The Life of a Blog

Today, I’m looking back at the journey I’ve taken with A Writer of History. And no … this is not the end of A Writer of History. Just an opportunity to contemplate how it has evolved.

It all began early in 2012, when I decided to “push the reset button” and create a new blog to focus on the writing of historical fiction. I’d kept an earlier blog (now defunct) called One Writer’s Voice where I wrote about the business of writing and the notion of being an author entrepreneur. Ultimately, though, I decided to shift gears and create A Writer of History. You can find that first blog post about new beginnings here.

The last seven (!!) years have been a wonderful experience. One that has connected me with many authors, bloggers, and readers, and I’m grateful to all of you who have come along with me on the journey, to those who have contributed thoughts and content, and to those who visit from time to time. I’ve written 817 posts (818 if you include this one). And visitors have grown from 964 in 2012 to over 56,000 in 2018. Never would have imagined that!

At the beginning, I decided to survey those who read fiction with an emphasis on historical fiction. I thought a survey might be useful and I could share the results on A Writer of History. One of the results from that survey was a list of Top Historical Fiction Authors and from there I went on to interview some of those authors including Elizabeth Chadwick, C.W. Gortner, Hilary Mantel, Jacqueline Winspear, Margaret George, Helen Hollick and many others. I also interviewed bloggers who focused on historical fiction included Amy Bruno, Richard Lee,

Because I was writing novels set during WWI, I included many posts exploring my findings – from fashion, to military strategy, to WWI trench standing orders.

At some point, I began to receive book review requests – the first one being The Twelve Rooms of the Nile by Enid Shomer. I was astonished to be asked for a review … imagine, someone ‘out there’ had noticed my little blog. I have to confess that I don’t do many of those anymore given that reading and then reviewing is such a time commitment. Instead, I invite authors to guest post or be interviewed, which also offers a chance to feature something about their latest novel as well as a book cover.

Over the years, various topics have attracted my interest: the role of social media and reading, the life of an author, the excitement of historical research, the daunting challenge of marketing, my self-publishing journey, and the joy of being published. I’ve also included snippets from my own writing and sources of inspiration including my grandparents’ photos and mementos.

I belong to three book clubs and have often posted about our book selections and the lively discussions we have. And for several years now, I’ve posted ‘A Year of Reading’ list with brief thoughts on each novel read that year.

More surveys followed in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018. Each survey was an opportunity to discover more about the world of reading and to explore what the findings mean for authors. Although time consuming, the surveys have prompted much interest and I’ve used some of the insights in my own writing and marketing as have others.

My first novel Unravelled was self-published in 2013 followed by Lies Told in Silence in 2014, and then Time and Regret was published by Lake Union in 2016 – I posted about them here and you celebrated with me.

A few years ago, I decided to focus on a themeInside Historical Fiction – to look under the covers of historical fiction and illuminate those attributes that make it different from contemporary fiction. Many writers and readers contributed their thoughts. Another theme was Successful Historical Fiction. Last year’s theme was Transported in Time and Place which began with Dazzled by a Green Door. I’ve written about the purpose of historical fiction and compiled a list from the 2015 survey of favourite historical fiction novels. Another popular series were the WWI letters home from my husband’s great-uncle who served in France and Africa. I tagged these Somewhere in France and Somewhere in Africa.

On the blog you can also find writing tips from well-known authors like Emma Darwin and personal postsWill the Real M.K. Tod Please Stand Up; Grateful for Every Day (a post following the plane crash my husband and I survived), and one on my own #metoo experiences called A Lifelong Feminist.

Much to my delight, in 2016 Writers Digest selected A Writer of History for its list of 101 Best Websites for Writers – and they repeated the honour in 2018. I’m grateful for the acknowledgement of what we’ve built together.

So my friends, it’s been a rewarding journey. You’ve helped me along the way by cheering me on, adding your voice, and contributing your posts. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and look forward to much more.

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

 

 

 

 

Book blogs galore

WOW – this year’s reader survey asked participants if they had a “reading related blog or website.” Of 2418 responses, 294 provided the names of their sites. What does this tell you about the reading ecosystem and readers’ desire to share their thoughts?

