Dec 27 2012

Top 10 Books I read in 2012

Posted by Mathias

Comments on this list before I begin.  First of all, this is not a top 10 list of books published in 2012 that I read.  This is a top 10 list of books that I read in 2012, regardless of year published.  Only books that I read for the first time in 2012 qualify for the list.  For example, I reread The Black Company by Glen Cook. which I have rated at 4.75 stars and my #18 favorite book.  However, because it is a reread, it does not qualify for this list.  Lastly, these are my opinions, and my opinions alone. (more…)

Oct 30 2012

Quick Ways To Lose Valuable Trust

Posted by Mathias

Selling books is just like selling any other product.  First you have to have something to sell.  Then, you have to convince people to buy it.

One way to convince people to buy your book, or any product for that matter, is to establish trust with your potential readers.  Trust is valuable.  It is so valuable, that it should be guarded as though it were the most precious thing in the world.  Give your potential readers a reason to distrust you, and you may find it hard to ever sell another book.  Or, at least sell enough books to make writing worth your time.

There are some really quick ways to loose trust.  But, in our zest to sell our product, we might not even realize that we are doing them.  That is dangerous.  So let’s look at some of the ways we lose our reader’s trust, shall we?

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Sep 09 2012

Sometimes The Movie Is Better Than The Book – Sometimes Not

Posted by Mathias

There are some people who insist that the book is always better than the movie.  I don’t agree.  There are so many factors that go into what makes a good movie and what makes a good book.  I’ve seen my share of movies that actually trump the book they were based on.  As much as Tolkien fanboys disagree, Peter Jackson’s interpretation of Tolkien’s Lord of the Ring trilogy was far superior to the books in my opinion.  Tolkien’s prose is, well, cumbersome, clumsy, and a little bulky.  I still liked the books, although only The Two Towers ranks in my top 20 fiction/fantasy/science fiction books of all time.  I know, sacriledge!  Don’t care. (more…)

Sep 01 2012

Something One Should Never Do, In My Opinion, As An Author

Posted by Mathias

It is oh so tempting as an unpublished author, especially one trying to complete your first manuscript, to read a TON about what advice others have with regards to what should be in the pages of a novel. You want to know how to edit it. You want to know if you are shooting yourself in the foot because your manuscript is too long for what publisher are looking for. You will even come across discussions of certain fetish words people insist are simply wrong to use.

That’s not only natural, but I think good for an aspiring author to do. Learning how to separate the gold from the dross when it comes to this advice is another matter, but you’ll learn that in due course as I have. For example, I even once read an absurd article about how people just don’t like first person narratives and such stories cannot be successful! Uh hello! Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? Or how about that recent best seller The Hunger Games? (more…)

Aug 27 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

Posted by Mathias

They say that you should not dwell too much on the negative when writing reviews because it makes you sound mean. The problem for The Hunger Games (the movie adaptation) is that there was so little positive to discuss.

Yes, I finally got around to watching The Hunger Games this past weekend. I was mildly excited to see it having very much liked the first book of the trilogy. The second and third books are another story. Now, having watched the film, I am disappointed.

So, let’s get the few positives out of the way so that people can’t say that I didn’t say anything nice. First of all, I think Jennifer Lawrence pulls off the role of Katniss Everdeen brilliantly. The fact that she was often forced to act out poorly contrived scenes is a side issue. Had it not been for her acting, things would have gone badly for the entirety of this movie. (more…)

Jul 30 2012

Yeah … Suzanne Collins Should Have Thought About That …

Posted by Mathias

So, who want to go to The Hunger Games styled theme park?  Anyone?  No?  Aw, come on!  What do you mean you don’t want to be chased around and hunted down in a replica of the arena?  What do you mean you don’t want to dodge arrows, knives, tridents, etc in a fight for your life?

Yeah, not very likely that such a thing would be a big hit.  Damn, a whole potential revenue stream down the drain.  Oh well, good thing for Collins that she made a boatload of cash off the books and the movies.

But still …  nah!

Jul 28 2012

Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Posted by Mathias

Warning! Contains spoilers!

Mockingjay is the final installment of The Hunger Games Trilogy. For one last go, we revisit post-apocalyptic Panem where Katniss Everdeen and the rebels are fighting against the tyrannical government. The book has moments of promise, usually when Katniss gets away from her brooding, who does she really love internal monologues. But it also makes me, as a fan of the first book of the trilogy, find it as a less than fulfilling end to the saga.

Look, we all know Katniss loves Peeta by now. Gale is just a distraction for her. But still, this little love triangle consumes so much of the book that it takes away from the final story of the saga. In the end, when Gale essentially gives up on Katniss and never returns to be with her, and Katniss realizes she loves Peeta, the whole thing is so anti-climatic that you wish the author had thrown a curve. But, you also know that if that curve had been thrown you would be just as disappointed had she wound up in Gale’s arms because it was just so wrong on every level. (more…)

Jun 25 2012

Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Posted by Mathias

Warning! May Contain Spoilers!

Catching Fire is book two of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. It continues the story of Katniss Everdeen and her trials and tribulations after being a victor in the Hunger Games, a sadistic competition put on by the totalitarian government of a post-apocalyptic America. The games pit children against children in a yearly fight to the death.

First off, and bluntly, Catching Fire is not as good as The Hunger Games, the first book of the trilogy. Secondly, it is not a bad book and is quite above average. Thirdly, it suffers from, and even magnifies, one of the major problems with the first book – its predictability greatly detracts from the story. (more…)

Jun 21 2012

Start Your Own Trend, Don’t Copy!

Posted by Mathias

I hear aspiring authors such as myself say it all the time. They say they are going to write a vampire novel because vampires are hot. They say they are going to write chick lot because that’s where the money is. They say they are going to write a novel about this teenage wizard because Harry Potter was a smashing success. They say they are going to write a post apocalyptic adventure with teens fighting each other and struggling to survive because, well, because look how many copy’s The Hunger Games has sold.

What these people are doing is writing for other people and trying to hop on a trend. They are not writing for themselves. And, if you ask me, it shows in their final products. I’ve read more than my share of these concoctions.

It seems that every time one of my friends opts to put up a novel on Amazon written in such a manner they ask my opinion on it. Ok, ignore the fact that vampire (the blood sucking type) novels are not really my thing. But I do like a good story. Note I said “good”. It doesn’t even have to be great! (more…)

Jun 20 2012

Why It Is Ok To Dislike A Movie But Not A Book

Posted by Mathias

Ever notice that you can say a bad movie was a bad movie, but you cannot even call a mediocre book mediocre? If you’ve ever posted an opinion online about such things, you certainly have!

It is a weird quirk of the universe I suppose. Talk about how the recent remake of Conan was poor or how John Carter just didn’t do it for you, and you can get a lot of nods of agreement. People might disagree with you, but they don’t get violently angry about it and start calling you names.

But dare to not rate The Hunger Games (the book not the movie) as anything less than five stars or talk about what you found fault with another novel you recently invested time in, not saying you hated it, jus that you didn’t “love” it, and people jump down your throat. (more…)