Tag Archives: Dylan S. Hearn

A challenge to all Readers …

Earlier in the summer, I wrote and posted this to my blog: Why not read books simply because they’re well-written?

Then I asked Chris Graham, aka The Story Reading Ape, to create three memes that promoted three of the ideas I’d covered in this post: Ask for a meme …

For the purpose of this challenge, I want to focus on the suggestion in one of these memes …

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Why not, indeed?

I recently began following two Facebook pages that were set up for the benefit of Readers. The gist of both sites was an exchange of reading recommendations and a place where readers could find out what they might want to read next. On the one site, there were a lot of rules posted restricting Indie Authors as to how much they could self-promote. Understandably so. However, authors were also restricted from posting links to our own blogs, and I was reprimanded by admin., even though my blog link in question was a list of the best books I had read this past year and not self-promotion at all. I’d apparently over-stepped the limit of one self-promotion post per week on the site. I’ve removed all my previous posts from that site and have stopped posting there altogether. I know, it is their site and they are allowed to make and administer the rules. But, in the meantime, other site members will never see that list of books by other authors I was recommending they consider reading. Not my own books, mind you, but the books of many other fine authors.

Meanwhile, I continue to read posts by other site members in which they’re asking for reading recommendations – and contributing to discussions surrounding reading books written by the same-old bestselling authors or series or genres that the members have already been reading. And no one is asking for something new, something different, something outside of their comfort zone. An author who is new-to-them who will make the reader stand up and take notice and have that reader recommending the author to every other reader they know.

So, this is my challenge to all readers out there … And this includes all authors, as well, because you’re all also readers, right? (If you answer “No” to that, then SHAME ON YOU! You SHOULD be reading. You can’t write well if you don’t read. But that leads us to another blog post: Writer = Reader. And I digress …)

Here’s what I challenge all Readers to do:

1. Discover a new-to-you author. Look for authors who write a different genre than you usually read.

2. Purchase a copy of their book or borrow from the library. (Preferably purchase. I understand if you can’t afford to buy. However, I give you the inimitable Seumas Gallacher as an example of someone who supports Indie Authors by making a point of purchasing one Indie-Authored book a month. That kind of committment is not going to break the bank.)

3. Read.

4. If you enjoyed what you read, tell your friends and other readers. And if you REALLY enjoyed what you read, become a champion of that author. Read more of their books. Follow them on Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, their blog. Write a review if you like to write reviews. Post your recommendation to your own blog or social media sites. Spread the word about this new-to-you author as far as you possibly can. (If you want to write a review and don’t have your own blog or don’t like posting to Amazon, contact me about publishing your review on reading recommendations reviewed or this blog.)

5. Write to the author directly to tell them how much you enjoyed their book. Trust me! We love receiving fan mail!!

6. Repeat #s 1-5. Many times.

Simple, right?

I know you’re probably thinking, “It’s easy for her to say. She’s an author who has connections to lots of other authors and knows where to find new books to read. Where the heck am I going to find these new-to-me authors and their books?”

Well, yes, I am well connected, but I have discovered many of the authors I now enjoy reading by watching for listings on Goodreads, Facebook, and mainly through other bloggers. So here’s a list of places where you might consider looking for suggestions on the next great book you’re going to read so you may become part of my challenge!

My blogs (of course):
Reading Recommendations
reading recommendations reviewed
And specific blog posts:
Best Books Read 2016 – Part 1
Best Books Read 2016 – Part 2

And blogs written by many friends who support their fellow authors:
Seumas Gallacher
Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life, Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore
Chris The Story Reading Ape – Authors Hall of Fame
Allan Hudson – South Branch Scribbler
Tricia Drammeh – Authors to Watch
Dylan Hearn – Suffolk Scribblings: Recommended Reads
Anne Logan – I’VE READ THIS
Mary Bailey – 1WriteWay: A Different Kind of Book Review
Happymeerkatreviews

There are many, many more. I leave it up to you, Readers, to discover the best places for finding your own new-to-you authors. Don’t forget the local library, too! Most libraries have websites, and librarians are always eager to create and post lists of books that will be of interest to their patrons. (And, thanks to Calgary Public Library, my first novel, Island in the Clouds, has been listed on two such lists, their Around the World in 14 Mysteries and Accidental Sleuths and my second novel on the eponymously named One Woman’s Island recommendations!)

