If you won’t read your own books (or re-read them)…

I’m re-reading my novel THE COWBOY’S BABY this week, probably for the fifth or the sixth or the eighth time counting all the copy editing and proofreading I did in the beginning. And to my surprise, I like it. I’ve liked it each and every time, although this morning I discovered I used the word squashed instead of quashed (a problem a lot of other writers have, I’ve noticed) and wish I hadn’t.

This time I’m re-reading THE COWBOY’S BABY in order to create a bible of characters and settings for the sequel THE COWBOY’S BABY GOES TO HEAVEN. ( And yes, if you follow this blog you will know that I’ve already finished the first draft of  HEAVEN. I enjoy tackling things out of order.) I never planned on a sequel, but when it came time to start writing my novels for this year I saw people still buying and enjoying my first.

And now I’ll continue my title statement. If you won’t read your own books (or re-read them), how can you expect anyone else to? If nothing else, you touch base with who you used to be. And I know, some writers don’t have the time to do this. I’d expected to feel uncomfortable reading my own book; but while I can sometimes remember why I did this or how I did that or what I deleted and replaced in certain spots, mostly I’d just be enjoying the story if I wasn’t busy taking notes.

How about you? Do you ever go back and read the books you wrote? Do you still like them if you do?



Photos by Roxanne Rix.


Today I finished the rough draft of my new romance novel (more of a romantic comedy, really) THE COWBOY’S BABY GOES TO HEAVEN. It topped out at 79,201 words which is about 10,000 more than I intended.

It was really hard writing THE END to this one. It looks like I started work on this August 24, 2012. At the time I was trying to write two books at once, the other being a sequel to TALKING TO THE DEAD GUYS, a mystery. I wrote on the mystery during the week and the romance on the weekend.

This plan came to a dead stop when I broke my shoulder in late October. It was really hard to write anything. Eventually, I decided to concentrate on HEAVEN. Now the rough draft is done! More !!!!! Even more !!!!!!!!!!

In my opinion, the rough draft is the hardest. You face perfectly blank white pages and fill them with story. Reviewing, revising, rewriting, extra research; all of that is frosting on the cake. It will be interesting to see how long that takes me. And then I’ll get back to TEA WITH A DEAD GAL.

I’ve got a third novel waiting in the wings to be written. And a novelette/short story collection that will merge THE COWBOY’S BABY characters with the TALKING TO THE DEAD GUYS characters and be quite fun reading. This was my sister Roxanne’s idea, and a pretty good one.

Here’s the link that gets you to all my books and stories from Amazon.com  http://amazon.com/author/gretchenrixAnd this link will get you to the Nook copies  http://barnesandnoble.com/c/gretchen-rix

For all other devices, go to Smashwords below





WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Birds of Prey by Blake Crouch and Jack Kilborn.  Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris.

Marvin S. Mayer


Here’s another promotional piece for Central Texas writers, although Mr. Mayer actually hails from East Texas. Previously featured were Houston area writer M.G. King and her Fizz & Peppers at the Bottom of the World troll book and Lockhart writer and neighbor Jeff Robenalt and his Texas Rangers series.

We first met Marvin S. Mayer, children’s book writer, when he drove all the way from the Tyler area to Lockhart several years ago to hear the winning stories from the very first year of the Scare The Dickens Out of Us ghost story contest.

He had entered the contest, but hadn’t placed. He and his wife proved delightful guests, and as far as I know, they were the only entrants who ever came so far in support of our fundraiser. We’ve never forgotten.

With him came copies of his first book, Sammy Squirrel and the Sunflower Seeds. We promote him and his books at our Rix Café Texican website http://rixcafetexican.com , as well as other local authors. And since then he’s written more children’s books, among them Ferdinand Frog’s Flight and The Day X Ran Away. Sammy and Ferdinand have a home at the Dr. Eugene Clark Library. I’ve read those two and they are delightful.

According to his website, http://kidsbooksbymarvin.com, he’s busy with four more titles: Changing Tomorrow, The Adventures of Preston and Oliver, The Case of the Stolen Stash, and The Queen’s Tea.

Mr. Mayer took writing lessons from the Institute for Children’s Literature, and he writes to entertain. He is a member of the East Texas Writers Guild, the Society for Children’s Writers and Illustrators, and the Texas Writers Network.

If you’ve got young children in your family, give his books a look. You can see them at Amazon.com or via his website.

And if you’re a Central Texas writer with a book to promote, get in touch through http://rixcafetexican.com. We’d love to meet you..




WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Rose O’scarlett and the Vengeance of Cannonflash Jones by J.R. Knoll.  Congo by Michael Crichton.


Honestly, I don’t remember any more how I found these blogs. I probably saw a mention in the forum pages of the Kindle Direct Publishing  Community. Before, during and right after I first published THE COWBOY’S BABY I read these forum pages religiously. Or, it could have come from a TWITTER mention. There’s lots of good information passed through there, too. But back to my point; over time I have found the four best blogs to watch if you are a writer.


In no particular order they are:


KRISTINE KATHRYN RUSCH at http://kriswrites.com  . Each and every Thursday she blogs about the business of publishing. You need to be reading what she says. Really. You really do.


THE PASSIVE VOICE at http://thepassivevoice.com . Every day Mr. P.G. (Passive Guy) gathers what has caught his interest (mostly concerning writing, the business of writing, and the law) and serves it up for his readers. He’s sort of a clearing house for us lazy types. And read the comments. Often the comments are the most useful parts.


J.A. KONRATH at  http://jakonrath.blogspot.com . Here is where you’ll find the really good stuff, as in controversy. Unfortunately for us,  Mr. Konrath doesn’t blog as much as he used to, but if he is new to you there is a lot of archived information. Warning: If you’re easily shocked, this is not the place for you.


And DEAN WESLEY SMITH at http://deanwesleysmith.com  . Go back and read THE SACRED COWS OF PUBLISHING and you’ll never think about writing the same way again. Ditto the week he just finished where he wrote an entire 70,000 word (almost) novel in ten days. No rewrites. Nada. Mr. Smith even offers to teach you some of what he knows through his on-line workshops.


And if you feel you gain by reading these guys, tell them thanks by buying their books. Three of them are writers, and the Passive Guy’s wife is a writer. There are other good blogs for writers too, but mostly the best of what they say will end up at THE PASSIVE VOICE and sometimes all or some of the other three.


WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  The Duke’s Undoing by G.G. Vandagriff. Whiskey Sour by J.A. Konrath.

Photos by Roxanne Rix (And they have nothing to do with my books or the blogs mentioned here. Just pretty pictures.)

You can find my  books at