Why I haven’t read your book

I usually try to read books written by my friends, but I often fail. Here are the main reasons why.

If you make friends with enough unpublished writers and stick around a few years, you find yourself friends with a lot of published writers. And because you’re a supportive friend, that means a lot of books you want to buy and read.

I always start with good intentions.

I like you. I want to buy your book, read it, love it, and leave a helpful, honest review on Amazon for your future fans to find.

Usually I manage the first step quite well.

The second step is harder. The third even harder.

Please allow me to offer some possible explanations why I haven’t read or reviewed your book.

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Not a review of The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams

This is not a review of The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams, because there are rules on how to review and this doesn’t follow any of them.

Sebastian, my writer half, and Rain, my reader half, recently read The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams, which is the first book in The Winnowing Flame Trilogy. They finished it, which was quite an accomplishment given the pandemic wrecked their concentration.

Rain: We finally finished reading a book. We should do something to celebrate.

Sebastian: We can’t go out – we’re still in lock-down.

Rain: We could drink.

Sebastian raises his eyebrows and his half-empty glass of wine.

Rain: Fine. Let’s talk about The Ninth Rain.

Sebastian: Given our state of mind, this isn’t going to be a fair review.

Rain: This isn’t a review. It’s a not-review. I thought we’d done this enough that you got the idea.

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The kind of book I love to read and want to write

I describe my ideal book–a high fantasy novel that takes me on an emotional journey–and offer to beta read for you if you wrote it. Or if you’re nice.

When friends in real life ask me what kind of books I write, I tell them “fantasy with dragons”. This has the benefit of being a) true and b) uninformative.

What? Not all books have dragons?

The short answer is that I write the kinds of books I most like to read. (Doesn’t everyone?)

Here’s the long answer about what I love to read and try to write.

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Not a review of Baking Bad by Kim M Watt

I read Baking Bad, the first Beaufort Scales mystery, by Kim M. Watt and laughed a lot. I’m not going to review it, but hopefully I can help you decide whether you’d enjoy it.

While I was AWOL, something wonderful happened: lots of my friends published books.

(Lots of other things happened too, some great, some not so much, but we can come to those later.)

I’m planning to read them and review them, but not on this blog.

Hey, they’re my friends. If I say negative things feelings will get hurt, and if I gush and spout unicorn sparkles about how great they are (the books, not the friends) you won’t believe me.

So I came up with a different plan. I’m going to help you decide if you want to read them. (Again the books, not the friends.)

Today’s victim, I mean, book, is Baking Bad by the lovely Kim M. Watt.

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The horror of Year One by Nora Roberts

Sebastian and Rain read Year One by Nora Roberts and were horrified to discover she managed to make the end of the world boring.

Sebastian: You forced us to read Year One by Nora Roberts. What do you have to say for yourself?

Rain: I’m so sorry! I honestly thought it was going to be good. She’s so famous, the description was enticing, and it has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon with 770 reviews.

Sebastian: I want to explain why it was so bad but I don’t know where to start.

Rain: You could start with the writing.

Sebastian: You thought the writing was bad? Then it must have been dreadful.

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