I used to enjoy reading, but once I started on the quest to complete a novel I found reading novels frustrating.
Reading published authors can be unsettling. It often makes me impatient because every minute spent reading their work is a minute I’m not writing. A good book can also induce self-doubt, as budding writers think they might suck in comparison. (In that strain, I have penned the Writer’s Prayer: Dear Lord, please don’t let me suck, Amen.) It’s even worse if a good novel had difficulty getting published. I think, “If he had such a hard time, what hope do I have?” On the flip side, when I read a bad, but commercially successful, novel, I ask myself, “If that idiot can do it, what’s my excuse?”
Reading also makes me painfully aware the chances of a new author getting noticed are slim. With the advent of the internet and self-publishing the background noise is staggering. I do not envy agents or publishers these days (but I will wash their car or watch their kids if it will land me a contract).
Finally, before I started writing, I didn’t nit-pick other people’s writing. I either liked it or I didn’t. Life was simple, the sky was blue and I was blissfully ignorant. Now, it’s hard to turn off this critiquing machine in my head.
Maybe it’s time to start reading just for the sake of reading again. In fact, not only am I going to start reading again, I’m going to write about it.
Starting September 15th, I’ll post monthly reviews from digital books by self-published and first time authors. Did I pick these books to afford energetic, aspiring new authors a chance to get noticed? Yes...sorta, well, no. Actually, it’s because I’m too cheap to hand over more than 99 cents for a book. In fact, my original plan was to review books I found in flea markets and garage sales, but they refused to haggle with me.
I may be cheap, but I can’t keep my mind on just one genre’, so you’ll get reviews on fantasy, mystery, adventure, and non-fiction (but no sexy teenage vampire books, I promise.)
If you are a first time author or self-published with a digital book and want me to read it, drop me a line. No promises, but if I review your book, I will also interview you (if you so desire) and post the interview here on the Underground. If your book is free (I’m cheap, remember?) or you know a good agent (did I also mention I’m shameless?) your chances of an interview go up dramatically.
Thanks for Dropping By,