I’m on YouTube!

It’s official – I have a YouTube channel now. It’s mostly to talk about the books I read, books I buy, other BookTube stuff. If any of you watch the little corner of YouTube dedicated to books, you know what I’m talking about – tags, hauls, tbr’s, wrap-ups, etc.

Eventually when it gets closer to my first book’s release, I’ll be uploading videos about that as well. There will be a book trailer, cover reveal, teasers and quotes in the coming months.

You can find me here at Eliza Reads Books on YouTube.

Musical Inspiration

Book update: Rynlee’s Song is now titled A Song of Dreams and Demons and will be out sometime in early 2016 if I can make my deadlines with the other two books. Note: the content of the book will be the same, I am only changing the title and updating the cover to have the new title on it, same picture on the cover.

A common question writers get is: where do you get your ideas?

This question bugs most writers (lol).

Here’s why, at least for me. I’ve been writing since about 2008 and over those years I’ve had dozens of characters walk into my head and begin their stories. The books I’ll be publishing for many, many years are simply fully written drafts of old ideas, characters and worlds that have been with me since high school. So it feels odd to me to talk about where they come from, as if asking where I get my long hair. Um, I grew it out over many years, it’s a part of me. Just like my book ideas are a part of me over many years. Now, as for how I got those ideas in the first place, here’s how that works.

It’s usually always from another book, movie, game, or piece of music. Rarely, since I write fantasy, do I get ideas from people around me or real life. Reality obviously plays a big role in the kind of books I do write, and inspires small pieces here and there of the story, but for the overwhelming majority of ideas, they come from other media.

When I’m reading/watching a movie/playing a video game/listening to scores and instrumental music/occasionally listening to music with lyrics, then I just imagine what if…. and scenes come into my head. Fully fledged characters who exist in my subconscious come onto the stage of my brain and start telling me about their life and their world.

I also, but not often, get inspiration from dreams. Two of the ideas I’ve been sitting on for years, waiting to write the first drafts, came from (separate) very specific, very bizarre dreams. The rest of my 20+ list of books to write are from movies/music/books, etc.

Rynlee’s song (from now on going to be referred to as A Song of Death and Lies or ASODAL) has been a part of my life for so long that I really don’t remember what inspired it. Since I’ve been writing it over such a long period of time and growing tremendously as a writer, I only remember wanting to write about a girl who goes on an adventure with a boy, because that mostly describes the kind of books I like to read.

If you aren’t an aspiring writer, it might be hard to understand how alive and real characters seem to writers. Obviously we know they aren’t real, but I often think about and talk about my babies, as my bff and I call our characters, as if they were. These fictional people are a huge part of my life, and it’s kind of like going on many different personal journeys in many different people’s shoes, and then getting to share their story with the world once published.

Being a writer is amazing.

If you are just starting out as an aspiring writer and wanting to write a book, but you don’t have any ideas, what do you do? Here’s my advice: Go onto YouTube and search for “Two Steps From Hell” and click on any video that catches your eye. Click on related videos and keep listening to music while thinking about your favorite characters from other books or movies. Keep doing that until you find something intriguing enough to want to know more about.

Relaunching a Series

Not that anyone is reading my blog yet, but I figured I should write a post about this.

I’ve decided to pull my book Rynlee’s Song from all retailers. It’s currently not available anywhere to buy, but that’s only temporary. I’m going to be re-releasing the entire series after I’ve finished writing the other two books in the trilogy.

The plan for now is to write the next two books as fast as I can manage, and then after all 3 are ready for publication, release them all 2 weeks apart, along with a novella I already wrote a couple months ago. So my focus now will be on writing those drafts and getting everything prepared for a relaunch. I’ll be sending out email newsletters with the details.

On Authors Reviewing Books.

Just to be clear: this post is about authors posting reviews on other books, not their own. (I have rated my own book 5 stars only on goodreads, because I can. Because goodreads has a spot that says ‘review from the author’ for a reason.)

