Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Great Blog for Mystery and Crime Writers

It's time to say bon Voyage and happy touring to Mayra, Anne, and the Slippery Art of Book Reviewing tour. We wish them well as they continue on. Today, the tour continues at Cheryl Malandrinos’ The Book Connection with a Guest Post from Ms. Calvini. On Friday, look for a book/author spotlight at Morgan Mandel’s, All I Have to Say. The full tour schedule can be found on The Slippery Book Review blog.

It's Wednesday - time for a writing tip or quote. I have quite a treat today for any author who likes to keep up with blogs about real-world crime fighting. Lee Lofland, offers a wealth of information at The Graveyard Shift. Not only are his current blogs very informative, he also provides links to the archives grouped into categories like Death Investigation and Police Dogs. Great stuff, but he doesn't stop there. He provides extensive blog rolls for other authors' sites and Crime Writer's blogs and shorter lists of experts, agents, and publishers.

There's enough information here to help you procrastinate for days, posibly even weeks. So if you're committed to NaNo, book mark the site and until December 3rd to visit.

Happy Writing


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links, Charlotte! Graveyard Shift sounds very good - will visit and bookmark.

Charlotte Phillips, Co-Author of The Eva Baum Detective Series said...

Thanks for visiting Marvin. I love that you're letting your fans pick the title of your next book over at Free Spirit.

Have Fun,

Clare2e said...

I'll visit, too, after NaNo, of course! And thanks for keeping up with us at Women of Mystery.

I used to do book reviews and hated having to do unhappy ones. It's not that I wanted readers not to know what I'd learned the hard way, but I didn't want to be the one dissecting the body all the time. I understand your review philosophy completely. Besides, I can find crap on my own; what I'm always looking for is new things to love!

Charlotte Phillips, Co-Author of The Eva Baum Detective Series said...

Clare, good for you - sticking to your guns on your NaNo project. Hope that's going well for you.

On the reviews, I've always read reviews, but never used them to make a purchase decision. Too often, I find I have a different opinion than the reviewer. And that's what reviews are - opinions. As a reader, I never understood why a reviewer would shred someone's work. I especially hated to see the reviews that read like the reviewer was trying to impress us with his/her wit at the expense of someone else's hard work.

Weirdly, I have a different view since I started writing. We have received six pretty good reviews for Hacksaw and one critical review. While we enjoyed reading the good reviews - really, really enjoyed them - they didn't provide any hints on how to improve...and we know the novel isn't perfect. The critical review was difficult to read, especially since the reviewer hit on some issues that we knew we had early on, and thought were fixed. Now we know that at least one reader beleives we did not succeed and we need to continue to pay attention in those areas. I also learned that at least one reader felt she should have been warned about the graphic scenes in Hacksaw. She may not have read the book if she'd known because she prefers mysteries where the violence happens off the page and is simply alluded to. So now I understand that some critical reviews - those that are fair and balanced - provide a service to the authors.

I still won't publish a bad review. Because of this, one blog reader suggested I change the blog title to Char's Recommendations. I'm considering it.

Clare2e said...

The Recommendations idea is interesting.

I do buy books from reviews, either from trusted friends/reviewers whose taste I understand and respect, or by extracting information from strangers. I know what my own pet peeves and intolerances are with fiction, and for less than art, I won't bother annoying myself. Sometimes, I find out right away that an author's approach is tailor-made to displease me, only because of my own quirks, and I can bail out before I start. I enjoy hearing what other authors readers compare the experience to. Even if it turns out to be wrong, it can be revealing as to the lens they're viewing the novel through. Sometimes, I can tell the aspect another reader dislikes is exactly what I'm likely to dig most. So, I do scan through reviews, but not for the pass-fail grade on a book, but for those tidbits of information that help me.

Of course, my first choice in choosing a book is always an excerpt, and then, my own opinion is LAW- Bwa ha ha!

Clare2e said...

BTW, your slightly squeamish reader may be right, but if I see a book with a cover like yours and the name Hacksaw, I do take that as an indication of tone. If it were a smiling, cartoon hacksaw dancing with a kitten in carpenter's overalls, I might feel differently, but I think your graphic design (accurately it seems) points toward a darker tale.

I hate when I think I've stitched up a story problem only to find the reader still notices the ragged hem.