The winner of the No Thanks Ten giveaway is Paula, whose comment read Porcelain or whatnot figurines. I don't have enough shelf space as it is, I'm too lazy to dust them, and I'm not fond of them anyway (a woman after my own heart.) Paula, please e-mail me at LynnViehl@aol.com with your full name and ship-to info so I can get these books out to you.
Writers who blog were once rare creatures. I got started back in 2001, when weblogs in general were just beginning to snowball. In those days web sites, newsgroups and discussion boards were considered much more the thing for an author to do. I did the web site and had some fun with that, but I've been keeping journals since 1974, and a blog appealed to me as fun and a steady writing challenge. I've been blogging almost daily ever since (even when I retreated to my ivory tower in 2003 to sulk for eleven months, I still kept an online journal. I just moved and renamed it and didn't tell anyone about it.)
I try to read as many new or new-to-me writers as I can every year, but because I read all genres it's impossible to keep up with everyone out there. Luckily weblogs have introduced me to folks whom I might have otherwise missed. Many of these have added great books to my shelves, inspired me to work harder on my own novels, and have motivated me, entertained me and got me in gear when I felt depressed or apathetic.
Among the many, some shining examples:
1. I think I missed reading Douglas Clegg because his books were probably shelved either in horror or literary, two places I usually avoid at the book store. Since he now takes up a good chunk of my keeper shelf, I am pathetically grateful I found him via blogging.
2. & 3. I discovered Donna Hill via Monica Jackson. Monica talked openly about disturbing things that for years I'd been watching RWA sweep under the carpet or pretend wasn't happening. Donna's work was a cache of jewels in a puzzle box. Monica was an epiphany online and in print.
4. I finally met another author who quilted when I ran into Tamara Siler Jones online, and then discovered the nice quilting lady also wrote dark, intense mysteries with the most unique setting and cast of characters I'd seen in a long time.
5. & 6. Alison Kent had one of the most energetic and polished blogs I'd ever read, and in turn led me to Jo Leigh, who is truly one of the nicest authors I've (virtually) met, and who got me back to reading category romance. So where were you guys when I belonged to RWA?
7. Marjorie M. Liu I had seen on the lists, but the down-to-earth fun contained in her journal convinced me to overcome my aversion to Clarion alumni and give her books a go. She not only turned me into a fangirl, but now I have to take back all the bad things I've said about Clarion.
8. Kristopher Reisz's weblog has made me laugh so hard I almost dislocated a rib, multiple times. Given his blog, how could I resist his work in print?
9. I don't think Shannon Stacey knows it, but her weblog is the reason I enabled comments on PBW (now she'll drive herself crazy wondering why.) She reminded me daily that it's okay to be who you are and not to sweat the small stuff. She's also one hell of a writer.
10. Sasha White's blog reminded me of my nefarious youth (among other things, I once moonlighted as a bartender.) In the south we'd describe Sasha's books by fanning ourselves and uttering two words: Have mercy.
11. Last but not least, James R. Winter snagged my attention with a comment on another blog (a comment that I wished I'd made); I tracked him down to see what else he had to say. Not one to suffer fools, is our pal James. I like that attitude in the fiction I read, and when I bought his book I wasn't disappointed for a moment.
I know for a fact how much work goes into being a writer who blogs, and how little that effort is recognized and appreciated. For the many hours of reading pleasure off and online that the above named writers have given me, I'm making them the eleven very cool writers of December.
For a chance to win today's giveaway, in comments to this post name an author/blogger you enjoy reading in print, and whether you discovered their books or weblog first (or, if you don't read any author/bloggers, just throw your name in the hat) by midnight EST on December 15, 2006. I'll draw one name from everyone who participates and send the winner one book by each of my eleven very cool authors: unsigned copies of Mordred, Bastard Son by Douglas Clegg, Getting Hers by Donna Hill, Mr. Right Now by Monica Jackson, Valley of the Soul by Tamara Siler Jones, Beyond a Shadow by Alison Kent, Closer by Jo Leigh, Eye of Heaven by Marjorie M. Liu, Tripping to Somewhere by Kristopher Reisz, Forever Again by Shannon Stacey, Gypsy Heart by Sasha White, Northcoast Shakedown by James R. Winter and Talyn by Holly Lisle. Giveaway open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.