You've found the home on the net for romance writer, LaVerne Clark. Thanks for visiting! :)

I write suspense and light fantasy/paranormal set in the beautiful country of New Zealand. A land of myths and magic, Aotearoa (Maori for Long White Cloud) has always been a storytelling nation and it is my pleasure to share mine with you.

Make yourself your drink of choice, stay a while and feel free to leave comments. I love to meet new friends.

Heartpounding suspense and fantasy Downunder

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Writing Craft - Lurking is Good(reads)

Want to know my number one tip for learning more about the craft of writing? Here it is then....drum rollll....

Become a member of Goodreads
If you're not already - DO IT NOW!

Seriously, if there is one site you should belong to - it's this one. And here are some of the reasons I've found why:

When I was first published and busy one day googling my title (as you do - I was so proud, damnit!), I came across a link for a site called Goodreads which featured my book. It had popped up on the site after a reviewer had posted her review there. After clicking through - imagine my shock when it asked me if I was the author or knew the author. I wanted to cry. That was ME they were talking about! :)

Once the pathetic tears had dried up, I registered there and set up my page. Then, the world of Goodreads and the fabulous readers and authors that inhabit it, devoured me whole. I spent hours on there exploring all the different threads; adding books I'd read and adored over the years; made friends with people I knew already on there; and generally just had a wonderful bookish time! 

I need to stress that for those not familiar with it - Goodreads is a site for READERS FIRST AND FOREMOST. It is not a place to blatantly announce to all and sundry that you have a new book out and that everyone should go out and buy it immediately because it is the best thing since sliced bread. No way - uh, uh - no how. Don't do it. And I really mean that. Do. Not. Do. It. Ever. Unless, of course, there is a thread specifically calling for authors to promote themselves - that is the only time you could. But in all honesty, I don't think many readers actually can be bothered to wade through the hundreds of posts to find a new-to-them author anyway, making those threads pointless and probably a waste of time.

Instead - I've found myself drawn to a couple of groups and threads in particular. I comment and interact occasionally, but in the main, I lurk. The girls are hilarious, highly intelligent and incredibly insightful in their dissection and discussion on the romance books they've read. My favourite group is this one: and are aptly named - Romance Forum Refugees. One of the funniest threads there is called: Cover Art - the good, the bad and the Fabio. I recommend checking it out one day if you need a really good belly-laugh. In the group discussions, you can read about what are a romance reader's pet peeves, what they want to see more of and what they find annoying character traits, just to name a few. To a writer intent on learning more and getting better at what they do, this is invaluable insight and to be ignored at your peril. 

So, if you're not a member, or haven't explored the group side of things yet - what are you waiting for? You'll have a ball, and learn a few things along the way. Have fun - and happy reading :)  


  1. I'm a member of Goodreads, but rarely go there. I'm so busy writing. When I do, I find it hard to navigate. I need help, LaVerne...lots of it, too. Interessting post, hon.

  2. I'm a member too, but like Vonnie, I find it hard to navigate and update.

  3. Hi Vonnie and Maddy,

    You know, I think we all have our strengths and weaknesses and different sites and social applications suit some of us more than the others. I'm really nervous of twitter for example. I know I should be interracting on it, but I just can't do it!

  4. All I ever do is add books read to my bookshelf. Waht more I should do is still a mystery. One of these days I'll get a better hang of it!

    1. Hi Nancy!

      Its essential to have some time to sit down and explore a site like Goodreads I think. It is huge - but the information there is limitless. I've found a number of wonderful reads too (when I get the time to read that is!) which I'd never have found if I hadn't explored :)

  5. A very good point about GR being more than just a handy place to list all the books one wants to read!

    1. Hi Kura,
      I'm glad you enjoyed the post :) There are so many gems on GR which I'm always discovering. Its a great place to hang out isn't it? I love it!

  6. I admire you, LaVerne. I get so lost on Goodreads. I can't figure out what is what or where from one day to the next!