Thursday, January 17, 2008

Writers are Readers? Oh yes!

Writers are readers? Yes, of course we are. That’s why I immediately answered novelist Katherine Stone’s e-mailed invitation to check out her web site, Writers are ( I’m only too glad I did.

Katherine said that she and her husband, author Jack Chase, who created the site, noticed something odd about the book review process. Authors of commercial fiction were rarely involved in reviewing books, when one would think such authors would know a thing or two about the craft of writing. Stone and Chase are also aware of the decline in book reviewers in the print world as print itself shrinks while the internet expands exponentially.

As a result, these two creative types have produced what I find to be a fascinating website: authors reviewing books by other authors. The game is, the authors can handle the review any way they choose. Yes the famous names are there, and as I scanned down the list I found several whose works I know and respect: there’s Linda Fairstein whom I met at last year’s Sleuthfest and whose mystery, Entombed, is filled with little known lore about Edgar Allen Poe. John Saul whom I met at the Maui Writer’s Conference a few years ago, fulminates about his training as a playwright, before he gets down to writing a perceptive review of The Diana Chronicles, and I thought everything had already been said about Tina Brown’s book. Heather Graham has posted a review as well. I met and interviewed Heather years ago as a reporter. Why am I not surprised that this actress-turned-novelist hit the big time?

Those of us who are newbie authors are also offered the opportunity to submit reviews, after our peers vouch for us, that is. As it happened I was reading A Grave Injustice, a paranormal mystery by author Prudy Taylor Board at the time and was pleased to do a review of this exciting read. In the process, I found myself using some examples from Prudy’s book to talk about how very specific imagery is what a seasoned author uses to put real flesh on the bones of her characters, as Prudy does so aptly.

Katherine Stone loved the review and asked me to submit more of them, which I intend to do as time permits. For quality book reviews, by authors themselves, the people who know a thing or two about writing, browse through Writer’s are I do hope you readers who love a good mystery will check out my review of Prudy Board’s book. Author Board uses the paranormal genre as a springboard to some fascinating World War II history. My feeling is, you’ll do yourselves A Grave Injustice if you miss out on this gem of a mystery.

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