As promised, here’s the list.

https://booktastrophe.wordpress.com
https://kelseygietl.com
KaysBlog
http://www.FindingNapoleon.com
https://laughandbemeri.wordpress.com/
http://www.englishstudens.wordpress.com
Regency Retro Reads
https://jrlindermuth.blogspot.com/
http://books-reading-vice.blogspot.com/
https://cannonballread.com/
Faintingviolet.wordpress.com
amarriageofconvenience.wordpress.com
cannonballread.com
https://kingmagu.blogspot.com/
http://www.lovemandreadem.com
http://romanticanorosa.blogspot.com/
Caz’s Reading Room http://www.bookish29.wordpress.com
tedwitham.wordpress.com
http://www.ruadhbutler.com
All About Romance
http://www.sueingallsfinan.com
http://www.anaveragelife.org
http://www.lucilleturner.com
AngeliqueCongerAuthor.com
https://beforethesecondsleep.wordpress.com
Www.cassiedate.com
http://www.amybooksy.blogspot.com
Destination: Fiction
Heidenkind.blogspot.com
Zenaparks.com
https://rokinrevreview.godaddysites.com/
http://www.clareobeara.ie
Www.ellentiernan.com
http://www.JanetsWritingBlog.com
Thebrokenspine.net
https://readinggivesmewings.wordpress.com/
http://www.janasbrownwrites.com
https://www.instagram.com/a_bookish_affair/?hl=en
NewLDSFiction.com
Https://Cozynookbks.wordpress.com
Grayson Books.com
Www.wayneturmel.com
https://pastpresentreads.blogspot.com/
http://tremblingleaves.wordpress.com/
http://www.kimberlyfish.com
https://artania7.wordpress.com/
http://fallingletters.ca
http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com
http://www.westmetromommyreads.com
http://pussreboots.com
martinejaneroberts.com
Burtonbookreview.com
http://www.mayliang.blog
Louby’s Lush Reads
http://www.facebook.com/writerjl
Www.simonsmusings.com
http://boomerhighway.org
http://devilwinds.blogspot.com/
HistoricalBritainBlog.com
http://www.kathryngauci.com/blog/
Tomes and Tequila Blog
http://www.donwhunter.com
https://www.megandimaria.com/
http://graceinourmoments.blogspot.com
Brandnewbooksmell on YouTube
shoalhavenreadersandwritersfestival.wordpress.com
https://joynealkidney.com/category/books-authors/
http://www.hillsboropublishing.com
What Cathy Read Next https://whatcathyreadnext.wordpress.com
http://www.dansstories.com
http://www.reviews-redpillows.com
http://www.byrhtnoth.com
http://www.jturney.com
http://stevewiegenstein.wordpress.com
rosannedingli.com
Miss Darcy’s Library
Just One More Chapter
http://www.lindamariezupancic.com
Book Date    https://bookdate.blogspot.com/
https://wcs53new.wordpress.com
http://www.stabenow.com
https://b-m.facebook.com/ajuvchacko1970/
www Kitaab.org
https://greetingsfrommiddleearth.blogspot.com
@whatrachelread
Www.dnsmedia.co.uk
http://www.elinorflorence.com
http://www.sydyoung.com
http://www.damyantiwrites.com
Www.thebibliovert.com
http://cpa-booksandmoviesreviews.com
https://dearreader915.wordpress.com
http://susan-thebookbag.blogspot.com/
https://readershightea.wordpress.com
http://www.thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca
amheathblog.wordpress.com
http://rosannelortz.com
http://Whatmeread.wordpress.com
karenlcole.wordpress.com
https://fictionfanblog.wordpress.com
https://sallyfromoz.wordpress.com
http://www.leonierogers.me
https://omnivourousreaderbookreviews.wordpress.com/
https://theburgeoningbookshelf.blogspot.com
fishlovesbooks.blogspot.com
Infinitejests.blogspot.com
https://bookwormex.com/ , https://quick-book-review.blogspot.com/
http://www.bookertalk.com
Anne.Pisacano.com
http://samsmithbooks.weebly.com
http://www.ann-otto.com
Mbkzakanj.wordpress.com
http://elisefrancesmiller.com/blog
http://abookishaffair.blogspot.com
CarolynHughesAuthor.com
https://readerbuzz.blogspot.com
FB Nose in book
melgough.com
renageorge.com
https://zoeburton.com/
Brayton’s Book Buzz
Healthy people learn.wordpress.com
Writers Who Kill, The Stiletto Gang
http://aliteraryvacation.blogspot.com
http://www.killercharacters.com
TheStillettoGang.com
http://www.cindyvallar.com/reads.html & http://www.cindyvallar.com/bookaneer.html
https://rwranniewhitehead.blogspot.com/
http://www.bragmedallion.com
ymnelson.com
https://callmemadam.livejournal.com/
https://felcherman.wordpress.com/
https://medium.com/@ScottStavrou
https://halfmanhalfbook.blogspot.com
http://www.tripfiction.com
http://www.helensusanswift.com
Www.facebook.com/katerock.litchick
Nicolefeller.com
Books Etc.
http://www.kaycrabbe.com  (author website)
Www.dorothysasso.com
https://silvatrend8553.blog/
clarerhoden.com
Rebecca’s Book Reviews
I Love Books (Facebook)
Http://cheekypeereadsandreviews.blogspot.co.uk/
noveldieas.ca
https://shop.indianahistory.org/Products/TheKimberlinsGoToWar.aspx?skuid=1012641
https://michelle-abbott.weebly.com/blog
https://www.nicolawardley.com
