Hour 23 – If This Was Your Last Day To Read For A Year…

Hi Y’all! Lissa Matthews here! I’ll be holding things together for Hour 23… We’re in the home stretch!

Does the title make you curious? Make you a little anxious? Make you want to wring my neck for planting the mere idea in your head of not reading for a year? I get it… But… What if TODAY was your last day to read a book for a year? That starting after you turn the final page today you’re not allowed to read another book for 365 days… What book would you choose to be the last one? What book would so capture your mind and imagination that you believe it would have the power to hold you over until one year is over? Inquiring minds want to know.

Me? I’m still struggling with this answer, but ever since I came up with this question, the one book that’s been sticking in my head is Caraval by Stephanie Garber. Of all the books I’ve read this year, this is the one that my brain keeps going back to…

Hopefully you’re still here, pushing through to the very last word on the pages. Maybe you’re even looking forward to a nice long nap and some eye drops. I know I am. But honestly, this has been great and I’m so thrilled to be part of it and hosting one of the mini-challenges!

So, please, leave a comment here with your choice of book that would be your last one if you couldn’t read for a year. I’m very curious at what people choose.

If you choose to answer on social media, don’t forget to use the #readathon and specifically for this mini-challenge #lastbookforayear And if you’d like to tag me as well, I’m on Twitter and Instagram as @lissamatthews

I will also be offering up a prize for this challenge… A $20 gift card to In The Wick of Time or up to $20 for a book of your choice from BookDepository.com

~lissa

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Readathon Sign-Up

I mentioned a bit ago that I would be participating in a 24-hour Readathon on October 21st and I wanted to give all of you the chance to sign-up for it, too. ALL the details are HERE as well as the sign-up form.

As it states, you don’t have to read for the whole 24-hours, but it’s fun to try and read as much as you can. Part of the fun is in the planning. Snacks, naps, location, and especially what books you’re going to crack open. Novels? Graphic novels? Box sets? A series you’ve been dying to read?

That last one is me. A series I’ve been dying to read. There are two that I am flirting with and I’ll likely end up flipping a coin to see which one will get my attention. Whichever one is put off, I’ll pick it up during the other readathon in January.

For now, though… Please consider signing up for Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon. Meet other readers on social media. Find new authors and books to try. Connect over a love of reading.

~lissa

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I’m Participating in Bout of Books 20

Hello my dear Readers…

I’ve been reading a lot. I will post a list of books that I’ve read soon-ish.

But, in the course of reading a lot, and I’ve started following a lot of readers and other book obsessed people on Instagram and Twitter the last few months and it’s opened my eyes to a lot of fun and awesome books. Through their awesomeness, I’ve learned about read-a-thons (usually late, like this one).

But, I’m joining anyway and next time, I’ll be better prepared to start at the same time as other readers. If you’d like to join too, you can do so until Midnight tonight… Visit the Bout of Books blog and sign up

If you aren’t familiar with Bout of Books, read below for more information!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team.

Come and play! Please come and play. It’s books and more books and MORE books!

~lissa

 

Mark Your Calendars for the October 21st #readathon

Back in April, I joined in on a #readathon on Twitter organized by 24hourreadathon.com. I came into it late with no plan of what books I was going to read, snacks, what to do with the family so I wasn’t disturbed, a good night’s sleep before so I could stay awake for 24 hours, etc… I read 2 1/2 books. Some were reading graphic novels. Some were reading novels. Some were reading novellas. Some were reading a combination of these and other things. It was fun and it sort of jump started or re-jump started my desire and wish and want to read more this year.

I’m telling you all this so you can mark your calendars for October 21st. There is another 24 hour #readathon happening on Twitter and the more people reading and connecting, the better.

The sign-up isn’t up on their site, yet, but when it is, I’ll post here for any of you who might want to join in.

~lissa

Dear Readers… February 28, 2017

I… am a writer.

Of novellas.

This is something I’ve been struggling with lately. And damn y’all, I wish I didn’t struggle so much with so many things, especially when it comes to this writing business.

At the same time, with each struggle, whether internal or external, mental or emotional, I learn something new about myself. This is a really good thing. And… by the time I’m 100, I should have my path pretty much figured out.

In all seriousness, though, I have been struggling with relevance in regards to book length. Can I still call it a book if it’s a novella? Do I call it a story? Is it worth publishing? Charging for? Is it worth even bothering at all?

I have written short short stories before… 3000-5000 words.

I have written longer short stories, too… 10000-15000 words.

I have written many novellas… 18000-40000 words.

I have also written 45000, 50000, almost 60000 words.

That novella line though… more than 25 of those in the years I’ve been publishing.

There are some authors who make a really good living writing novellas. They publishing 10 or so a year. They charge $0.99 for them most of the time. And they’re usually part of a series, released in quick or at least methodical succession. This is something to learn from. Something to watch closely for someone like me who writes novellas.

My writing productivity has fallen off the last few years as all of you know. Self publishing has made me incredibly uncomfortable and doubtful in my ability to write. While it’s giving many authors a sense of power, it’s given me a great deal of anxiety and stress and way too many ‘what the fuck am I even doing anymore?’ moments. This has to change. There is no choice, no other option but for it to change.

And as the two big small press publishers have closed their doors in the last 60 days and the books that had been published with them revert back to me… It’s the majority of my catalog. 15 titles between Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing. I have several titles that have reverted to me from Loose Id as well. All of them… there’s 18 in total… They’re novellas.

It’s my preferred length. That’s obvious.

I can write longer. I can write shorter.

But there’s a lot that can be done with novellas. It’s something I’d forgotten. It’s something I’d pushed to the back of my mind in the face of conversations that talk only of the success and desire for novels of 70000-120000 words. I don’t write that. I don’t even read that most of the time anymore.

Then, I began looking again at those who do write novellas and who do find success with them. And I remembered a conversation I had with someone in Amazon’s Kindle Worlds division about the success that writers are having writing novellas in different worlds.

I suddenly felt foolish at having doubted myself and what I wrote. For years I made money and wrote a lot of words in a lot of different stories that touched a lot of different people who still talk about those characters and want them.

So, yes… I… am a writer.

…Of novellas.

And that’s pretty damn awesome. It took me a long ass time to come back around to that realization. And it’s a strength, not a weakness as I was trying to convince myself it was, as others tried to convince me it was. Maybe for those writers, it is their weakness. But it’s not mine.

~lissa

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