One other source for discovering new-to-you authors – especially poets, in this case – and even new-to-you music, as well, is Bob Chelmick’s The Road Home. This is 24-hour streaming of Bob’s radio program’s that have long been featured on CKUA Radio. Give it a listen. It’s addicting!! (I’m listening as I write this and just heard one of my favourite authors, Robert Kroetsch, reading his poetry.)

So, off you go! You’ll find a lot of fun in the discovery, but I hope you find even more enjoyment in the reading!

Ready, set … READ!

(No need to comment here that you’re taking my challenge, unless you do find a new-to-you author you’d like to crow about. I always welcome accolades for authors! And if you already review books and authors on your own blog, please include your link in the comments section below.)

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27 Author Recommendations for Holiday Gift-Giving …

No, wait! I didn’t mean you should wrap up an Author and give THEM to your friends, although I’m sure any of us mentioned below are flattered for having been considered gift-worthy … Let’s start over.

What could be better than giving or receiving A BOOK (or several) – at any time of the year and for any occasion? If you’re stumped as to what to give people on your list, or if you’re looking for something new for your own reading pleasure, please allow me to make a few suggestions …

I highly recommend the writing and books published by the following six Authors who have previously been featured on my other blog, Reading Recommendations:

Tim Baker and another book (featuring contributions from 6 Reading Recommendations Authors, including ME!)
Kevin Brennan and another book
Seumas Gallacher
Dylan Hearn and another book
Rebecca Heishman
S.K. Nicholls

But wait! There’s more … I asked each of the Authors listed above to also give me their recommendations of other Authors whose writing they enjoy, and here’s what they each had to say:

Tim Baker: Steve Boone, Robert Chazz Chute (and another book) and Linton Robinson (Steve and Robert have been featured on Reading Recommendations)

Kevin Brennan:
Zero, by J.S. Collyer — I’m no sci-fi nut, but this was a ripping story set in a strangely familiar future.
Memoirs of a Dilettante – Volume 1, by Helena Hann-Basquiat — An unclassifiable collection of anecdotes. Fact or fiction? Who knows? Who cares?
Dolls Behaving Badly, by Cinthia Ritchie — This novel was beat up pretty badly by the Amazon/Hachette conflict, and it’d be great if Cinthia could get a second wind now.
Shaping Destiny, by Destiny Allison — A poignant memoir of a woman’s evolution as an artist.

Seumas Gallacher: Chaos is Come Again by John Dolan and Fiona Quinn, Outsourced by Eric J. Gates, Subtraction by Andrew Peters (Andrew has previously been featured on Reading Recommendations)

Dylan Hearn:
The Me You See by Shay Ray Stevens – a fantastic mystery, cleverly written, which has a brilliant ending that I just didn’t see coming.
Othella by Therin Knite – a hard-edged and uncompromising dystopian thriller, as if Raymond Chandler decided to have a go at re-imagining Hunger Games. (Therin was previously featured on Reading Recommendations)
Duck by Stephen Parolini – a wonderfully warm coming-of-age novella about a boy and a bomb.

Rebecca Heishman:
Haven Kimmel: A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland Indiana
This author is one of Indiana’s hidden gems. I have been a fan of her writing for many years. Her intimate and tender style of writing has influenced my own. This gal has never gotten the credit that her lovely writing deserves.
Silas House: Eli the Good
Silas House is an award-winning Kentucky author whose beautifully-crafted prose touches many hearts. Eli the Good is a novel written for young adults, but the message is so strong and so beautiful that it resonates with me and many other adult readers. It would make a lovely Christmas gift for young or old.
Bill Bryson: A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
Part travelogue, part memoir, and full of humor, this book takes you along on Bryson’s trudge through one of America’s most rustic, brutal, beautiful, and storied trails. The book is filled with colorful characters that he meets along the way, giving us a portrait of what makes us proud to be American, despite our steady force-fed diet of negative media.