https://rokinrevreview.godaddysites.com/ and goodreads.com/AndreaStoeckel
http://www.facebook.com/mybookreviewsforyou
writeonsister.net
https://www.writeradvice.com
randyattwood.blogspot.com
JulzReads.com
booksasfood.blogspot.com
http://www.novelgossip.com
http://www.readervoracious.wordpress.com
https://omnireader.blogspot.com/
A Novel Bee
http://www.journojohnson.blogspot.com
You can find me on Wattpad under user name ivy475.
I don’t have one, but thank you.
http://www.happiestwhenreadingblog.wordpress.com
Nut Press (https://nutpress.co.uk)
http://www.donmassenzio.com
http://www.instagram.com/basicbsguide
http://www.alayland.uk; member of @theprimewriters
https://thecaptivereader.com/
Thelifelongreader
http://www.thehawaiiproject.com
http://www.elisabethstorrs.com/blog/
http://www.mcpigpearls.blogspot.com
http://www.triciacopeland.com/index.html
Sue’s Booking Agency
http://www.writersideoflife.com
Www.karenrbrooks.com
http://mastoreyauthor.blogspot.com/
StuckinaBook.com
http://booksiesblog.blogspot.com
http://www.cornflowerbooks.co.uk
read-and-be-merry.tumblr.com
Readingladies.com
cassmorriswrites.com
http://www.lovintoread.blogspot.com
http://www.booksbywomen.org
http://montanamade.weebly.com/tell-tale-book-reviews
http://www.madcaphat.com
My Cozy Chaos
Instagram account under @Crypticartisan
https://homesweethouser.wordpress.com
https://tasmanianbibliophileatlarge.wordpress.com/
Www.marytateengels.com
Instagram: _magicbookdom_
BOLOBooks.com
Www.lostforwords-corrine.blogspot.com
readingontheedge.tumblr.com
https://cozyupwithkathy.blogspot.com/
http://www.hergraceslibrary.com
Www.ashleyrichauthor.com
http://www.SusanMcDuffie.net
http://www.maxovertonauthor.com
https://sweetteaandcritiques.blogspot.com
Http://vicklea.com
jorielovesastory.com (thank you!)
https://betweenlifeanddreaming.blogspot.com/
Book Natter
Svetlana’s reads and views
http://www.instagram.com/tina_readsbooks
https://booksaremagic.blogspot.com/
discoveringdiamonds.blogspot.co.uk
http://www.elizabethjstjohn.com
Elle Thinks (https://ellethinks.wordpress.com/)
https://www.facebook.com/TripleRICofF
Http://cupofsensibility.blogspot.com
http://www.alyssalinnpalmer.com
http://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com
http://www.elisemccune.com
Pamsloveofbooks
I am in process of starting one
http://www.SuzanneAdair.net/blog/
White Pine Cozy Mysteries
https://benjaminlclark.com/blog/
http://keirasoleore.blgospot.com
capricornanonymous.blogspot.com
Reader Report Cards group on FB
Bitty’s Buried in Books
Dacebook Page: Sean Kevin Gabhann
http://www.stevebartholomew.com
https://alibacon.com
Sally E. Johnson facebook page
http://www.daniebotha.com
https://drchazan.blogspot.com/
http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot.com/?m=1
elizabethcaulfieldfelt.com
https://www.jane-davis.co.uk
http://www.josbookjourney.wordpress.com
http://www.dougboren.com
WordPress.booksandmargaritas
starlitebooknook.wordpress.com
Discovering Diamonds : https://discoveringdiamonds.blogspot.co.uk/
namiesbooks.wordpress.com
Musings of a Bookish Kitty (https://lieraryfeline.com)
SuanneSchaferAuthor.com
Caz’s Reading Room
JudithStarkston.com
elizabethhopkinson.uk
http://www.stevenspen.com
http://www.facebook.com/groups/bookwormsanonymous15
Rakes and Rascals
http://bescott32.wix.com/the-five
Book Blog https://www.ajsefton.com/blog-1
http://www.stephaniechurchillauthor.com/
Seamus O’Griffin
Passages to the Past (http://passagestothepast.com
Charles Ray’s Ramblings (http://charlieray45.wordpress.com
http://www.facebook.com/groups/ReadingisMyPassion
https://forwinternights.wordpress.com/
Greyowl.wordpress.com
http://www.goodbooksgoodfriends.weebly.com
https://histfict.fr (French language blog on historical fiction)
outofthebex.com
https://adrianadvorska.wordpress.com/
https://www.tumblr.com/blog/kcthedreamer
jeffreykwalker.com
suneethaspeaks.wordpress.com
In Literary Love
https://Karavansara.live
https://www.instagram.com/camilledimaio__author/
LillianMarek.com
Www.exurbanis.com
https://sanjivpurba.wordpress.com/
The Queens Quill Review
girl-who-reads
http://www.patwahler.com
http://www.sallykoslow.com
http://wordsandpeace.com
http://www.maryannheinsman.com
Http://silversolara.blogspot.com
http://www.laelbraday.com
http://www.karenwills.com and Montana Women Writers
The Owl Lady Blog
http://www.jean-lombard.com
http://www.pruebatten.com
Http://pebbleinthestillwaters.com
http://www.spiritblog.net
thetbrpile.com
https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/
shereadsnovels.com
https://tonyriches.blogspot.com/
Suzy Approved Book Reviews
Where Genres Collide
https://bookslifeandeverythingnice.wordpress.com/

