J to tha M: What We’re Reading (Or Not Reading)

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Credit: Risky Business

J: So you read a lot more than I do
convince me to buy something

M: Last week I finished Kate SeRine’s The Better To See You, Sandi Layne’s Eire’s Captive Moon, and Sarah Grimm’s After Midnight.
I still owe them reviews – on my list for this week.
It was a good week. I’d rec every one.
I’m starry-eyed in love with Kate SeRine’s Transplanted Tales series, though. I want to see if I can get her to agree to a spot in the blog.

J: we could start a twitter campaign and bug the shit out of her until she agrees

M: I’m excellent at bugging the shit out of people
It’s a fairy tale based urban fantasy kind of series. Two books so far, Red and The Better To See You. Red is Little Red Riding Hood, and The Better is about Seth Wolf. But the imagination and humor woven with murder and mayhem, mystery and magic, lust and love…So great.

J: I think I read someone else’s gushing about these…
No. no. that was probably all you.

M: It was probably me. Not that I gush. heh
She’s got the third coming out later this summer, I think
Lots of opportunity to bug
I know better to ask what books you finished reading this week.

J: Hey, I read. A little.
But no. I didn’t finish a book.
I’m still working through that Nora Roberts one. The bride series.
Believe it or not, I’ve starting making notes in the margins
like it’s my copy of The Catcher in the Rye or something

M: Heh. Notes. I won’t ask which scenes.

J: It’s more things I want to remember for my own romance writing
Things I’ll fight with you over when we’re editing Final Score. You know.
those fights you always win…
I do like what I’m editing, though
the author has a YA series out now and I’m working with her on the adult spinoff
it’s really fun to see how she carried the story past the first book in the series. I thought she was done for when she wrote about 12.21.12 in Jaguar Sun
I mean…that only happens once, and the world didn’t end
so what else is there to say?
but she has a lot
I’m also editing an Christian thriller by TC Slonaker
and her series is about angelmen or nephilim
each book introduces a new angelman and tells their part of the battle
it’s a little…Bob Larson or Frank Peretti, but lighter
better for teens, I think
beyond taking notes in my Nora Roberts book and editing those, I kind of…sleep.
My own stuff is out with editors right now, so I’m coasting a little

M: but what makes it a Christian thriller as opposed to paranormal?
I get a little fuzzy on definitions of the genres sometimes
Cozy, women’s fiction, those sorts of labels

J: well, if you want to get down to the general label of things, it would be paranormal
however, there’s a message with the book
I would say many paranormal writers take a mythology and write for entertainment
while a Christian thriller is written to share a message
while also entertaining
would that be fair to say, do you think?

M: I guess it depends on the message
we all share basic messages in our stories, good vs. bad, right vs wrong
love wins out in the end
It might be fun to have someone who knows stuff come talk about it
the differences in the genres
what makes it Christian versus paranormal or just a contemporary romance
what the difference is between a sweet mystery and a cozy, fiction or romance versus women’s fiction

J: should I edit for you before posting? heh

M: If you want peeps to have any clue what I’m saying, yes. 🙂

J: you just said peeps

M: you don’t want me trying to spell out people every time
we’d be here for hours
it’s more a function of necessity than coolness

J: you know I’m not cutting this when I edit for the post

M: you forget I have edit capability on the site. neener neener

J: not cutting the neener neener, either

M: my cool quotient just tanked. wah wah wah wah waaaahhhh

J: I’d love to feature about the difference in genres. We should ask someone.

M: let’s put it on our want list

J: Wannnnnnnt

M: Someone who knows stuff
Let’s just pin that to the front page

J: We also need someone to talk about the different types of editing.

M: And publishing. And marketing. And writing. And…
People who know stuff

J: We’ve got some of that coming up already
the calendar looks amazing
I’m so excited about Wednesday’s post
Jasmine from Inbound Marketing Agents is going to talk something about marketing
I don’t know what, but it’ll be really smart
and next week, we’ve got Katie from Kaleidoscope Media talking about publicity and social media

M: Smart is good

J: like, real professionals

M: I’m just excited in general
well, you know
to get it all out there
heh. that didn’t sound any better

J: i had a mental picture of you dancing around your house all Love, Actually style in your excitement
and realized I was probably WAY off

M: More Risky Business, maybe

now there was the mental image I’ve been waiting for all my life

M: Am I supposed to be dressed for this?

While M finds some pants, tell us what you’re reading, writing, editing, and loving. We want to hear it. Share links if you have them so others can find them, too.

About Jen Barry

Author of Young Adult novels. Reside in Nashville with my husband, a gorgeous Irishman. Drink too much coffee. Online way too much.

18 thoughts on “J to tha M: What We’re Reading (Or Not Reading)

  1. […] via J to tha M: What We’re Reading (Or Not Reading). […]

  2. tsukikomew says:

    I’m so excited the blog is live!

