In addition to writing this summer, I've promised to read a few books and review them. I'm finding, for me at least, that one precludes the other rather than complements. So that's one balancing act. The other is that I'm starting to know more writers online and when asked to read/review a book, I feel a tug to help promote their work. Which is the ultimate purpose behind give-aways. I get that.
But I don't like giving 1 or 2 star reviews. (Just walk away from the computer, why be negative?) So generally, if I can't give a 4 or 5 star, I won't review it. Three stars are tricky. I've been blasted for giving a three star and also thanked.
I can foresee a day, very quickly in fact, that I give up giving reviews. For many reasons I should blog about some time, not the least of which is Dean Wesley Smith's rationale that - and I'm totally mangling his quote here - 'the worst reviewers are failed writers' or something like that. And I can see his point. Those who can't do, teach; those who can't teach, write; those who can't write, review. Well, I'm already a teacher...lol.
In other words, I don't want to be 'writier-than-thou.' That's why I don't have a lot of writing tips on my blog, giving advice on how to write. I'll share some of the exercises I'm doing and if that's helpful, great. But I don't even have a book published, why would I start giving advice? And yet I see a bunch of newbie writers already giving advice... I think self-help gurus can become experts by faking it until making it, but not writers.
At any rate, I'm in transition. So these next books might be the last few I'll review. But maybe not. Not sure. They're the next on my reading/reviewing list, though. And I generally keep my promises...even if it's a three star? (Sounds like a threat, ha...A Lannister always pays his debts...ha.)
Just finished: ENGN by Simon Kewin (MG steampunk/dystopian novel)
Reading: Courage to Change by Elizabeth Maddrey (inspirational, contemporary romance)
Next up: Immaterial Evidence by Milo James Fowler (sf crime noir)
Then: Highway 24 by Jeff Chapman (paranormal ghost story)
Then: Ordinary Folk by Kat Heckenbach (paranormal werewolf story)
And then about 5 or 6 others! Yi yi yi.
And I also have to write!
So what did I do? I found a pay-what-you-want bundle of 8 SF novels at StoryBundle.com and bought them! (BTW, only 17 days left on this special deal which includes novels by Kevin Anderson, Michael Stackpole, David Farland, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Mike Resnick, B.V. Larson, Frank Herbert, and Greg Benford.) Why why why? More books to read. Too many books! Sigh.
On the upside, I haven't promised to review them.