I'm still alive! I'm feeling quite happy! I think I'll take a walk!

Seriously, though, I am still working hard on revisions, but you can find me as today's guest blogger over at Booklover Carol:

R.J. Anderson on "Writers as Readers"

Feel free to drop by and leave your thoughts about books that have influenced you in the comments!
I've been thinking about authors I love and author blogs I love, and how surprisingly little overlap there seems to be between the two.

When I look at the list of the (many) author blogs I follow, not all of them are written by authors whose books I've enjoyed. Some are written by authors whose books I've never read; others are written by authors whose books I found disappointing or even outright disliked. Nevertheless, I find their blogs to be engaging, interesting, funny or otherwise enjoyable, so I keep following them.

Here are some positive qualities I've noticed in the author blogs I follow:

- A great sense of humor.

- Links to other sites and articles of interest.

- Thoughtful posts about the writing and reading processes which are not just limited to the author's own work.

- Evidence that this author is part of a larger creative community -- they're responding to blogs written by others, and sincerely recommending, reviewing and promoting other authors' work even when it obviously isn't going to benefit them personally.

- Interaction with commenters -- proving that the author is actually interested in some social and intellectual give-and-take, rather than just standing on a soapbox.

On the other hand, there have been a few occasions where I discovered a much-loved author blogging and have leaped to add them to my reading list -- only to change my mind a few months later and take them off again because their blogging style and content were so tedious that it was spoiling my enjoyment of their books.

Here are some of the reasons I've taken author blogs off my list:

- Entry after entry describing routine events in their day, usually in mind-numbing detail ("So I got up and had breakfast, and then I took the dog out for a walk, and then I came home and cleaned the toilet...")

- At least 50% of the posts are about their pets and/or their children, and they're written in a way which is neither funny nor otherwise creative. Sorry, I like kids and animals as much as the next person, but I am really not that interested in hearing about the cute little booties you bought for your poodle, or how you put a bandage on Little Johnny's scraped knee.

- The majority of posts are political. Some people consider this a feature; for me, it's a bug. I don't even care which side of the political arena you're on, I'm just not interested.

- The blog is mainly self-promotion -- just keeping a record of their own accomplishments, awards, and public appearances, as opposed to any content which might be of interest to writers and readers generally.

- They write incredibly long, rambling posts with terrible formatting, and never use cut tags.

I'm not objecting to occasional mentions of daily life or pets or kids or politics or self-promo stuff. All these things are perfectly legit in small doses, but if any or all of them become the dominant trend, I'm out of there.

What about you? What do you like/not like to see in an author's blog? And what author blogs are your personal favorites?
Bet you thought I was going to tweet everything from here on... it's tempting, if only because it's so convenient and demands so little time. But I do remember that I have a proper blog, honest. It's just that I'm pretty swamped right now, with less than two weeks to go until my deadline to hand in Wayfarer and lots of revision yet to be done.

I have a question, though. I've noticed that there seems to be a definite imbalance in the book-related blogs and feeds I'm subscribed to. The majority of them seem highly centered on Young Adult/Teen content and seldom if ever talk about Middle Grade books. I've also noticed that the reviewers I've friended all seem to skew toward the US market, with little or no input from the UK/Aus/NZ side of things.

So, for those of you more firmly established in the MG world and/or located elsewhere in the Commonwealth, what are your favorite MG and/or UK publishing-centric book blogs?
Dear Stephen Fry:

You are a very funny and talented man, and I am not at all surprised that you are also an enormous geek. I am amazed, however, by the sheer insane length of your first blog post, and the fact that it is all about electronic gadgetry. I don't know why I expected you to still write everything down on parchment with a fountain pen and use only public telephones, but for some reason I did.

Really, the sheer complexity of people never fails to surprise me.

Which has inspired me to create a meme of sorts:

1. Tell me one thing about yourself that you think I might be really surprised to hear, and/or
2. Tell me one thing about myself that really surprised you when you found out.

