So I Read Mistborn

So I Read Mistborn

Good morning Rebels, and welcome back to my life.

On my recent trip to Austin, Texas I asked many of you what books you thought I should read. And more than one of you suggested Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson.

Believe it or not, I’ve never read a Sanderson book before, which I’m told is basically blasphemy for a fantasy author. Sorry. But I fixed it now!

So I Read Paper Towns

So I Read Paper Towns

Good morning Rebels, and welcome back to my life.

Really quick: thank you for your kind words about Writer Wednesdays so far. I’m always just a little bit nervous when I try out a new thing, and feedback from you guys helps me know if what I’m doing is worth it. So, thank you.

Last week I read John Green’s book Paper Towns, only my second John Green novel ever, in anticipation of the movie coming out in July.

BOOK REVIEW: Under the Empyrean Sky, by Chuck Wendig

BOOK REVIEW: Under the Empyrean Sky, by Chuck Wendig

Hello Rebels, and welcome back to my life, AND welcome back to my first book review in a long long time. Unfortunately, this is NOT the return of Five Minute Books. Those videos still take me way too long. This is Four Minute Books. With jump cuts. It’s not as good, I’m sorry! Last week I read Under the Empyrean Sky by hybrid author Chuck Wendig, and it gave me happy pants. I made a little unboxing video for it, and if you missed that on my Twitter, here it is: Under the Empyrean Sky is a dystopian sci-fi novel. It’s also placed in the Young Adult category, but … I don’t know, there’s a lot of stuff in here I was like, “Whoah.” Though I guess it’s definitely not more violent than The Hunger Games. The story takes place in a futuristic America where the world has divided into two groups, the Heartlanders who live on the ground and work the land, and the Empyrean, who fly around on hovering cities and rule over everyone. A quick note up front about the only thing that threw me a little bit out of this book. In this future, America has been overtaken by mutant corn genetically spliced with venus flytraps and some other nasty plants. The corn is kind of alive and will eat almost anything it comes in contact with, albeit slowly. Humans have to control the corn with all kinds of herbicides and other nasty, nasty ass chemicals, and that means a lot of them are extremely sick and have cancer. I saw this as an obvious depiction...
May I Have Your Attention Please?

May I Have Your Attention Please?

Good morning, Rebels, and welcome back to my life. May I have your attention, please? If you’re reading this, that means that for these brief moments, these eight hundred words or less, I have your attention. But odds are pretty good I don’t have your undivided attention. Many of you are probably checking your phones while you watch this. Or else you’re checking your computer screens while you read this on your phones. And if you weren’t doing that before, mentioning it makes you about three times more likely to do so. I wonder how much more likely you are to do so when I tell you you’re statistically more likely to do so? I fell like this is a rabbit hole that could lead to madness. So I’ve never told you this before, but I write books for a living. (I’ve told you that before. Too often. You’re probably sick of it). But as much attention as I am able to gain from you to read this blog post — five, ten minutes out of your day, five days a week. Most times. Not most times. Sometimes. Lots of times it’s days or weeks between posts. BUT WHATEVER that time investment you’re willing to give my blogs or YouTube videos … books are a whole ‘nother ball game. Reading a book is a time commitment like no other. And that’s why so many new authors struggle to make it. Why would you invest twelve hours reading a book when you’ve never even heard of the author before? The only reason you might is if someone you trust tells you,...
Negative Reviews and Five Minute Books

Negative Reviews and Five Minute Books

Good morning, Rebels, and welcome back to my life! So today I want to talk about Five Minute Books, my book review show I do on my YouTube channel. You might have seen it before, if not, you can click on that link above which will take you to the whole playlist. You can peruse for a review that piques your interest. The way the show works is, one week I read Amazon’s number one bestselling fiction book and review it. The next week, I choose an independent title and review it. The astute among you who have been watching the show will have noticed that I post a majority of five-star reviews, especially on indie books. The only sub-five-star reviews I’ve posted have been of bestsellers—and two of them were pretty negative. So, what, am I judging bestsellers more harshly than indie books because I’m an indie artist? Am I taking kickbacks or getting paid to promote the books of other authors? The answers to those questions are “no” and “definitely not.” So perhaps I don’t negatively review other indie artists because it invites backlash and because we’re all in this together, and without encouragement indie authors will curl up and die?I mean, Shen Hart from TheReviewHart.com (a great book review blog, by the way) gets a LOT of flak from independent authors in our mutual communities because she’s not afraid to negatively review books. I think this is incorrect. I think that hearing a thoughtful, well-crafted review of what’s wrong with your books is one of the best things that can happen to an indie author. After all, that’s what critique groups...