I LOVE books. I was a reader way way long before I was a writer. Every author starts this way, just like every actor watches movies before acting in them, every painter goes to art shows and looks at paintings before doing any painting.

I believe it is the right of everyone who loves to read to say their opinion about what they read. Why is it any different that I also write books? I know not all authors are like this, but personally I have a few “rules” for myself when I want to post a review:

  1. I am always honest. I will never put a negative review on a competing book to mine just to bring them down. In fact, I don’t even consider other books to be competition. People reading more is good for everyone, not just certain authors. But that is a discussion for another post.
  2. I never post a review less than 3 stars. This is because if I thought that little of the book, I probably didn’t finish it, or if I did finish reading it, I don’t want to have to think about it enough to come up with a quality worded review. Plus, I don’t want anyone to accuse me of putting a negative review a la point #1.
  3. I’m only posting reviews of books I genuinely want to read. I don’t know if this will change in the future, but as of right now, I don’t get any books from publishers to review, or other authors asking me to swap reviews with them, etc. I am only reading books that I buy with my own money. If ever I posted a review that was sent to me for free, I would state that in the review.

So whenever you’re reading what I think about another author’s book, it is actually what I thought about that book. I am fully supportive of authors who want to post book reviews. Reviews keep the industry going, and every author needs them, no matter where they come from. I feel I am supporting and encouraging other authors and readers by still reviewing what I read.

What are your opinions? Do you think famous authors like J K Rowling or Suzanne Collins should post reviews? Or just authors who aren’t so famous and wouldn’t get as much backlash depending on what they say in the review.

My TBR Jar

Like all authors, I read a lot. Obviously, I fell in love with reading long before I ever thought I might want to write my own story. I remember many, many library trips where I’d come home with at least 8 books each time after browsing for hours in the young adult section. Even before that, my parents have always let me pick what I wanted to read, and I’m so happy they did!

My impressionable mind was filled with dragons, magic, and tender first romances as well as death, redemption, revenge, mystery and bittersweet endings.

Recently, I looked through my bookshelves and my ereader and wrote down all the books (and ebooks) I owned that I hadn’t yet read, on slips of paper and put them in a jar. I figured, each time I finished a book, I could draw a random piece of paper and that will be the next book I read. My only rules for myself were:

  1. If I end up not liking the book, I’m allowed to not finish it and draw another paper for a new book
  2. If I draw the name of a book in the middle of a series, I’ll just read the first one, or the next that I haven’t read yet

Today, my husband, mother and I were on a trip out of town and of course I asked hubby if we could stop at the bookstore on the way home. This independent bookstore is one of my alltime favorite places, I just wish it were closer to where I live. I came home with 2 hardcovers and added their names to the jar.

TBR_jar

On the trip back home, I finished reading an ebook that I’d drawn from the jar a few days ago, so I got to pick a new one. Funnily enough, after a lot of mixing and not looking, I drew the name of one of the 2 new hardcovers I just bought today!

Don’t you love randomness?

(And yes, my jar is totally a washed, reused Tostitos cheese jar. Deal with it.)

Voila—a blog.

I’m probably not going to blog about writing here. I want this site to be for readers, so this space will mostly be for book updates, possibly giveaways, bonus content, good music, interesting things I’d like to share with you guys, and maybe even reading recommendations.

Since this is a personal blog about my life as a writer and my books, feel free to close the window if you don’t like what you read.

To start: obviously you can’t really know a person through a blog where he or she could easily censor what they write or only present one side of them. I hope that my blog posts don’t offend anyone but I am going to be myself here. My introverted, contemplative, fangirl, curious and weird self. I’m a very private person, but I have flaws and hopes and dreams like any of you. Surprise: authors are real people. Most are not celebrities!

These posts will not be regular because I cannot stick to a schedule. Besides that, I don’t always have something to share or update on a regular basis.

With that out of the way, welcome to my corner of the interwebs!