005 only after he began exchanging letters with them. Many around Wichita, Kansas had believed him to be dead or gone after more than a decade of silence.

Anyway, now Rader is helping Katherine Ramsland write a book about his crimes. And I have an issue with this. I get that high profile criminals always get books written about them. It happens. I’m sure if I do a quick Amazon search of all the serial killers I know that there will be several books about each and every one. BUT my issue is that this author is basically co-writing it with Rader. I just don’t see the point. When he was arrested he plead guilty to all ten charges and recounted in detail every murder he committed. He was subsequently sentenced to ten consecutive life sentences. There are several other books about him already published that may or may not have been written with his assistance, but they too tell the story of his crimes. In great detail. I don’t know the relationship the author maintains with anyone in Wichita, but there are plenty of individuals who know every aspect of the killings who didn’t actually commit them. I just think she could write a book about the crimes by using police interviews, court testimony, and by using the books that have already been written as reference material. But that’s just me.

Do you have any thoughts? About a serial killer who already has notoriety and several books written about him having another one in which he gets to actively contribute?

One of the reasons I have an issue with him helping with the project is the complete lack of remorse he’s displayed. If you just YouTube search his name you can find video of him in court recounting his crimes. It’s disturbing how he does so almost conversationally.

The Books That Have Stayed With…Everyone


This is sort of an update post to my first post about this topic. Back then I mentioned that I could only come up with one or two books that have stayed with me rather than the usual ten people list out. But recently Facebook released data from another six countries and there’s a clear take away from their data: The stories of Harry, Ron, and Hermione are universal. And I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking to yourself the billions of dollars that the movies brought in at the box office. True. But when this meme got started I definitely figured JK Rowling would lead the way in the US and UK. But also in France, India, Italy, the Philippines, Brazil, and Mexico too? (Facebook only surveyed English status updates in India and the Philippines)

This just tells me that Potter is one of those characters that’ll be remembered and related to for decades to come. Not because the books are the greatest books ever written, but more likely because the books appear to have readers all over the world who appreciate their message.

The Harry Potter series ranked number one in France, India, Italy, the Philippines, Brazil, and number three in Mexico. What do you think about that?

You can see the full lists for each country here.

Characters in Their Free Time


Photo Credit: The Best News

I don’t know about you, but my characters tend to have a little bit of free time during the course of their stories. In my experience reading PI novels sometimes all one can do is wait and see what happens. And I’d have to say that that’s also the case in most stories. I mean, Harry Potter has plenty of free time in his stories, right? And if a boy wizard who has Voldemort after him can have free time, then so can your characters.

Now let’s see. In my first book I had my characters go for a run, watch sports on TV, watch the news on TV, lay out by the pool, read, and probably a bunch of other things I can’t remember off the top of my head at two in the morning as I write this. To me, that sounds pretty normal. For them to be doing things that you’d expect any typical person to be doing at a given time. But your character probably also has hobbies. See, that’s the thing. I’m NOT only talking hobbies here, I’m talking what is actually described in the text. Sure it’s nice that your character likes long walks on the beach at sunset, but that’s not the discussion we’re having. I’m talking about actions.

So tell me, what do you have your characters do during their free time during their stories?

Oh, Andrew also enjoyed a nap and had a quick gym session in my book.

Why do you Read? (poem)


Why do you Read?

Do you read to live
In different shoes
That can be just as real
As those you didn’t choose

Do you read to escape
And just leave
All that you know
So that you can breathe

Do you read to learn
And to see
What life was like
before thee

Why do I read
I thought you’d ask
It’s quite simple
I read, because I can

This poem was mostly inspired by the responses I received on my post Why do you Read?.

Photo Credit: Theater Seat Store


Sex Sells, But Do you Want to Read it?


Anyone who has read my blog for any decent length of time can answer this for me without a moment’s hesitation. No. I don’t want to read it. And I’m going to tell you why.

Another thing that anyone who has frequented my blog can likely tell you is that I read crime fiction. I read it all the time. And a huge chunk of my books fall within the genre. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, that annoys me more than reading a good mystery and then for no reason at all…sex. I’m not saying I hate characters with a love interest because if you look at my one and only book my character’s love interest plays a significant role in the story, but I just don’t see the point sometimes. All the time. The one thing I will say is that the author typically gets it over with within a page or two and the scene is not explicit. All that means is that the agitation is kept to a minimum.

One other thing that really gets me is when an author has that one token sex scene in the middle of their crime novel. Like why? I can think of two of my favorite characters who have a new love interest in almost every book. And with every new love interest comes sex. This may be what it’s like in the real world, but do you really expect me to think that a man in his sixties is getting all the ladies? No. I won’t mention the author by name.

I’m only talking about crime fiction because that’s what I typically read. If I read YA or any other genre my feelings about this would be exactly the same. I mean, I have to be honest. Why not just go have sex? Or even watch it? Honestly.

Against my better judgement, I’m going to end my post with a question like always. Do you read books that you know are sexually explicit?

PS: My question is a yes or no answer. The last thing I want is you telling me how some book changed your sex life. Uh no. Seriously.

Do you Have a Writing Companion?


Photo Credit: List of Images

A writing companion? What’s that? I mean, writing companion sounds like someone in the same room as you as you write just being noisy or nosy or annoying. Or am I thinking the wrong thing?

Yeah. Although the writing companions I am thinking of can certainly meet one or more of those criteria, I’m thinking of something else. Something a little more…furry. Yep, you guessed it. CATS. I hesitate just a bit to include them here because I’ve never had a single cat or kitten in my life. But WordPress is full of writers who have cats. And I’m sure they’re nice and all, but don’t cats climb on EVERYTHING? Reading a book? There they are. Using the stove? There they are. Writing at your desk? There they are. See, so I don’t know how writers ever get anything done. One minute they’re typing away at their keyboards with ideas flowing every which way and the next they’re lying on the bed giving all their attention to their needy cat. Cats are not writing companions! They’re writing distractions! Ha!

But our other furry friends are quite the opposite. I can imagine sitting at my desk at some point in the future with my English bulldog snoring away on the floor beside me. I get up from my chair and walk around to stretch my legs and take a quick ten minute break. I return to find my bulldog still snoring away. See, he’s a writing companion. He stays with me as long as I need, but he does so without interrupting my flow. He’s a respectful companion unlike your cat crawling all over your keyboard and desk trying to type out a letter in some secret cat language. And pretty much every dog would do the same as the one mentioned above. Just lie there until you’re ready to move. And the next night will do it all again.

Those are the two writing companions that came to mind when I sat down to write this post, but I’m certain there are others I chose not to mention. So tell me, do you have a furry writing companion who keeps you company as you pound away on the keyboard?


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