And now I must go and unravel part of Chapter Four which isn't working, so that I can feel happy about carrying on with Chapter Five.
Does anybody on my f-list know of a utility that imports old Blogger posts into LiveJournal? I mean, it seems like the kind of thing lots of people would want to do, surely somebody must have written one by now...?
Otherwise known as my "hey, I'm back from camp and I feel like a zombie" post.

Why a week away from home with no cleaning duties and three delicious meals served daily should prove mentally and physically exhausting, much less feeling like I'm about to get the mother of all colds, I cannot tell you. Suffice it to say that it is so.

I was also hoping that the week away from home would persuade my brain to stop going all OOH SHINY over Touching Indigo and prudently switch gears back to Wayfarer, which is after all under contract and therefore the more needy of my attention. Unfortunately, this did not happen, though I have confidence that it will once I get to know Timothy and Linden better... which, despite all my note-taking and emotional mapping and poking about on Getty Images looking for lookalikes, is not going to happen until I start actually writing them.

Some good things happened while I was on vacation, however: I got passports for myself and three kids with zero waiting time (thank you so much, [livejournal.com profile] risti, for the suggestion about doing the online application -- I think it made all the difference), I had Bubble Tea with [livejournal.com profile] erinbow (who is probably still laughing about the O_O face I made when the first tapioca pearl came up the straw), and we successfully converted my crib-sleeping toddler to a bunk-sleeper with nary a hitch.

Also, I came back home to find that [livejournal.com profile] fuseno8 had posted about our meeting in her blog, with a nice picture of the two of us and everything. Thank you, Betsy! It was a pleasure, and if you should return to town I shall take you out for cream tea.

Well, the house is woefully a-clutter since we have been moving Oldest Child and his enormous collection of toy farm equipment into the room that used to be the baby's, plus trying to unpack several suitcases and do two loads of laundry at the same time. So I must stop trying to catch up with my F-list and get to work, which means I am about to borrow a page from [livejournal.com profile] kalquessa and make this general appeal:

If you've written (or found) anything in the past week that you think I should see, please put a link to the relevant post in the comments.

That would help enormously, thank you.

Oh! And one more thing. I re-read HP Book 7 while I was gone -- taking it slowly and carefully this time, with particular thought given to criticisms I've heard from other readers, as well as my own initial sense of dissatisfaction. And I am happy to report that this time around, I thought it was brilliant. More about that later, when I am no longer surrounded by guilt-inducing household debris.

*hurries off*
Gacked from the ever-wonderful [livejournal.com profile] fuseno8, whose links bring all the authors to her yard -- a v. interesting article about the difficulty of translating HP into Hindi. [livejournal.com profile] becominghuman, I thought of you:

Should You Address Prof. Snape with Respect?

And in other HP news, I am driving into Toronto today to have supper with [livejournal.com profile] melissaanelli! I haven't seen her in person since October 2002, which is far too long, and our e-mails to each other in the last couple of years have consisted mostly of MAJOR NEWS followed by thoughtful comments like "ajhdkjlhsdkjldfsklsdkd;". But then, she's one seriously busy lady these days, for some odd reason.

More later.

Feed Me!

May. 2nd, 2007 11:03 am
rj_anderson: (Aztec Camera - Knife)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] jmprince for pointing me to Editorial Anonymous: A Blog of a Children's Book Editor. I've created a LiveJournal feed for those who'd like to have the posts show up on their friendslist:

[livejournal.com profile] editorial_anon

*wanders off, still snickering about the 6,000-word picture book*
For those on my f-list who might be interested, I've just created a feed for the "Sword of Gryffindor" blog, which looks favourably at the Harry Potter books from an evangelical Christian perspective: [livejournal.com profile] sword_gryff.


Feb. 17th, 2005 09:52 am
rj_anderson: (Mary Russell - art by Voxbellin)
For those interested in keeping up with mystery/suspense author Laurie R. King's new blog via LJ, I've just created a new feed, [livejournal.com profile] lrk_mutterings.

Hopefully it works.


rj_anderson: (Default)

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