Sunday, November 29, 2009

The first book is here!

Good afternoon constant reader.

The first book up for review, Sara Kuhn's A Sigh For Life's Completion, arrived Friday.

I have started reading it and so far, I am mightily impressed. This is all I'll say for now, as I have barely scratched the surface, and I want to finish the book before making further comment.

I want to thank Sara for being the first to go through this process. :)

In the meantime, I intend to contact more authors and seek out more information regarding the monetization of the blog.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

So what do I intend on doing?

As Anthony Bourdain says on No Reservations, he'll tell you what's good and if it isn't he'll tell you that, too.
I don't promise a good review everytime, just an honest and fair one.

When I wrote my first blog, I forgot that I had actually worked in bookstores for 12 years, and in that time, opened two of the three stores I worked for. I know just because I can read may not seem much of a qualification, but I figure I have as much right to express an opinion as any one else.
I'm a huge genre fan, and will be one of the first to admit that I think Anne Rice lost her edge after Queen of the Damned and probably should have stopped there.

As for going with genre fiction, I think genre writers have a tougher time getting taken seriously, this despite the best selling Twilight books, Harry Potter books, The Lord of the Rings, Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse novels, I could go on...
If I can give genre writers a leg up in getting their work recognized, then I have done what I set out to do.

Also, finding good new genre books is harder these days...major publishers do not give push to genre fiction a lot of times, and smaller publishers can't afford to.
Barnes and Noble no longer has a horror section - several years ago they dumped all the horror into general fiction. They still maintain separate sections for science fiction/fantasy, though.
If you're a new horror author, your work doesn't get put where it can easily be found.
The same is true for Walden's and Books-a-Million (who used to have a great horror section).
Borders still maintains a horror section; it tends to have a few interesting gems hidden in it from time to time (in other words, you'll find more than just VC Andrews, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, and John Saul in stock.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The first book is on it's way!

Good evening constant reader.
(and yes, if you've heard that before, it's the way Stephen King addresses his readers. I like it, I like him, so I've borrowed it, giving Mr. King full credit).

The first book to be reviewed on The Written Universe will be Sara Kuhn's A Sigh For Life's Completion. It's a vampire tale and one I am looking forward to reading. As soon as the book arrives, I will post that it has and set myself to getting it read, digested and reviewed as soon as possible.

In other news, every author on my MySpace friends list I've contacted regarding this blog and my intent have been unanimous in saying it's a good idea, and have supplied me with suggestions I hadn't considered, but will be, and possibly implementing.
Others have generously provided leads to other people who may be interested in providing content at a later date.

I'm very excited about this blog and I can already foresee it going to a web site as soon as the ways and means are made available. However, this will do for now.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hello, good evening and welcome

 Welcome to The Written Universe.

It is my intention to find new authors in the genres of horror, science fiction and fantasy and review their work here on this blog, for free.
I don't promise a good review, only an honest one.
If my reviews are positive, I'll even go as far as to publish the review on Amazon for the author.

The face of publishing has changed drastically over the years.
We've seen books on tape turn into books on CD. We're now seeing books go from print to digital.
Getting a book published has changed, too. An author can write a novel and go the route of getting an agent (or not) to get their work to a publisher, but they can also use a vanity press or go through smaller publishing houses who are more apt to publish an unknown.

Make no mistake, it may be easy to get published, but once that's happened, how does an author generate sales, even if it's on line somewhere to order?
Social websites such as MySpace and Facebook are essential tools for an author to create a fan base, but getting their work reviewed is another matter.

What qualifies me to review books and who cares what I think anyway?

I worked in bookstores for 10 years and in that time, I came to know what it is readers are looking for.
They want characters they can identify with on some level and see them through to the end of the story.
A good ending is hoped for, but not always expected. They want something to capture their interest and imagination.
And oddly enough, they do like originality.

I've been reading since before I went to Kindergarten. My mother would read me comic books I dutifully picked out (I was and still am to a degree a DC girl).
I always have a book going and the sole criteria for me to buy a purse is if it will at least hold a mass market paperback.
I look at it this way, if Harry Knowles can put up his web site Ain't It Cool and prosper, get the ear of Hollywood and become friends with Quentin Tarantino, then my love of books alone qualifies me.

If you are an author and wish to submit your work for review, it must be in either the horror, science fiction or fantasy genres.
Why these you may wonder?
These genres are the hardest to break into. To me, they have always seemed to be the step-children of the writing world and not given serious attention, other than that from fans like myself.
They are also my preferred reading.

To contact me, please send email to:

I look forward to seeing where this goes.