Who is Jamie Oliver?

The other night I’m on YouTube watching Jennifer Lawrence video after Jennifer Lawrence video from her press tour for the new movie Passengers. I easily did this for two hours straight.

Anyway, during her appearance on The Graham Norton Show she was joined by Jamie Oliver. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence are probably the two biggest movie stars in the world today, so I’m sitting there trying to figure out who this other guy is with them. They talked about him having dyslexia and reading Catching Fire after seeing Jen as Katniss.

Then Graham Norton said something I actually couldn’t believe. This mystery man I’d never even heard of is the bestselling nonfiction author EVER in the UK. WHAA?

Tell me about this guy. I haven’t looked him up yet.

2016 Reading Challenge: MY BOOK

I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that I’m in the midst of a mad dash to complete my 2016 reading challenge. I finished two more books over the weekend to see if I can ultimately complete it.

But today I’m talking about MY BOOK. I wonder if I’m making history right now by reviewing my own work. Hm. Anyway, let’s go.

Divided Within is set in and around Houston and follows Andrew Banks as he works his first case as a private investigator. His first client happens to be a teenage girl who suspects there’s something really wrong between her parents that they aren’t telling her about, only it’s much worse than she could have imagined.

A little history before I get into the good stuff. I wrote the book over the course of the first months immediately after I graduated from college in 2013.

Although it’s my own work, I still had problems with it. The first thing I noticed is I obviously forgot how to use commas. Seriously. I’m not sure what was going on. There were commas where there should have been periods and then there was nothing where there should have been commas. Ugh.

The other thing I didn’t really like after my reread was the language. It was unoriginal. It’s a crime novel, but I felt I used cussing at weird points in the story. I don’t feel like it worked.

The other thing that I definitely recognize, though I still don’t have a problem with is the story. I won’t get into the specifics because some of you all might actually want to give it a read now, but one of the complaints I received when I first published the book was that the story was unbelievable. And it is. But I’ll keep saying it over and over again that I don’t read any fiction to read something that’s entirely realistic. If that’s what I want then I’ll watch the news.

After more than three years my favorite aspect of the book is still Andrew and Sydney. I found a few points in which I didn’t like their dialogue, but their relationship is great. So many detectives have a new love interest every other book, but not Banks. You know that just from reading this first book.

I still find it crazy that I wrote this thing, but I did and it’s mine. It satisfied the requirement to read a self-published book for my 2016 reading challenge.

Have YOU read it!? Have you ever tried to review your own work?

Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize in Literature…WHAT!?

I see no reason to sugarcoat the fact that I hate this.

Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature yesterday. The committee got it wrong. One can list all of his accomplishments but it wouldn’t change that he shouldn’t have even been considered for the award. There are music awards. There are songwriting awards. There are sales awards and records. So why are we giving this man a literary award!?

What really irks me is that any knowledgeable reader could list quite a few authors who are plenty deserving of this award. But I won’t do that. There’s no point. I’ll only list one. Haruki Murakami. The list starts and ends with him. His work doesn’t need me to defend it because it stands well enough on its own merit.

So now we have a songwriter/musician with a Nobel Prize in Literature but one of the most influential and revered authors of the 20th century still doesn’t. Sounds about right.

Tell me your thoughts. 

Stephenie Meyer to Release new Book

Welp.

Stephenie Meyer is releasing a new book later this year. But thankfully it has nothing to do with werewolves or vampires or poorly written female characters. It’s actually a thriller.

Wait, what?

Yes. The author who gave the world Bella and Edward is now giving us something we all want. A novel for adults. I was surprised when I read it’ll be her second novel written for adults. The Host was evidently the first one, which was always shelved in the young adult section at my store.

I think it’d be wonderful if she does what other prominent authors have done and starts writing in every genre imaginable. Because we need more of those authors, right?

Do you have any interest in Stephenie Meyer’s new book The Chemist?

On Nightmares and Dreamscapes

I swear that’s the name of a Stephen King novel, but it isn’t what I’m talking about today. Most people on here know about the one book I’ve written. And I think most people also know I have completely stopped writing altogether. But I do want to start again at some point in the future.

Which is where this post is coming from. I had a dream last night, and it got me wondering if any of you all have had a dream or nightmare one night and then proceeded to somehow start writing a story from it. It isn’t something I’ve really thought of happening at this point because is seems like some freak thing that just happens without any prior notice. But writing isn’t an exact science, I imagine people have all kinds of odd stories and quirky tales of how a story eventually came together. But now I’m imagining a nightmare involving an old lady with an ax turning into a novel. Welp.

Have you ever used a dream and/or nightmare to start or continue a story? I haven’t. But I’m not really writing anything.

BN set to Sell Self Published Books….What!?

