Favorite Books of 2015

In no particular order, here are some of my favorite books of 2015!

I mostly read non-fiction, whether it’s to gain knowledge about a particular subject (like indie publishing or photography), or just to learn about other geeks out there like me.


5000 Words Per Hour – Chris Fox

This book, along with Monica Leonelle’s “The 8 Minute Writing Habit”, has changed my writing routine for the better. I admit, I’m a total pantser, but I wanted to see if this book could still help me. And it does! While I’m no where near writing 5,000 words per hour, this book has been helpful in two ways. 1.) I’m writing every single day again, which is awesome! Some days I may only manage 250 words in my work-in-progress, but my personal goal has been to form a daily habit of writing at least 250 words. The good news leads me to… 2.) Most days I double and triple my daily goal! Again 500-750 words may not be huge numbers, but in time they will add up. I encourage any writer struggling with Butt In Chair Time each day to read this book. Do the sprints. Even short sprints add up.

The 8-Minute Writing Habit – Monica Leonelle

(See above for some of why I LOVE this book! Seriously, just like the title suggests, it helped change my writing habits.) “The 8-Minute Writing Habit” basically inspires you to write – at a minimum – for 8 minutes a day. Who doesn’t have 8 minutes to spare? The great thing about this mini-Pomodoro method is that once you get through those first 8 minutes, you’re usually in the flow of things and don’t want to stop. So, get this book, and learn how to turn an 8 minute habit into productive writing!

Writing Into the Dark – Dean Wesley Smith

I follow Smith’s daily blog (formally called “Writing in Public”) religiously. Really, the man needs no introduction. He writes every day and shares his word totals with with the world. Very inspiring stuff! His career spans four decades and has written both traditionally and self-published, as well as for his own publishing company, WMG Publishing. “Writing Into the Dark” is about learning to follow our Creative Voice whenever we put our Butt in Chair to write and to ignore our Critical Voice. You know, the one that likes to tell us “that story isn’t good”, or “you’ll never amount to anything writing like that.” Following Creative Voice and tuning out Critical Voice is no easy feat, but this book will help any author develop that skill. Personally, I’m a total pantser, and I loved this book even more because it was like talking with an old friend who shared my writing style. Not that I needed the validation. Outlining just isn’t for me, and it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

Prosperity for Writers – Honoree Corder

I loved this book so much I just bought and read her follow-up: the Prosperity For Writers Productivity Journal. This book helped cement the belief that I can succeed as a writer. This will be one of those books that I turn to time and time again.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet – Felicia Day

It’ll make you laugh, cry, and make you fall in love with gaming all over again (not that anyone would fall out of love with gaming). Highly recommended even if you aren’t familiar with Day. If you’re a fellow geek, you’ll enjoy it.
On the iPhone – David Hume Kennerly

This book inspired my first daily photo challenge from April 2015. While I do enjoy shooting with my Canon 70D, my iPhone is my favorite camera. Why? Because I always have it with me. And I’ve captured more memories and beautiful shots than I ever could have planned to do.
Grandma Gatewood’s Walk – Ben Montgomery

Not only is the story of this 67 year old lady’s thru hike on the AT a fascinating one, it’s also a nice history lesson. A lot has happened in our modern world just since the 1950s (interstates were built, cars were manufactured, etc), which really puts things into perspective. If you’re a hiker or enjoy the outdoors (and living off the grid), give this one a read.


As you can see, my non-fiction list far outweighs my fiction lists. This is pretty typical. I’d like to up the number of fiction books I read in 2016.
Devoured (The Hunger #1) – Jason Brant

A fast, fun zombie-filled ride. Except that these are no ordinary zombies. I won’t spoil it for ya, you’ll just have to read and enjoy it for yourself.

The Haunted Mask, One Day at Horrorland, and Why I Quit Zombie School – R.L. Stone

Goosebumps are just plain fun. And “The Haunted Mask” is just plain creepy. What more could a Monster Kid like me want? I got on a Goosebumps kick later in the year thanks to my nephew (the same one who inspired my book, “Zombie Boy: Press Start“), and the ones listed above were some of my favorites.

Until next year…. !

Val O. Morris likes to pretend the monsters aren’t real. She is a filmmaker turned author who writes Urban Fantasy, Horror, and YA. A Monster Kid since birth, she loves all things ghosts, goblins, slashers, demons, monsters, zombies, madmen, werewolves, vampires, and freaky little kids who live in the corn. She invites you to come for the monsters and stay for the story.