My kindle library

file9531244575592Like most authors, I’m also an avid reader and yes, a book hoarder. My to-be read list grows by the week.

Do I have a slight problem? Yes, I believe I do. I have more books than I can read. I really don’t need to download any more, but something about 1-clicking on a kindle book… ahh. It’s therapeutic 🙂

So, I was actually looking through my kindle library searching for a book when I started to notice that my books of choice seem to fall in very certain categories:

  • Writing tips and how-to’s
  • Marketing
  • Self – publishing
  • Spirituality
  • Paranormal Fiction (Romance, Erotica, YA)
  • Wicca
  • Dreaming
  • Chakras & Energy & Crystals
  • Cookbooks

I’ve always had varied taste and the book categories above all make sense given my interests… all except Cookbooks. LOL! I don’t like to cook and I’m not much of a cook, but I still like to look. I have a lot of hardcopy cookbooks too. I think it’s the colorful pictures that attract me. I do love food.

But, the best part about all this? For all the books I have, the money I spend on e-books is so minimal. Self-pub authors are generous 🙂 Not only do authors often run free promos, but most books can be had for $2.99 or less! I can spend more on a latte.

Being that I’m an author myself, I like to support the community. It’s a good thing for me. I grow my collection, I learn, and I’m entertained. For the author, it’s good as well. They get sales, ranking, and a new reader.

Positivity all around. Support an indie today.

 

From a reader’s perspective

19 Jan 2005 --- Row of Old Books --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisI’ve read a lot of great books in my time and though I have a tendency to read a specific genre more than others, I can fairly say, I’ve read a little bit of everything.

I like to keep my options open and often times, my reading is ruled by my moods. Reading has always been a big part of my life and it is where I find solace in the craziness of the world.  When I was younger and had more time, I reveled in these escapes.  For me it was better than watching a movie. I felt more connected to the pages of a book where I could imagine the scenery and the characters and make them exactly as I saw them in my head.  I thought it was better than watching TV.

Now, that I’m pursuing my writing dreams, I don’t have as much time to read. Well not because I’m writing, but because I’m older and have more responsibilities and obligations that often require my full attention and unfortunately reading often takes a back seat to everything else that needs to be done first.

But, here’s the thing, in order to write better, I have to read. Not only to get ideas and inspiration, and learn about style and flow and all that great stuff, but also to remind myself what readers love about reading in the first place– readers read for the pure love and pleasure of the story.

The story is the vehicle that transports the reader to the world that the writer just created. Without a good story, even good writing practices, like perfect grammar can fall flat. The story is the life of the book.

I know, you’re probably saying, “Uh yeah! That’s a no brainer.” Yes, this is something that all writers are aware of, but sometimes, it is the most basic thing that needs to be brought up, so that people can be reminded.

I was recently reminded of this because, I promised to do a review of a book. I figure I have a little bit of free time right now and can read a short book pretty quickly. Well, here’s the thing… as I’m reading this book, I am looking at it strictly from a reader’s perspective and removing that writer side of me from the equation.

How’s it going? Well, reader-me is having an incredibly hard time reading. Why? Because, often times, I can’t tell whose character perspective I’m reading from. I feel like I’m jumping from one head to another and although, I’ve gotten used to it, I’m still struggling, especially when there’s dialogue.

This is really unfortunate because had I not promised to review, I would have probably put down the book chapters ago! But the one thing that is saving my attention from completely wandering is this –there is an interesting story that is building beneath all the head jumping. At this point, I feel committed to seeing it through… and so, I read on.

As a reader, I think there’s a lot of things I can overlook and imperfections I can forgive because for me it is about the story.  Does the author’s tale have the ability to take me away to another place and make me live the lives of his or her characters? If the answer is YES, then I’m captured and I’ll be a fan, and I’ll buy all your books without even reading your blurb 🙂

Sometimes it’s good to step back and see things from the other side 🙂

Happy reading, happy writing 🙂

Author Interview–Tracy Heath

Tracy Heath PicBooks, Blogs, and Bits proudly presents:

Bestselling Author, Country Humorist Writer

Tracy Heath

If you love to laugh, you’ll love this author!

Tracy’s Bio:   Bestselling author Tracy Heath is a country humorist writer, having grown up in the Eastern Oregon desert among dogs, cows, and tumbleweeds.  She has now published the first two books of her Country Misadventures series and is known for her comical tales of country incidents and family mishaps.  Tracy currently resides in the medium-sized city of Kennewick, Washington, with her husband.  Living with them are their rambunctious son and scruffy hunting dog.

BB&B:  What inspires you to create a story? 

Tracy:  My family does on so many different levels. My parents exposed me to quality literature as a child, and I’ve always wanted to write. Now as I have a family of my own, I want to share my childhood stories with my husband and son.  Also, I get so much pleasure myself when I’m writing. Even though it can make me feel completely frazzled, I love the process.

BB&B:  How do you decide on the setting of your story?