S.K. Nicholls:
Misha Burnett has a sci-fi/urban fantasy series that is absolute genius. Here is his author page and he also has a blog.
Carrie Rubin has a great medical thriller, The Seneca Scourge. She also has a blog.
Patrick O’Bryon is one of my most favorite authors. His historical spy thrillers set in Germany and France during WWII are based on his own father’s life as a journalist/spy during that time. He is a self-proclaimed Europhile and has lived and visited abroad frequently. His two books have done very well and a third, Fulcrum of Malice is due out next year. Corridor of Darkness is the first, and Beacon of Vengeance is the second. He is one of the most successful indie authors I know and his work is impeccable. He’s one of my beta readers. He also has a blog.
Luccia Gray has an awesome sequel to Jane Eyre. All Hallows at Eyre Hall: The Breathtaking Sequel to Jane Eyre (The Eyre Hall Trilogy Book 1) new on the market, and I loved it. She lives in Spain and has a blog.

And please indulge my being so bold as to recommend myself, Susan M. Toy, and my books for giving as gifts. While I have never been featured on Reading Recommendations, I did create the blog in the first place and continue to present you with great Authors to discover. Besides, this is my blog post, so I may recommend whomever I want to … to paraphrase a song. 🙂

So, there you go! 27 Authors recommended and umpteen possibilities for books to give to anyone who is on your list. Plus, books are much easier to wrap than an Author, and – Bonus! – eBooks and audio books don’t have to be wrapped at all!

Dylan Hearn’s Pay It Forward for self-published authors …

This morning, I received an update from Dylan Hearn’s blog, Suffolk Scribblings. In Pay It Forward – an update, Dylan has followed through on his earlier promise to “support my fellow self-published authors by buying their books and promoting those that I enjoyed both on this blog and through leaving reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.”

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After having bought and read them, Dylan has listed a number of Authors on his blog post whose books he now recommends.

I had commented on one of his first blogs on the subject, even reblogged on this blog, then promptly forgot about the idea (beacause that’s the way my brain seems to be working these days …). I have, however, continued to promote Authors and their books over on my other blog, Reading Recommendations, and I have been reading books by these Authors whenever I have a chance. A few of these books I have purchased, but most have either been free downloads or gifts from the authors themselves. I have always rated these books on Goodreads when I finish reading (mainly because I’m taking part in a reading challenge there to complete 175 books during 2014) and sometimes I have also written a review, when the book struck me as being particularly good. Occasionally, I have included that same review on Amazon.

If I am really impressed by a book, I write to the Author directly and tell them how much I enjoyed reading their writing. That’s what I would hope a Reader would do for me, if they were equally engaged when reading my books. With a few of these Authors, I’ve now struck up a much deeper friendship than what we had after I promoted them on my blog. And that friendship has become a two-way street as these authors continue to promote me, my blog and my books through social media and to their friends. A few have even paid me the honour of asking that I read an advance copy of their new books, or beta-read a manuscript, or even write a blurb or intro for them. I’ve been more than happy to do so, because I know they will do the same for me, when the time comes. (And if I actually ever get back to rewriting that second novel … tap, tap, tap!)

So, returning to Dylan’s Pay It Forward idea … I’ve decided to make a list of the self-published Reading Recommendations Authors whose books I’ve read and enjoyed immensely – and there’s the key word … IMMENSELY! I don’t want to play favourites among the RR Authors, but I have discovered a number deserve a bit more of a shout-out, as well as a pat on the back for having done such a good job in self-publishing. Because I, too, am a self-published Author and I know what these people have all had to do to get their books out there for Readers to read.

So, without further ado and in alphabetical order, here’s my personal list of GREAT AUTHORS!! (All links take you back to their RR promotion pages.)

Tim Baker
Kevin Brennan
Robert Chazz Chute
Michael Fay (I enjoyed Michael’s stories so much that I published them!)
Demetra Angelis Foustanellas
Seumas Gallacher
Dylan S. Hearn
Thomas Wharton

These are all self-published Authors whose books I have had the pleasure of reading. I still have a few unread eBooks on my eReader to get to that were written by other Reading Recommendations Authors, so I have no doubt I will be adding to this list at some point. And, after having read through the complete list today of all the Authors I have promoted on my blog, I see a number of traditionally published Authors whose books I’ve read and equally enjoyed. I think I may need to put together another list in the very near future …

What about you? Are you a blogger, either Author or Reader, who is willing to Pay It Forward by purchasing books (perhaps beginning with those written by Authors I’ve featured on my Reading Recommendations blog … Hmmmm?) and reviewing those that you really have enjoyed reading?

We Authors truly do depend upon your opinion – and your support!