  3. tifftastic says:

    I’m currently reading Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, which probably sounds completely pretentious of me. But I’ve made it a goal this year to read one classic for each “fun” book I read. I love Hemingway, but some of his stuff can be sort of…dragged out. The description in this one, however, draws me in. If you’re not sure what the book is about, it’s basically his memoir of living in Paris in the 1920s. So far, I’ve adored reading about his interactions with Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I was totally unprepared for this, but he says amazing things about writing and inspiration in this book. At page six, I had to jump out of bed (I’m a read-in-bed-at-night person) and grab a pen so I could underline and make notes. The very first passage I underlined in A Moveable Feast:
    “I’ve seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.”
    You can imagine how that last sentence struck me. As writers, don’t we often feel that our writing owns us and not the other way around? He’s talking here about a girl he sees and how he can turn her into a piece of fiction, and mentions that what he was writing “was writing itself and I was having a hard time keeping up with it.”
    Just a few pages later, he’s struggling with writer’s block and thinks to himself, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
    There’s so much more I’d love to share from this book, and I’m not even halfway finished with it yet.
    So yes. I highly recommend it, especially if you’re a writer, and super especially if you love Hemingway’s way of describing things and places and people. And, you know, his occasional crassness, which is highly entertaining. 🙂

  4. Sandi says:

    Hey, thanks for reading my book!

    I am reading the Transplanted Tales, too! Not as keen on the second one so far as I was on the first, but it’s early days yet. Also reading Heinlein. Like, of COURSE.

    Writing – doing the research for the third book of my Éire’s Viking trilogy. Got the prologue underway and I know how I’m ending it, so now it remains to set the rest of it up in a navigable pattern. 🙂

    Editing an old Christian romance for possible re-issue.

    And I’m now a subscriber to your blog so I look forward to more from BOTH OF YOU. 🙂

    • HEY! I enjoyed Eire’s Captive Moon – review to come, I promise promise! I’m looking forward to the second in your series. Gotta say, I loved the preview in the first book – never would have thought you were going there with Agnar, but yay, I’m excited.

      I wasn’t so sure about the beginning of The Better at first, but it got a little more intense between Lavender and Seth, both emotionally and physically, which is what I’d been looking for in both books.

      We need a good old fashioned editing/research party, methinks. At least try to make it fun!

      Love hearing what you’re up to – love hearing from you always.

  5. […] J to tha M: What We’re Reading (Or Not Reading). […]

  6. I have a headache! Yes, Hemingway was a pompous ass, but he could write an interesting story, when his ego got out of the way, which wasn’t often enough, but c’est la vie.
    What I want to talk about is this obsession some people have (I will name no names, Jenny) with Salenger and “Catcher…”. A middle aged man reliving his teen angst is not, in my opinion, an exciting or even interesting read. We all remember our teen years, most of us ruefully. I wouldn’t relive those years for a million bucks. Ok, yes I would for a million bucks, but not for any less. Ok, maybe for a little less!
    I spent much of my life regretting the errors and downright mistakes I made. I regretted not making better grades in school; not finishing college; drinking and drugging too much, etc. etc, etc.
    Finally straight and sober as I reach old age, I’ve begun to understand that regret is a tremendous waste of time and energy, neither of which I have in abundance now. It breeds a poor sense of self-worth and causes us to hesitate when we should leap into life. My only regret now is regret.
    Sorry about the ramble Jenny, but I feel better now. Thanks for the use of your couch. 😀

    • Jen Barry says:

      Thanks for weighing in, Hap! I think what I find so interesting in Holden Caulfield is that we all think he’s crazy but we still manage to identify with him in some way. I don’t consider it a walk down memory lane at all, but a story about a guy who walks the fine line between childhood and adulthood. He wants so badly to be a man – so much that he essentially sets out on his own and plays at being one for a few days – but just doesn’t possess the maturity necessary to make it. It’s something that really speaks to any boy/man or girl/woman, that feeling of not belonging. That tendency to act out in an effort to be seen or heard when silence speaks louder. No matter how many years pass since it was published, the subject will always apply. From the POV of a young adult author, it’s an important formula to adopt. Remembering those years fondly isn’t easy, but we still have to sift through the good and bad memories to find the lessons we learned, even if it’s not a pleasant story. And that’s all I have to say about that.

      • I’m just glad you guys are here to talk Holden Caulfield with her–and I’m sure she is, too–because my usual response to waxing Holden Caulfield poetic is some sort of weird death-rattle in the back of my throat.

        But seriously, one of the most brilliant things about reading and writing is how words can be written, and there they are, solid, set in stone. The author could have meant them one way, infused a message or emotion when fighting to get them on the page, but every single person can take them differently depending on who and what they are, their knowledge and experience. It never ceases to amaze me the different interpretations and reactions the exact same words can bring. The strength of emotion or lack of it. The range of feels. So cool.

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