Tracy:  Selecting a setting was easy for me since both of my current books are based off of my own childhood in Eastern Oregon. The deep-hued sunsets, the ever-stretching wasteland, the rolling tumbleweeds are what I know best.

BB&B:  To what extent do your characters remind you of yourself or someone you know?

Tracy:  Most of my characters are based off of real people—my parents, my brothers, and myself. But as I wrote each story, even people so closely related to me took on personalities vastly different than their real-life characteristics. And then there are people such as Cynthia and Tom in the story A Redneck Romance that are composites of various individuals I knew way back in the day.

BB&B:  Can you tell us about one of your characters and what it is A Redneck Romance Coverabout that character that you like best?  Which book has this character?

Tracy:  Cynthia Clark is a black-haired, black-eyed young woman who gets caught in the crossfire between her blustery, protective pa and the backwoods neighbors next door. She’s at a turning-point of discovering that she can think for herself, and she has to decide whether to follow her own desires or to respect her pa’s commands. This country love story unfolds in the book A Redneck Romance.

 BB&B:  What do you love best about being an author?

Tracy:  There’s something so fulfilling about slaving over a document for countless hours, putting every lick of mental energy into a book, and then seeing that treasured piece of work get into the hands of strangers who never knew you even existed until they stumbled across a comical little book of country tales. And it’s comments like “I laughed until I cried” that keep me going.

BB&B:  What can fans expect from you in the future?

Tracy:  I will be adding a third book to the Country Misadventures series. The first two books are collections of short stories as will be the third. From there I plan on branching out into longer works of fiction still in the same humorous country genre. For me, it’s not worth writing unless there’s humor.

BB&B:  Do you have any tips for new writers?

Tracy:  Just start writing. That’s what I did—just for the fun of it. And now, in less than a year, I have two books published. With the opportunity of self-publishing available these days, there is no reason to not write if you so desire!

Get linked up with other writers. I’m involved in a community that has greatly increased my confidence and knowledge of how to get it done. Feel free to contact me for help on getting started!

BB&B:  Where can fans purchase your books?

Tracy:  Both titles are available at Amazon.com

BB&B:  Where can fans find you?

Tracy Heath Website

Tracy’s Facebook Page

Follow Tracy on Twitter

Author Interview–Jessica Kong

 Jessica KongBooks, Blogs, & Bits proudly presents:

JESSICA KONG

Author of Fiction, Fantasy Novels

 

Jessica’s Bio:  Jessica A. Kong lives in Somerset, New Jersey with her loving husband of twenty-one years and teenage triplets. She is an avid reader of fantasy, futuristic, and paranormals. When she is not reading she enjoys arts and craft, puzzles, crocheting, and playing video games.

 BB&B:  What inspires you to create a story?

Jessica:  I get my ideas from movies, books, and current events that blend at night and give me crazy dreams.  I keep notes on the more interesting dreams.

BB&B:  How do you decide on the setting of your story? 

Jessica:  I chose the setting for the first book I wrote.  All the books that came afterwards were decided by the characters and where their journeys take them.

BB&B:  To what extent do your characters remind you of yourself or someone you know?

Jessica:  Without mentioning any names, my characters do share traits with people in my life, and some traits I wish to find in people.

BB&B:   Can you tell us about one of your characters and what it is about that character that you like best? 

Jessica:  John McCall.  He is a tough as nails warrior with a kind heart.  He tries to hide it, but at times, it shows either in his eyes or in his actions. 

BB&B:  Which book has this character? 

Jessica:  I introduce John in A Lost Kitten.  A Lost Kitten

BB&B:  What do you love best about being an author?

Jessica:  What I love best is writing about the family I love, the Ruling Clan, and hearing that my readers are sharing my love.

BB&B:  What can fans expect from you in the future? 

Jessica:  I am currently editing the next installment in the Sea-anan Saga and the first installment to the Oceanan Saga.

BB&B:  Do you have any tips for new writers?

Jessica:  First of all, you can’t please everyone.  You will grow bald if you try.  The best thing to do is to write the story from your heart, polish it the best you can, and then let it go.  Some will like it and some will not.  It is just a fact of life you cannot change.  Secondly, whether you are an indie author or published with a publishing house, marketing your book is time consuming and tedious at times, but a necessity.  Always be kind and courteous to your followers.  And enjoy the journey.

Check out and learn more about the world of Jessica’s creation at:

Follow Jessica and become an even bigger fan by going to these sites:

Find Jessica’s Books at these sites:

Barnes & Noble

Amazon.com

 

Books, Blogs, and Bits

I am so happy to have had the opportunity to start this blog that will focus on books, books, and more books!

I’ve always had a love for books, but recently I jumped right in and became a self-published author and publisher.  It’s been a wonderful learning experience and I hope to continue growing in this industry.

It is my hope that part of the growing will be achieved through this blog where I can provide you useful information not only about self-publishing, but also provide you reviews, highlights, interviews, and all sorts of other related materials concerning books and the wonderful authors who produce them.

Please share this sight with anyone in your life who has a love of reading and writing.

Together we can achieve the impossible!