What It Means Being a Reader When You're a Writer
By Marianne Spitzer
I find that being a writer has made me more critical and more understanding of other author’s works. That may sound contradictory, but it isn’t. It’s the way I read now compared to the way I read before I self-published my first book.
Let’s take a look at the way I am more critical. I notice little errors in grammar or spelling I might have ignored before. After learning the importance of good editing, I notice the editing in everything I read. I wish I could turn that part of my mind off when I read another’s work, but the editing process in my brain is always at work. I notice myself catching errors in e-mails, letters, and advertising. I may be critical, but I never let it get in the way of reviewing another’s work. I believe in reviewing the plot, characters, and the enjoyment the work brought me.
That takes us to being more understanding. I know that many first time Indie writers may not be able to afford an editor, and try to sell some books so they can get an editor. It can be a vicious circle. I understand that. I have read some books where I could have done some of the editing and I need an editor when I write. Again, I am not a judge and when I review the book, I don’t bring up the problems. If I think the book is in desperate need of help, I do my best to contact the writer personally via e-mail or Facebook personal message. I never embarrass another author.
I am not sure what being a reader means to other authors, but I like to read to learn and relax. Every book, good or bad, teaches me a bit more about my craft. I usually read in my own genre. It gives me insight to what other readers like and want to read. I also learn what not to do. In the books where I find bad plots or horrible characters, I know what to avoid.
When I read my first Nancy Drew book at as kid and fell in love with mysteries and the possibilities of ghosts, I was hooked. I still read books with the same passion, but also as a learning experience. Each book is a tiny lesson. I try to read as many as possible.
Kellie, a young college grad laid off from her first teaching job and besieged by creditors, receives a letter requesting her appearance at the reading of Frederick Malone’s will. What could she have in common with the town’s richest man? Curiosity draws her to the will reading where she learns she has inherited a vast sum. The conditions of her inheritance require she change her name and reside in the Malone mansion. Long considered haunted by the residents of Malone Springs, Kellie, her fiancé and four friends move in ignoring the rumors. Strange and frightening events begin to plague Kellie before she moves and grow more frightening once she and her friends settle in. Adopted at birth, her adoptive parents killed in an auto accident leave Kellie to investigate her ancestors on her own. What she discovers leads her into more danger and mystery as she learns the true nature of her biological grandfather. Could his evil deeds hurt her from beyond the grave? Who’s responsible for the strange occurrences? What happened to her biological parents? As one solved mystery leads Kellie into another, she and her friends try to solve them all before tragedy strikes.
This book also contains the supernatural/mystery short story "MEGAN'S FEAR."
About the author
I was born in Milwaukee, and lived there until I was eighteen. Then I spent eight years in Washington state and California before returning to Wisconsin. I love eerie places and books. I began with a love of Nancy Drew books and as I grew I found H.P Lovecraft, Agatha Christie, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among others. When I am not writing, I am reading or watching sunsets. I have been writing short stories since I was in grade school. Most were in the form of essays relating real life events. Many were purely imaginary trips to magical places and times. I enjoy making up stories about people I meet or see on the street. I can see a story in a picture, especially if the picture is eerie. My imagination runs wild and free. I have self-published a book of essays and a book of children's stories for my granddaughter, Brittney. Gypsy Spirits is my debut novel and the first in the series of three "spirit" books. I have self-published the second "spirit" book, Annamarie and Magdalena. I also self-published a supernatural mystery, THE LETTER. I plan to have the sequel to THE LETTER out this year and the third "spirit" book available winter 2013/14. From there I am sure my muse will guide me into another story plot.