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Sometimes I wonder how I stumbled into the world of writers. And why they let me stay.

I’m thinking the fact that I am also a writer probably had something to do with it, but maybe not. Because I’m not a writer like most of them. I don’t really feel like I fit in. They know all the cool jargon that non-writers … and me … don’t. It’s like they just have always known about book bloggers (something I literally just learned, and I have an agent and a muse and like five different thesauruses).


Don’t know, but I got ’em.

But I still don’t quite fit. Take Saturday night. Someone in my writer’s group asked me what the comps were for the book I’m currently working on. Comps? I’ll spare you the mental hokey-pokey I went through trying to figure out what a comp is and just tell you: They’re books that are similar to your book. So you know who’ll be on the shelf next to you. So you can say, “It’s like Divergent, but with soap bubbles,” and nobody’ll roll their eyes at you.

Well, I would. But I digress.

YA Author Tom Hoover on CompsApparently, you’re supposed to think about books comparable to yours when you write a book. I have never done that. I never knew you were supposed to. Worse, now that I know what they are and what I’m supposed to do, I’m not sure I’d know how to make something like that work.

Again. The square writer in the round hole.

Lucky for me, the great equalizer in all this is the books themselves.

Are the books themselves?


As in “Oh, Tom Hoover, Young Adult writer and torturer of the English language, whatever are you reading right now? I only ask because you’ve been teasing this out for weeks and it isn’t funny anymore!”

Or words to that effect.

So, here’s what I’m reading and have read recently.

Just finished BlackHearts by Nicole Castroman, which is something I never even knew existed until I was invited to a Twitter launch of the sequel and felt like I needed to read the first one to fit in. There’s that fitting in thing again. As Winnie the Pooh would say, “Oh bother!”

Anyhow, BlackHearts is a YA novel about a real pirate (Black Beard—you might have guessed that from the title) and what his pirate origin story might have been if it was also a YA romantic adventure; I thoroughly enjoyed it. Because I’m not cool, I don’t know if it’s considered to be historical fiction or just a good book. And I have no idea what the comps would be.

Though one of them might be the book I read before that—And I Darken by Kiersten White. It’s the fascinating “coming of age” of the daughter of Dracula (Vlad the Impaler, not Bela Lugosi). What kept my attention is that as she grew and changed as a person through the book, she never deviated from what she always knew she was—a warrior queen. Book took me by the throat and didn’t let go.

See, now if the history they taught in school was as interesting as this—many actual, historical events went into the creation of this “story”—I’d have paid attention more in school.

I am eagerly awaiting the sequel.

Okay. I should at least get some credit for starting to talk about books this week.

More to come.

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