Bologna 2017 Book Fair

Right now, the Bologna Book Fair is taking place in Bologna, Italy. What an exciting prospect!

The Bologna Book Fair is an annual event that gives agents, editors, publishers, etc., to find new talent, new trends, and acquire new rights. It sounds fabulous. While reading about it, I found this article that relates what current agents and publishers will be looking for at the Fair in regards to children and young adult books. Which is my area of writing emphasis.

Hands down, the most sought after reads will be from marginalized and diverse authors. Most of the agents in the article mention this as a popular trend, but I hope it’s far more than a trend. It should be here to stay and continue to grow so publishing and readership becomes more well-rounded and culturally diverse. That is the society in America. Diverse. Varying. Ever-changing.

It also looks like YA fantasy will be much harder to break into in the next couple of years. That makes sense, though, given all the break-out hits of the past ten years. The bar is much higher.

However, middle grade fantasy is on the upswing, which is good news for yours truly, and YA contemporary is, as well.

Of course, the current political climate was also mentioned and how this will influence the writing wave of the next few years. I don’t doubt it one iota.

I look forward to seeing what comes about after this Fair! I only wish I could go!

What kinds of books are you hoping to see in the near future? Any genre or age group specifically?

Happy writing!

“Yeah, well, we’re all writers, aren’t we? He’s a writer that hasn’t been published, and I’m a writer who hasn’t written anything.”
Steve Martin, Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Other Plays

“I wrote a book. It sucked. I wrote nine more books. They sucked, too. Meanwhile, I read every single thing I could find on publishing and writing, went to conferences, joined professional organizations, hooked up with fellow writers in critique groups, and didn’t give up. Then I wrote one more book.”
Beth Revis

A Reading Challenge

Hello again!!

What a year 2016 was, and I’m SO glad it’s over. I’ve been quite absent on the blogosphere, but never fear! That was mostly due to many health issues that plagued me over the year and the corresponding depressive/anxious states that occurred alongside them.

I’m truly hoping to return to a more active presence here this year. Starting with…

A reading challenge! Created by one of my fellow bloggy/writing friends, John Guillen.

I did his reading challenge last year, as well, and I think this one will be even better! Last year I completed the challenge just by the sheer number of books I read (313), but this year, I’m planning it out a little more, so I have one book for every challenge listed.

I hope you partake! And go visit John’s blog ASAP! He always has something interesting to say about reading and writing and books. I’ve been a follower for years.

Happy 2017 everyone!

In 2016 I hosted my very own reading challenge for the first time. Of course I didn’t even complete it myself. So now I’m upping the stakes! Last year’s challenge included 20 books. This year’s includes 25. Branch out and read along with me as 2017 unfolds and I continue to diversify my habits. Take […]

via 2017 Reading Challenge Announcement! — Johnny Reads

Blogging Slump

That’s right. I admit it.

I’ve been in a blogging slump. I just haven’t felt like blogging lately, but I’m totally okay with that. I do miss my bloggy buddies as most of you are the reason d’être that I started branching out into reading and writing other things.

But I’ve been focused on writing, reading, more reading, tons more writing, and a little sleeping/working knocked in there somewhere.

On top of that, this week is my last week at my current contract before I head to Maine for the spring/summer.

I’m too stressed right now to be 100% excited because I have so much to do before then, plus I’ve been dealing with some medical issues lately–the last three months, really–but haven’t mentioned it to anybody until last week. And the docs don’t know what it is. So. Yay.

Anywho…

A quick update on my life: I’m 60-some books into my 115 book goal for the year, reading-wise, but that doesn’t include books I’ve already re-read since the beginning of the year. If I did, that number would be in the high 70s.

I did a complete 100k rewrite in six weeks and I won a couple auctions through a literary agency and am getting feedback on my query letter, first 10 pages, and first 50 pages, from three different agents. Squee!! I’m most excited about that. How often do you get that opportunity?!?!?!!

 

What’s going on in your lives, my bloggy pals? I’ll update with more pictures and try to get back on the blogging bandwagon, especially since I signed up for Camp NaNo in April to help me finish the second book in my MG fantasy series.

Hugs and happy writing/reading to all!

 

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.
That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”
― Octavia E. Butler
“A normal reader reads to enjoy, a writer is in training”
― Bangambiki HabyarimanaThe Great Pearl of Wisdom

“You must write as if each word is a precious drop of blood, or a tear to be saved in a glass phial.”
― Chloe ThurlowKatie in Love

Reading Challenge 2016

I’ve already started the New Year by lagging sadly behind on my blogging. However, my writing and reading have been happily productive, so I don’t feel too bad.

This year I’m taking part in a reading challenge hosted by John Guillen over at Johnny Reads. I follow him regularly and if you don’t follow him, you should. He’s not afraid to share his views and frequently posts book and writing news I don’t see in any of my other frequently visited sites.

I haven’t done a reading challenge before because, let’s be honest, I’m a voracious reader and it doesn’t take me long to paw through books. But his list is fun and doable and will stretch me out of my reading comfort zone in a few areas.

Check out the challenge here and maybe join us on our reading ride!

I do need some advice, though.

Two of the challenge requirements are reading a crime novel and a book by James Patterson. I am not well versed in either, so I’m hoping some of you can recommend a few good choices.

I usually don’t take reading recommendations from people because I like to find my own books and many peoples’ recommendations have ended up being DNFs for me.

So if there are any gateway-books into the crime and Patterson lists, I’m happy to hear your suggestions.

Thoughts, anyone?

Happy reading!

