Many thanks to Eric Vogts for throwing my blog into the hat for these award nominations. You’ve taken a few meager pointers from my Write Start Blogging workshop, and exploded into the blogosphere! Many thanks, and here’s to many more!
Bibliophiles love to talk about books, and what could be better than considering a different book for each day of the month! Here are my personal picks…
Day 1: Favorite Book: The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde’s wit never fails to lift my spirits and sharpen my mind.
Day 2: Least Favorite Book: Moby Dick- Herman Melville needed an honest friend to tell him to get a life…away from whales.
Day 3: Book that makes you laugh out loud: Hamish MacBeth – M.C. Beaton’s 3rd in the series is a macabre chuckle from beginning to end. One thought to take with you…death by lobster tank.
Day 4: Book that makes you cry: The Lovely Bones - this story was so real it scared me.
Day 5: Book you wish you could live in: Betsy-Tacy Series - These were my dearest friends as a child, and I loved their early 1900′s world.
Day 6: Favorite young adult book: I don’t care what your personal opinion of Mr. Potter is, these book single-handedly got millions of kids reading – and that is something to celebrate.
Day 7: Book that you can quote/recite: The Bible – The only book you ever really need – history, life lessons, wisdom, proverbs, and prophecy.
Day 8: Book that scares you: The Handmaid’s Tale – A horrifying possibility
Day 9: Book that makes you sick: Diary of Anne Frank – History I wish wasn’t real.
Day 11: Book from your favorite author: Agatha Christie - anything she wrote is a joy to rediscover
Day 12: Book that is most like your life: The Little House Books – the Midwest was still like this era for decades longer than other places, and we moved around as much as the Ingalls family did.
Day 13: Book whose main character is most like you: Anne of Green Gables - Anne Shirley kept thinking something wonderful was just around the corner, and made the best of the present. If I only had her amazing red hair…
Day 14: Book whose main character you want to marry: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus – I don’t have a character I would marry, but I think I’m already married to this spunky little bird that tries to get away with everything!
Day 15: First “chapter book” you can remember reading as a child: Jerry Goes Riding – I can’t remember if this was a chapter book, but it’s the earliest I can remember reading on my own – I think it was my older siblings’.
Day 16: Longest book you’ve read: Gone With the Wind - may not be the longest I’ve read (remember the hateful Moby Dick?), but I’ve read it enough times to count as the longest.
Day 17: Shortest book you’ve read: Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree” – short, sweet, and timeless
Day 18: Book you’re most embarrassed to say you like: Barbara Cartland’s Romances – I used to devour these as a teenager – my one and only foray into romance books.
Day 19: Book that made you think: The Alvin Maker Series- I wish more people were aware of this brilliant historical sci-fi series! It’s amazing!
Day 20: Book you’ve read the most number of times: The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien’s prequel to the Lord of the Rings series is probably my most-read book, aside from the trilogy itself.
Day 21: Favorite picture book from childhood: Grimm’s Fairy Tales – I can’t remember having an actual picture book as a child, but we had a hardback copy of these stories that weren’t watered down for children, and were gorgeously illustrated. I absorbed the art long before I could read along.
Day 22: Book you plan to read next: Your Erroneous Zones – thanks Leann, you found another book to tell me what’s wrong with myself!
Day 23: Book you tell people you’ve read, but haven’t (or haven’t actually finished): Les Miserables - I just didn’t feel the need to finish it, once I saw the Broadway production.
Day 24: Book that contains your favorite scene: The Time Traveler’s Wife – full of favorite scenes – each chapter was a new surprise
Day 25: Favorite book you read in school: Nancy Drew – I never got tired of these classic mysteries
Day 26: Favorite nonfiction book: If You Want to Write – Brenda Ueland’s book is a never-ending source of inspiration and affirmation.
Day 27: Favorite fiction book: Alias Grace - Haunting, mystifying, and unforgettable
Day 28: Last book you read: American Gods - I loved Neil Gaiman’s writing for TV, so I tried this modern classic. I loved the story, but it’s a bit racy for recommendation.
Day 29: Book you’re currently reading: Crystal Brave – B.K. Bradshaw’s young adult story of an earthquake at the Taum Sauk is a fast-moving read, and the basis for new writing projects for me!
Day 30: Book you want everyone to read, but can’t explain: Ender’s Game - everyone should read this book, but it is impossible to tell people what it is about without giving it all away!
Well, that’s my 30 books in 30 days – what are yours? Leave a comment and link to your own list so we can get more great ideas for books to read!
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to hear from a professional who truly has his thumb on the pulse of publishing. Although his presentation contained too many aspects to reproduce here, I’ve noted a few thought-provoking points to get you thinking about what direction your next book might take…
There are other voices that harmonize with what Steven is saying. I like Bob Mayer‘s perspective: “…It’s about the book, not the publisher’s perception about the book. I think that’s a key change authors need to understand: the gatekeeper in publishing now is no longer the publisher—it’s the author and the quality of the book…You can keep switching deckchairs on the Titanic or you can find a ship that’s actually going somewhere.”
There is much to think about in the current publishing climate, but it’s important to keep your balance – not jumping on every new app or forum that arises. Don’t go sharpening your goose quills and pressing berries for ink, either. You don’t have to reject the new just because it may be unfamiliar territory. With a little research and a lot of patience, you can find your own avenue on the road to publishing. Or you could just ask a pro like Steven.
Steven is an executive officer at Goldminds Publishing, and has written and published four novels. His latest, “Yuma Gold,” is scheduled for release by Penguin Group in New York in November 2011. Steven is also founder of the ReadWest Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the awareness and diversity of Western literature.
For more information about Steven, visit http://www.stevenlaw.com
Many thanks to Ozarks Romance Authors for providing an opportunity for writers to meet, learn from, and support one another, (and being so welcoming of visitors – 30% of attendees that day were non-members!) as well as the Springfield-Greene County Library for providing a comfortable meeting space.