Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guest Post: Smash Attack Reads!

Today, I'm thrilled to have Ash from Smash Attack Reads guest posting. When I first contacted Ash, I had this crazy idea for someone to write a "Dear Author: From the Blogger" post that would list what bloggers like and dislike about books. After thinking it was entirely too much to ask for, I also included some interview questions that would be a little easier - especially since Ash is going to school full-time! To my absolute delight, Ash actually wrote the "Dear Author" post instead! I hope you enjoy her letter as much as I did.

A million thanks to Ash for taking the time out of her busy schedule for this!

Dear Author:

I can’t thank you enough for the imagination, creativity and thought you put into your work. Without you, I’d likely have sleepless nights. Your imagination whisks me away and allows me to escape reality. As a social worker, having an outlet to escape and mentally reboot is highly important so that I don’t burn out. So thank you for my escape. My clients thank you, too.

Some things you do that I find brilliant:
o Cliffhanger endings: Seriously. They are completely annoying as hell but the idea is quite brilliant. You know we will bitch and moan about said cliffhanger, gaining interest from others, and you definitely know we will buy the next book in the series without hesitation. Smart, you are.
o Snarky, sarcastic males: I can’t even tell you how much I love a good smart ass. Sarcasm can send a guy’s hotness level off the charts, for me. I know there are others out there who agree with me, too. We should start a club, ladies! Snarky Men Love. Or something. [Examples: Jace from the Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare, Bones from Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost, Patch from the Hush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick, Zsadist from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward…there are plenty more, too. Keep ‘em coming!]
o Different/exotic settings: Oh, do I ever love a story that takes place in a remote, fantastical place with beautifully detailed descriptions of the world. I also love major metropolitan settings but the world is set beneath, or maybe in a different realm, so to speak. Layers of worlds upon one another. Very cool and interesting. [Examples: The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, Neverhwere by Neil Gaiman, Weather Wardens by Rachel Caine]
o Unique villains: I can't tell you how amazing it is to read a book that has a unique/creepy/malevolent/horrifying villain! I love a well-written villain, and the nastier they are, the more I hate to love them. Add in Bullet #2 above and you have yourself a WIN! [Examples: Al from The Hollows by Kim Harrison, Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar from Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman]

Some things you do that I find not-so-brilliant:
o Traditional love triangles: At one point, they were fun. And I still love a good, well-written love triangle. But now they are everywhere and I really appreciate a different take on romance lately. Put on your thinking hats!
o Stinky editing: As a social work student and professional, I write research papers and clinical reports. I know how very easily it is to misspell a word or have grammatical errors. It is definitely better to have two pairs of eyes, which if why editing is very much needed. However, I sometimes wonder how some books get released with glaring problems in this department. Please pay more attention to this! It's important.
o Don't kill the dialogue: I'm all for great detail about settings and experiences, but don't sacrifice essential dialogue between characters by detailing the heck out of their location/clothing/hair/car/dog/house…please! The interaction between character is vastly important and those human (but not always!) connections are why I read!

All in all, I love your unique imagination and writing quality. I appreciate you.

Forever reading,


Review Guy said...

I love cliffhanger endings. I wish more stories had these. Interesting.

Check out this post on Lab Corp. and how they are ripping off millions of people in the USA!

Smash Attack Ash said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it! It was fun to write. Thanks, Missy!

Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

I agree with everything but the cliffhangers(well big ones) if the book won't be released within a year of the last one. There are some notoriously slow writers aka Diana Gabaldon and when she leaves a cliffhanger you are left that way for awhile. That really gets me ansy though from a marketing perspective that is brilliant. I do like smaller cliffhangers though :)

Jen D. @ Not Now...I'm Reading! said...

Great guest post Ash. I too am I fan of unique villains and you totally hit the nail on the head with Al from the Hollows series.

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