Going back to book basics

One of Alison Flood’s well-read books!

So it seems like every week there’s a new ‘app’ for books, a new platform to read them on or sell them on. E-reading technology is moving so fast that it’s pretty hard to keep up with things. And sometimes when I look around the room at all my bookshelves, I think that maybe I don’t want to keep up with things! That’s why I really loved this article by Alison Flood I found on The Guardian.

Yes, REAL books, with REAL pages, made on REAL printing presses still exist! And not only that, REAL people actually read them! Now this article’s author is pretty dang rough on her books. In fact, I know some people who think that treating your books the way she does is almost blasphemous.

There are some books in my collection that I treat like special jewels (especially hardcovers), others that I don’t care so much about, and those ones I’m happy to lend to people. And that got me to thinking about why we keep as many books on our shelves as we do? I mean, there are probably only one or two in my collection that I’m going to read again – so why do I keep the others? There are probably some books on those shelves that I didn’t really even like very much, but they’re still there!

I think it means that even though we can get a digital copy of pretty much any book out there instantly, with the touch of a button, there’s still something pretty darn special about reading a physical book. This quote in the comments section says it all: “Reading is sacred. Books aren’t. How would I find passages I’ve loved again if I didn’t turn down the pages? How could I relax into the plot if I was worried about breaking the spine? I say, lose yourself in your books! The more dilapidated they are when you’ve finished the more you’ve enjoyed yourself. A messed up book is better than any book review.”

So how do you treat YOUR books?

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Chicken Soup

20120910-221887-cook-the-book-chicken-soupI doubt there’s a reader in the English language who hasn’t heard of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series of books by now (and they’ve been translated into over 40 languages now too!). There’s definitely something that authors writing these books have hit on, and I know I’ve wondered what that is myself.

When I was doing some internet surfing and came across an article from the publisher of the series giving writers some tips, and I found them very useful, so thought I’d share it with you. One of the reasons I liked her list is that it applies to both fiction and non-fiction writing.

We tend to think the two genres are totally different. And it’s true, not everyone who writes non-fiction can write fiction, and vice versa. But at the end of the day, most of the same rules apply. You need to be passionate about the topic. You need to be true to yourself. And you need to put yourself in the reader’s shoes.

I think I disagree a little bit about her take on creativity – that you should forget about creative writing techniques – because there’s a time and a place for everything, and I know I love when I read a beautifully crafted sentence. But by and large, I think Amy’s on the spot. When you write what you’d like to read, it will always find an audience and always connect with another reader out there.

Write on!

Taking a break from the ordinary…

king quote

Hello everyone! There’s been radio silence on my end of this blog for a few weeks, but I have a good reason why–I was on vacation! Yes, I took a break from the tempermental and nasty weather of Northern Alberta and headed south to sunny Cuba. Not surprisingly, I had a fabulous time!

But beyond enjoying the escape from what was a pretty darn long winter (if you live in the prairies of Canada, you know what I’m talking about!), I really felt like the trip was necessary to refresh my writing. No, my new book isn’t about Cuba, but nevertheless I feel like vacations are critical for keeping the creative juices flowing. Getting away from the monotony of every day life and getting to experience entirely new surroundings and people is one of the most important things a writer can do to keep their writing fresh and interesting. The other thing vacations are great for, is reading! As writers, we all need to make time to read as well–but often times it takes a vacation for us to be able to catch up on it.

Even if you can’t afford to take a vacation or time off, you can get the same benefits as one by incorporating certain changes into your daily routine. First off, make time to read other writers! Nothing’s more inspiring than reading someone else’s beautifully written prose. If you’re starting to feel a bit blocked and always writing at home, try writing in a coffee shop or in a park–you’ll be amazed at how quickly it helps refresh your perspective.

So there are my post-vacation tips for other writers out there–here are few tips from some of the masters!

Sharing the landscape through the written word…

Literary Winner

We’re nearing the end of our blog tour, it’s gone by so quickly! Today we found ourselves at Literary Winner, where Maggie took the time to write a great review!

I’ve talked before about how I’d tried to make the environment of the Peace another character, in a sense, so it’s especially rewarding to see that she enjoyed getting a feel for the wilds of the region.

Take a read of her review, and scroll down to see how you can enter the giveaway to win four of my books!

“Edge of your seat”

Well those are the words a thriller writer always wants to hear! And thankfully, more of today’s blog tour stops have elicited that praise–I hope that Saving for 6 enjoys my other books as well!

More kind words from Niki’s Book Corner, I just had to share with you:

“OMGosh this is a sit on the end of your chair and keep on reading kinda book, you just can’t stop. You find yourself in a small town where the peace is over when things start to happen.  Those brothers are so evil. Love the way it is written and look forwards to more books of Beverly.”

Thanks so much for taking the time to read Evil on the Peace River, and for sharing your thoughts. Make sure you stop by to read her other reviews!nikis

Blog tour: day two!

We’ve got two blog stops on our tour today! Our first stop is at Uplifting Reads. I think this really was a perfect stop for us, since her site is oriented towards suggesting reads that, as the title suggests, are uplifting! Andrea chooses books that are heart-warming and desgined to give your spirits a bit of a boost–we all need that once in a while! I’m glad Andrea enjoyed The Three Saints of Christmas and that she too thought it would be a great way to open the door for discussions with youngsters on our pioneer pasts here in Canada.

Our last stop of the week is at My Mommy’s World, a great place to stop by for a huge selection of reviews and giveaways! Theresa’s a busy mom, but somehow she still has time to blog about books and products for children of all ages. Great to see a little bit of Canadiana making its way across the web. Thanks for reading!