 

“My eyes hunger to read more books then time allows me to devour.”
― Jazz Feylynn

“You read too much.” Daemon exhaled slowly. […]
“There’s no such thing as that.”
― Jennifer L. ArmentroutObsidian

Top Books of 2015

This insanely busy, exciting, dramatic year has finally drawn to a close.

It brought with it a new job where I can travel the country to my heart’s content.

New book ideas that have filled my hard drive with endless stories and dialogue.

Amazing new friends I’ve met online and in person.

My first year participating in NaNo.

And a whole slew of new authors I read because of different posts and tweets and comments from all my online buddies.

Here are some of my top picks of the books I’ve read this year. I’m including new reads only, since we all know I’m a huge advocate of re-reading.

These are in no particular order.

  1. The Lunar Chronicles – A Cinderella cyborg surrounded by her equally enchanting and bedeviled fairy tale partners? Umm… yes, please! The first book, Cinder, is actually my least favorite of the four, and I’m currently reading Winter, the last book. But these books are amazing. Once I got into the 2nd book, I devoured the rest of them. So good!
  2. The Throne of Glass series – I adore this series. Partly for the plot, which is insanely in-depth with twists and turns at every corner, but probably more because of her writing style. Sarah J. Maas is brilliant with words. And I mean an absolutely insane master of language. I sometimes have to stop after a sentence or paragraph and say – “Man, that’s good.”
  3. The Invention of Hugo Cabret – This one I snagged from a little free library when I was in Washington state and was totally enamored of this book. I couldn’t get enough of it, and it opened me up into the world of mixed media books. Which I bravely ventured into more after reading Hugo. A great read.
  4. The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo’s first book in this series was utter perfection. And I truly mean that. I read it I think in one day. Or possibly two, because I was on a train trip. But I was hooked from chapter one and couldn’t put it down. It’s dark, fantastical, edgy, and she, also, is a master of words.
  5. Jackaby – The tagline, Sherlock Holmes meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is spot-on. This first book in the series combines two things I adore: Sherlock Holmes, and fantasy.
  6. The Penderwicks – While my first love is YA and MG fantasy, The Penderwicks was a refreshing read about four sisters and their adventures on summer vacation with a young boy they meet. Also a read-in-one-sitting book. Highly recommended.
  7. Demon’s Heart – Of the more than 200 books I read this year, this book deserves more than other to be on my favorite’s list. Emily H. Bates is one of my writing buddies, and her blog is one of my favorites. I’m privileged to be a critique partner with her and am obsessed with pretty much everything she writes. Demon’s Heart is the first in a fantasy series and I adore it. You can ask her. I finished her second book in four hours. Four. Hours.

 

So there it is! My list of my favorite books this past year. I lost sleep on each and every one of them. Literally.

I can’t wait to see what 2016 holds for new authors and opportunities to write and read.

What books were your favorites this year?

Happy New Year!!

 

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
― T.S. EliotFour Quartets

“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”
― Brad Paisley

“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.”
― Ellen Goodman

Ebook vs. Hardcover

Many of you know I care for neither eBooks nor hardcovers, but I’ve come to the realization that I have to pick one.

There are a couple of series I’m reading right now and the next book is out in hardcover, but they only came out a couple months ago, so the paperback is far, far away.

They are both amazing series, and part of me wants to wait until the paperback is released, since that is my reading medium of choice. But I honestly don’t think I’ll make it.

So I have to pick.

Ebook (since I have a Kindle I barely use), or hardcover (which I hate holding and think too bulky).

What shall it be? What shall it be?

It is…

Ebook.

I know. Shocking, right?

My reasons are 1. They’re cheaper. 2. I can’t stand holding hardcover books.

3…

Well, that’s about it.

Hardcovers look nice on a shelf, but I can’t stand how it feels to hold them. Plus, they’re heavier and take up more space in my car when I travel.

So, if I can’t have a paperback in my hands, I’ll suffer with an eBook. And hey! I might even learn to love it.

Which do you prefer?

Happy writing and reading!

 

“The judge said he was going to throw the book at me. I hoped it was an ebook in the cloud, and not a heavy dictionary.”
― Jarod Kintz99 Cents For Some Nonsense

 

Goodreads Goal

Although I joined Goodreads almost two years ago, I didn’t actually begin using it much until May of this year.

I decided I needed a goal to shoot for with reading since I never used to keep track of how many books I read.

I’ve always known it was over a hundred, easily. And the nice thing about Goodreads is that you can’t count a re-read book on your goal for the year.

As many of you know, I’m a huge advocate of re-reading, but the last few years, I rarely stepped out of my comfortable books and was re-reading almost exclusively. Though my bookcase is massive and even re-reading, I still wouldn’t re-read all the books I’ve read in a year.

So, a few weeks back, I hit my goal of 100 non-re-read books this year.

I still re-read a bit, though, so the total number of books I’ve read is almost 200.

I’ll do another goal next year, and I still have three weeks to read as many books as I can this year.

It’s been refreshing, as the new books have recharged my creative juices and I’m so much better at analyzing and critiquing authors’ books. I’ve definitely learned a lot and am excited to continue my learning streak.

Anybody else use Goodreads’ book challenge? Has it helped? Not made a difference?

Happy writing! (And reading!)

 

“We don’t want to feel less when we have finished a book; we want to feel that new possibilities of being have been opened to us. We don’t want to close a book with a sense that life is totally unfair and that there is no light in the darkness; we want to feel that we have been given illumination.”
― Madeleine L’EngleWalking on Water

“Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness.”
― Helen KellerThe Story of My Life