Blog Hop: Traditional or Indie?


Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Are you more willing to read traditionally published books than self-published (indie) books? Or do you not have a preference?

I’m open to either if the premise is intriguing and the writing is good.  I’ve read excellent indie books and terrible ones, and I’ve read excellent traditionally published books and terrible ones.

Indie books can sometimes have an issue where the writing is not quite as polished – there’s a particular “not quite there” style of writing that I’ve seen in authors who are still honing their craft. It’s hard to define, perhaps a kind of stilted quality, that I can usually recognize by page two if a book is suffering from it. I’ve only seen that particular issue with indie books, I think.

On the other hand, traditionally published books can be plagued by problems of predictability or trying to fit into specific molds because that’s what’s “in” right now.

And of course, there are a host of potential storytelling issues that any book can have, regardless of how it’s published.  And all sorts of great things that could happen in a story too.  Stories are stories, however they make it onto the page.

Blog Hop: Words or Pictures?


Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Are you more likely to choose to read a book based on the synopsis, or the cover?

Definitely the synopsis!  I’ve seen some very bad covers on very good books.  Plus, I feel like there’s a trend recently for abstract covers, using symbols or even geometric shapes, which tell you next to nothing about the story.  I usually pick up a book because I’m hooked by something interesting in the premise, and it’s hard to convey “here’s a clever concept” in a cover!  I won’t say I never judge a book by its cover, but the synopsis counts for much more with me.

Blog Hop: Starting on Books


Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is: How young do you think children should be when they start reading?

I don’t think you can start too early with reading to children.  I started reading picture books to my baby when he was probably less than a month old.  He’s almost six months now, and we read a few books almost every day.  He was five months before he started appearing to notice the book much – up until that point I think he just liked hearing my voice, and it was easier for me to read than come up with a monologue.  But I figure if we start the habit of reading to him now, we can just keep going.

I don’t expect him to start being able to actually read himself for years – that’s usually a kindergarten thing, right?  But I think it’s important to start reading to children long before they learn how to read.

Blog Hop: Signed Editions


Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Have you ever gotten a book signed by the author?

I’m fortunate to know several great authors personally, and so I have an entire shelf of books signed by them: K. D. Blakely, R. A. Gates, Kelly Haworth, Elizabeth Garner, Dennis Mahoney, A. G. Stewart and Magnus Victor.  I’ve been to two book readings where I got a book signed – a little surprising that it hasn’t been more, actually!  I got signed copies of The Art Lesson by Tomie de Paola, and Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin.  Two very different authors and books!

I have also bought a couple of signed books, without meeting the authors.  I have a copy of Beauty signed by Robin McKinley, and Terrier signed by Tamora Pierce.  I’d love signed copies of books (any books) by L. M. Montgomery (way, way too expensive) or J. M. Barrie (surprisingly less expensive, but pricey) but haven’t made that happen!

Blog Hop: Trick-or-Treating Partners


Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is: If you went trick-or-treating with your favorite book characters, who would it be?

Well, since I haven’t been trick-or-treating in about twenty years, I’m going to assume that this question also includes an appropriate age adjustment in the imaginary scenario, and go from there!  With that, I would definitely have to say that pretty much any of L. M. Montgomery’s characters would be brilliant to trick-or-treat with.

I can’t think that any of them ever did in any of her books (maybe it wasn’t so much a Canadian thing?  A time period thing?  Or it just didn’t make much sense in a rural community with widely-spread farmhouses?) but if we also assume a world where that’s happening and the geography makes sense…I feel pretty sure that her heroines, particularly Anne and Emily, would spend weeks before Halloween coming up with and creating elaborate home-made costumes, probably based on literary or historical characters, and then get very into the role-playing on Halloween night.  And that sounds like quite a lot of fun!

Who would you choose to trick-or-treat with?  Does it make a lot of sense, or do you have to make some assumptions? 😉