Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Reading For Writers

I don't know if you all realized it, but here at Title Magic you have access to your own personal library paraprofessional. Which means I'm the chick who sits at the front desk of your local library and gives you lists of good books to read. I'm also the person you yell at when you have overdue fines. Try not to do that too much, though, or I'll revoke your library card! *evil laugh* Okay. Not really. But do be nice to your circulation clerk. We choose to work in libraries out of love of the written word and we can be one of your best friends on your path to publication and beyond! (More on that later.)

A big part of my job involves evaluating books and telling people what to read based on their tastes and their passions. These skills have been invaluable to me as an apprentice fiction writer and it occurred to me that this is one thing that I can actually teach others about the craft. So I've constructed a three-part blog mini-series called Reading For Writers.

February 13 - Books that Suck and the Readers Who Love Them: Why analyzing some of the books you read can impove your writing and how to do it.
March 13 - The Care and Feeding of Your Local Librarian: What libraries can do for you and your work beyond the Dewey Decimal System.
April 14 - Non-fiction - It's Not Just for Research Anymore: Finding information and inspiration while reading non-fiction for pleasure.

And starting in May, I'll give you some fodder on which to test those Reading For Writers skills with an open-ended series called Abusing the TBR Pile. Each month I'll post a custom-made reading list just for writers with a sampling of the best, worst, popular, and obscure titles in a specific genre or sub-genre.

So, I have a couple of questions for you guys. (Lurkers too. Don't be shy!)

1. Does this sound like fun, or more of a dental appointment type of thing?
2. What genres are you all interested in? We Title Magicians pen paranormals, but that's not our only focus. Heck, I don't even write romance exclusively. (Yes! Yes! My shameful secret is out!) So spill. What do you read and write?


Lexie O'Neill said...

Dear Mel,
It sounds great! I have so (relatively) little time to develop my writing skills that any and all hints HELP.

Helen Scott Taylor said...


Sounds interesting. I'm interested in ideas for books to read. (Despite the fact I already have a humungous tbr pile.) I'm keen on mysteries as well as romance. I have a secret weakness for cosy mystery. I have read some great and not so great, but I'd love more recommendations on those. I tend to enjoy the paranormals that have a strong external plot along with the romance, or maybe the romance as a secondary plot.


Amanda Ashby said...

I LOVE libraries so will be looking foward to reading all your upcoming blog posts.

Janet said...

It sounds good. I'm particularly interested in knowing about cultivating that relationship with the circulation clerk at the library. How do I make librarians like me, order my book, recommend my book...

Savanna Kougar said...

Mel, gives me the extra good tinglies. Luv to learn more. See, I told you, your super librarian powers were very much needed! That graphic is too chuckle, chuckle Kool.

Mel Hiers said...

Hi guys! Thanks for the awesome feedback!

Me too, Lexie. I'm learning a lot from you guys and this blog, though. It's a good thing! :-)

Hi Helen! I'm a HUGE sucker for a good cozy. M.C. Beaton and Jo Dereske are two of my favorites. And that's the way I like my paranormals too!

Hoory for library lovers! And I'm sure your library loves you back, Amanda. :-)

Hey Janet! *waves* I'll definitely have to include tips like that! Although, if you're a regular patron you're probably on the right track. We're hosting an author series at my library over the next couple of months. When we started to plan it, our first thought was to invite any patrons with books out first. Oh, and I'll definitely do a Myspace bulletin when I post these! :-)

Hiya Savanna! I think I need a cape. But Super Librarian will never be as cool as Wonder Woman! The graphic is of an action figure based on librarian Nancy Pearl. I highly recommend her books Book Lust and Book Lust II. She's my readers' advisory hero!

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

I read everything I can get my hands on. I like to go to used bookstores and randomly pluck things off the shelves. I can't wait to see your posts, Mel!