Barnes and Noble has made a pretty significant decision. They’ve decided to sell self published books in their stores. It’s quite the turnaround for the company. I know from personal experience. When I self published my book three years ago I went into my local BN store inquiring about the potential to sell my book there. They obviously said no. But now, hmm.

The shift in policy comes with some fairly hefty requirements. First, the book must be self published through Nook Press. Which is BN’s self publishing arm, but definitely not a favorite of any author I’ve interacted with because the Kindle and iBooks have all but killed the Nook. I’m not sure if they require exclusivity, but I can’t imagine it being beneficial to only sell your book on Nook. The Nook is dead. Plain and simple.

Second, the company requires the titles to sell a certain number of copies in either print or digital formats. It’s 500 for one format and 1000 for the other. If your book meets the sales requirements and has been published through Nook Press, then hooray! You could have your book on a shelf at a BN store. But remember that their shelf space is extremely limited and sought after. There’s no guarantee here.

What do you think of BN deciding to give some self published authors the opportunity to sell their books in their stores. I’m not particularly optimistic. I think the sales numbers are the absolute bottom, but I imagine an author having sell many more copies of their books to actually reach the shelf.

Elie Wiesel has Died

Elie Wiesel died yesterday at the age of 87. I immediately realized there are countless ways to describe this man. Survivor. Activist. Advocate. Nobel Laureate. Author. And the list goes on and on. He impacted the world and affected people like few before him ever have. Today the light shining over humanity is just a little bit dimmer than yesterday because we’ve lost one of our greatest voices.

Elie Wiesel will not be forgotten, not in my lifetime and hopefully not ever.

I said yesterday I wouldn’t share any more videos from the new channel on here, but I didn’t anticipate such a force (and author) dying. So here are my full thoughts on the life and death of Elie Wiesel:

Read Across America Day

I think today is Read Across America Day, which also coincides with the 527th birthday of Dr. Seuss. Hahaha I really hope you caught my previous sentence.

Anyway, today we celebrate reading and Dr. Seuss. An author who remains immensely popular a quarter-century after his death. To my knowledge I’ve never actually read one of his books. As I write this I’m under the impression that I did read some of his work back in first grade. But I honestly have no idea how accurate my memory is. I have seen some of the adaptatations from his work. Most notably, Jim Carrey as the Grinch. And I just remember the faces of the people of Whoville.

Do you have a favorite Dr. Seuss story or memory? I don’t.

Harper Lee has Died

An American icon died today. And even though today is video day and I have a new video for y’all, I felt that I should write one more post about Harper Lee.

I’ve written extensively over the last year about the Pulitzer Prize winning author. Mostly because she popped up in the news for the first time in years and I finally got around to reading To Kill a Mockingbird. But you know what my first thought was when I learned of her death? Some of you will know it. It was that she wouldn’t be taken advantage of anymore.

I’m not upset or critical of her for only writing one book during her lifetime (I still don’t consider Go Set a Watchman anything more than a draft that was never meant to see the light of day). I don’t fault her for not relishing in the media attention she received as a result of her book. And I don’t blame her for her second book coming out.

Harper Lee did in one book what so many people fail to do in a lifetime. She changed lives. Imagine what it would have been like reading her book for the first time in 1960. Depending on your personal ideology and mindset the book would have been eye-opening or repulsive. But when we read it now it gives a glimpse into the ugly history of the southern United States. We all know that not everyone living during the period was racist or experienced racism in their day-to-day lives, which is why her book is so important. It shows the bad in people during the period, but it also shows how good people really were. There were millions of Atticus Finch’s all over the country, but not everyone was fortunate enough to know one.

I won’t thank Harper Lee for writing a masterpiece. Instead I’ll thank her for doing her part to ensure that a terrible time period in the history of this country is never forgotten. So thank you, Ms. Lee. May you rest in peace.

I’ll leave you with my To Kill a Mockingbird video from last year.

On Author Events (again)

We don’t have too many author signings at my store. We have some. They’re generally on Saturday afternoons and the store manager makes announcements so customers know who the author is and what they’re promoting. We had one last Saturday and it got me thinking.

The author was a local author who was more of a big deal than we’d hosted in recent months. So her books were available to purchase from the store instead of from her. And she had a reading.

But her event got me thinking about what the store could do for me. Some co workers of mine have told me I should do one there, but I don’t know. I mean, I’m sure the fact that I work there would help me sell more books, but still. It isn’t only about selling as many books as I can. It’d be weird promoting a book I wrote almost three years ago, a book that isn’t as good as it could be.

But on the other hand, it would be nice to somewhat get back into the swing of things as a writer.

I need to write something new. Maybe then I’d be more comfortable doing an event? I don’t know.

What would you do?