Thanks to all who shared their information and their love of reading.

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

2018 Reader Survey … a teaser

With the holiday and big accident (see this post) beginning to ease into the background, yesterday I turned my thoughts to the reader survey conducted in June and July. While the full report won’t be available for at least a week, here’s a sample of things to come.

This year’s survey was designed to reach readers of all fiction genres. 2418 people responded; 84% female, 16% male. The survey includes questions on:

  • general reading habits
  • the selection and acquisition of books
  • the reading experience
  • the influence of social media on reading

Here’s a question you might find intriguing:

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE FICTION GENRES? (CHOOSE UP TO 3)

  • FIRST, A CAVEAT … I am a member of a robust group of historical fiction fans so results have a built-in bias for that genre
  • TOP 5 GENRES ARE MYSTERY/THRILLER, ROMANCE, HISTORICAL FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION AND LITERARY

Digging further:

  • The top genres for men are HISTORICAL FICTION, MYSTERY/THRILLER, SCIENCE FICTION, MILITARY/WAR and FANTASY
  • INTEREST IN FANTASY DECREASES WITH AGE – from 54% for those under 30 to 6% for those over 70; there is a similar pattern for SCIENCE FICTION and HORROR
  • INTEREST IN MYSTERY/THRILLER INCREASES WITH AGE
  • INTEREST IN ROMANCE PEAKS BETWEEN 30 AND 50
  • LITERARY FICTION IS LESS POPULAR AMONGST US READERS THAN IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

More to follow, as well as the full report.

I’m grateful to the support of many authors, bloggers and others who publicized the survey. In particular, authors Heather Burch and Patricia Sands helped design and test the questions.

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.