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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please join the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

Sunday, November 01, 2020

Gary Roen Syndicated Book Critic and Author Information for Writers

Gary Roen Syndicated Book Critic and Author Information for Writers

Have you heard of Gary S. Roen, a nationally syndicated book critic, and author? Reviews by Gary Roen have been running for over 45 years in different publications throughout the nation. That includes Midwestbookreview.com, bUnike Magazine, Lake Legal NewsHernando StarVeterans Voice, and Bivouac Magazine to name a few. 

The books he has authored include Cats Cats and More CatsJourneySlotski’s World, The Forgotten Father and Coping with Grief.  He has been a regular on-air contributor to many different types of radio and TV shows throughout the United States.  

He reviews books as he loves reading and fell into it many years ago when he was on WPRK in Winter Park, Florida. He did the show with Patty Flanigan of WDBO at the time who wanted to expand with a show on another station about science fiction. He was the go-to person on getting books because of his connections in the publishing world for them to talk about on the show. To expand the listenership, they branched out to include print as a way to promote the show. Later they dissolved everything but he kept doing print reviews that have continued to this day.

Recently LinkedIn paid tributed to Gary Roen as he has been an author, critic, and publishing person for 47 years. During that time, he has seen a variety of changes. Some were positive, negative, or even in-between. Don’t you wish you could know what he does to help along the path to publication?

Here is some advice he offers to writers:

“Keep writing, do not get discouraged, learn your craft better if possible, by taking courses, or hook up with writers’ groups that really work with authors on their work. Keep up on what is selling in the industry, do not strive to be the next whatever but do the best work you can possibly do and always be humble. Most of all have fun.” 

Word Choice and Character Names Are Important

Roen advises writers to avoid overused words. When he reads a book with too many words such as and, or, so -- he puts the book down. Be careful when writing to use less commonly used words to make an impact. He adds, “We have a Thesaurus on our tablets or other devices and it amazes him that more people do not use it.”

A grating mistake to him is characters with similar names like Sara or Sally, Jack or John who are best friends or in the same book. The reason is that people have to constantly go back in the work and figure out who is who or lose sight of them. You want your characters to be separate with no confusion by their distinct personalities as well as their names.

Many people ask him how to get reviews or interviews. Some of the ways are very simple. He says make your first impression professional while treating your work like a business. A mistake he sees all the time by authors that can be a very costly blunder is sending in writing pieces that do not follow the guidelines or rules for consideration. The point is those that get rejected immediately. Sometimes the author takes rejection personally when he or she did not follow submission directions. Authors are sometimes to blame for their own failures.

Roen is also often asked:

“As a book critic, what do you look for?”  His answers mostly apply to fiction but some nonfiction also qualifies.

He considers if the piece has a beginning, middle, and an end. This also fits for True Crime books or a news story. In journalism, there are the “W” questions of who, what, when, where, and if possible, why. All of these must be included in any writing piece.

We are honored that Mr. Roen provided this information both for established and aspiring authors, and thank him for his time. We hope many of you found this post illuminating.

Please find a full interview of Gary Roen on the New Book Review at:


He may be contacted through LinkedIn, Facebook, and


His books may be found at the following retailers:


Books a Million

Barnes and Noble

Thank you for reading, Carolyn Wilhelm

Carolyn Wilhelm has an MS in Gifted Education, an MA in Curriculum and Instruction K-12, and has completed the KHT Montessori 12 month program. She makes mostly free resources for teachers and parents on The Wise Owl Factory site and blog. 

Gary Roen Syndicated Book Critic and Author Information for Writers

MORE ABOUT THE BLOGGER Howard-Johnson is the multi award-wining author of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She is also a marketing consultant, editor, and author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers including the multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter (http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromoIII), now offered by Modern History Press in its third edition. Carolyn's latest is in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers is How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. Learn more on her Amazon profile page (http://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile). Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers (http://bit.ly/Last-MinuteEditing) is one of her booklets--perfect for inexpensive gift giving--and, another booklet, The Great First Impression Book Proposal (http://bit.ly/BookProposalsII) helps writers who want to be traditionally published. The Frugal Editor (http://bit.ly/FrugalEditor), now in its second edition, is the winningest book in the series. Carolyn also has three frugal books for retailers including one she encourages authors to read because it will help them convince retailers to host their workshops, presentations, and signings. It is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques (http://bit.ly/RetailersGuide). In addition to this blog, Carolyn helps writers extend the exposure of their favorite reviews at TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com. She also blogs at all things editing--grammar, formatting and more--at The Frugal, Smart, and Tuned-In Editor (http://TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com)

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