Halloween is Here

I’m not a fan of Halloween. Mostly because it gives people an excuse to be stupid.

Last year was the first time I “celebrated” the day since middle school. But I didn’t really do anything. I just wore a costume to the gym. It was funny and several people asked for pictures. But today I’ll be working. So you know what that means, right? I’m wearing a costume to work!

All week long we’ve been encouraged to wear a costume if we wanted to, and I do. But I’m not sure which one I should wear. Maybe you can help? I have a hot dog suit and a Gumby suit. Which should I wear?

How are you celebrating today?

#LiterarySwag is Supposed to Make Reading Stylish?

Wait, what? So there’s a guy on Instagram who’s been taking photos of people with books or reading for some time now. He also started #LiterarySwag. Evidently he’s done these things to make reading more accessible to those who don’t like to read.

Except there’s a major flaw to his entire project. There’s nothing wrong with people who don’t like to read just like there’s nothing wrong with someone who reads 100 books a year. There’s some fashion aspect too, but it’s entirely irrelevant. What does it matter if someone is really into fashion and likes to read or if they are really into sweatpants and romance novels? It doesn’t.

Reading doesn’t have to be stylish or cool. It’s just like any other thing. Some people like it and some don’t. So let’s all post pictures on Instagram of ourselves with books with #LiterarySwag so we can show how stylish we are and say we’re part of some stupid movement.

Ugh.

A Woman Reviewed Over 30000 Books on Amazon

Yikes. Looks like this woman is already well known, but I’d never heard of her until her recent death. So if you’ve been following her reviews, well, there won’t be any more forthcoming.

But I want to talk about the actual number of books she reviewed and how she reviewed them. It looks like her total number of book reviews is just above 31000. I mean, whoa. And guess how many books she gave three stars or less? None. Every book she reviewed on the site is rated as four stars or higher. That’s ridiculous.

I could read 20 books in a given amount of time and I imagine several would be rated as less than four stars. I think this woman should be part of the conversation people like to have about reviews on Amazon. 31000 books is way more than I’ll read in my lifetime, and perhaps she did read them all, but I think a single person reviewing that many books on the site and only leaving four or five stars for each is somewhat outrageous.

Y’all know I don’t read book reviews. But y’all also know that plenty of people do. I don’t know how many times her reviews have been read by others, but there’s a pretty good chance that her reviews influenced potential buyers in many instances. And that’s unfortunate. Her reviews may not have been dishonest per se, but you can’t sit there and say that they were completely honest either.

What do you think of someone reviewing 31000 books and rating all of them as four star reads? I think it’s a joke, and a mockery of others who actually put some thought into the reviews they post.

Using Real Events for a Story

I’m not talking nonfiction. And I’m not talking about simply using one’s life experience. I’m talking about particular events. Kind of like the TV show Castle. He uses real crimes (in the show) and writes books about them.

I think it’d be an interesting thing to do, but I doubt I’d ever even try it. It would lead me to ask myself why not just write nonfiction instead? If an author really wants to focus on real events, then why not REALLY focus on them?

For example, one of the most notorious crimes of my lifetime was when Andrea Yates killed her five children in Houston. I’m certain that there are plenty of books about this, but I think it’d be better to go ahead and write some true crime rather than a novel when it comes to something like that.

I don’t know if this actually happens, but I do think authors may hesitate to go from fiction to nonfiction or vice-versa if they’re already well known for one or the other. Makes sense. Don’t want to confuse readers. But what do I know, right?

Do you ever use specific events from real life in your stories? Things that didn’t necessarily happen to you.

I’m Writing a Children’s Book Series

I’m not talking about easy chapter books. I’m talking about books for younger readers.

The other day I told a co worker of mine that we need to collaborate on a kid’s book series. He immediately started brainstorming potential book titles. The first is my favorite. The Piggy who Didn’t Want to be Bacon. 😂 Okay, I haven’t looked it up to see if someone has already written it, but I thought it was hilarious. He then proceeded to come up with several more titles mostly around animals.

Am I really going to start work on this? Probably not. But have you seen what some of those hardcover kid’s books retail for? It’s kind of ridiculous when you see how many pages there are and how few words are written. But hey, people will pay what they’ll pay.

I think I’ve already found an illustrator for my potential new blockbuster series. What do you think?

Authors Owning Bookstores

Did you know that mega bestselling author Jeff Kinney owns a bookstore? I didn’t. Until recently. And no, he’s not the only one.

I obviously don’t have a definitive list of authors who also own bookstores, but there’s several who do. But I think the idea is pretty great. Obviously this isn’t something that just any author can do. He’s said that his building cost millions to build. It’s state-of-the-art and rather large. So I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could afford (or get) that kind of loan with my current finances. He also hosts author events for authors he knows personally. Again, this is probably not something you or I could do.

But I think it’s a cool idea. Obviously authors who do this want to make money from their investment, but bringing people together who love books and making some money from it (after taking all the risk) isn’t the worst thing in the world.

I think authors owning bookstores could become something of a trend. We know there aren’t as many bookstores as there used to be, so this could be a way to attract people into indie stores. They could potentially meet one of their favorite authors just by going in. What do you think of authors owning their own bookstores?

On Biographies

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a big fan of biographies. Mostly because there aren’t too many people I want to read an entire book about. Singers, movie stars, and athletes are all writing books nowadays, but I just can’t picture myself getting excited to read about a single person.

There are some exceptions, of course. Such as people who are actually important. A former president’s book (which isn’t necessarily biographical) would surely be a good read. Or perhaps someone like Churchill or FDR. Nelson Mandela. People who made a real difference in the world in which they lived. I don’t put celebrities into that category. And I imagine most people don’t, though some might when you see how many celebrity books are bestsellers.

My take on biographies is that I can mostly do without them. What’s yours?