My Books

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What Makes You Pick a Book Off the Shelf?

With so many great books out, how do you decide what you're going to read next?

I went to Borders a few weeks ago with a $50 gift card and quickly found that it didn't take long to spend it, and then some. My problem was there were so many wonderful books to choose from. I know, it's a great problem to have. I, of course, do most of my shopping in the YA section. I swear, every time I go into Borders the section gets bigger...which is fantastic, but along with abundance comes a more difficult choice -- what to pick?

Btw - I just told my husband my blogging question, "What makes you pick a book off the shelf?" and he said, "My hand, my eyes, coordination." He SO doesn't get it, lol! :)

Okay, back to Borders -- I knew I wanted a few books, such as Delirium, The Hunger Games & Vampire Academy, based on recommendations from my favorite book bloggers and fantastic critique partner. After that, I was like a kid in the candy story. Everything was so sparkly and pretty.

The first thing that attracts me to books is the cover. For example, I scooped up Paranormalcy -- it has a gorgeous cover. I immediately wanted to read it based on the name and the cover alone. After I'm wooed into picking up a book, I read the blurb. There are so many great books that I don't even bother to read the first few pages anymore. Recommendations, the title, cover and blurb are all key factors in what books I choose and which ones I save for a later date. My to-be-read list is VERY long!

What about you? What makes you pick a book off the shelf? Or, for you electronic readers, how do you decide what you're going to read next?

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! :)

T. H. Browning

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Importance of Beta Readers

I wanted to write this post to thank my fabulous family, friends, agent, critique partner, and awesome group of BC writers and bloggers who helped make my manuscript what it is today. It is now ready for submission and I couldn't be prouder.

Writing is a team effort. Yes, while you're writing that first draft it's a very solitary process. I lock myself in my office, start my "writing" playlist, and throw on the headphones to block out any other noise. After I type those last few sentences of my first draft, I read it through for the first time. That first read is SO amazing because you get to see how your ideas have come together (or not come together). After implementing edits, I print it out, read it again, and implement more edits.

Then comes the time, after many reads and edits, that you have to let it go. It is so important for a writer to have people who will read their story with a critical eye and point out the details that you as the writer can't see because you're too close to the story. After you receive their feedback you can say, "Wow, you're right. I totally missed that!" or "Well, I think I prefer to keep it that way." Yes, everyone is going to have a different opinion about how you can improve your story. If you changed everything to please everyone you'd never finish.

In the end, you are the writer. What you do with your book is solely up to you. But don't underestimate the importance of beta readers. Without the wonderful feedback, support, encouragement and comments of everyone who was kind enough to read my book and provide feedback, it wouldn't be what it is today.

So, I'm sending a BIG shout out to all of you! Words can't express how deeply thankful I am! : ) XOXO

T.H. Browning

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Next YA Book Trend

It's been two weeks since I've posted. I've had a crazy-busy week. *slaps hand* Sorry, I'll TRY not to do it again. Now, on to my post, I promise...

An author in my agency posted a really great question on our agency loop. She wanted to know what types of YA books YA readers are interested in now? We had the vampire trend and the angel trend, etc... What's next? I've heard that teens want to read books they can relate with. Being that I am no longer a teenager, what does that include -- sex, drugs, relationships, school, etc.? What are the problems "real" teenagers deal with on a daily basis?

Although, I'm biased. I'm an avid reader/writer of paranormal romance, so I don't understand why you can't throw in a fantastical element here and there. I've grown up loving the fantasy world. My favorite shows were Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Charmed and now Vampire Diaries. I think when it comes to the "supernatural," I'm a lifer. I'm always going to love books that take me away to a new world, set on this planet (with a few exceptions - City of Glass & Across the Universe <~~ love these books).

I'd love to hear your take on what you think the next YA "thing" will be? What trends should we be looking for in the YA section of the bookstore?

Thanks for reading. Talk to you soon! :)

T.H. Browning