Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Writing Wednesday: What's your Reading #Obsession ?

Happy New Year to All!

After a prolonged holiday break, which included many many guests, dinners, parties, events and the inevitable laundry that follows, I'm back online and trying to get back into the writing groove. 

I'm a firm believer that in order to be a better writer, you need to be an avid reader. Authors need to stay abreast of what's popular in their own genre, as well as reading outside their niche. It makes your own writing flow better if you read widely, and can see and feel both the perfect turns of phrase that others craft, as well as the clunky failures of paragraphs and dialogue interludes that just don't work.

Do you know what I mean?

You can kind of tell when authors are not avid readers, or you know, readers. Or if they "used to read" and their own style is more reminiscent of Charles Dickens than Charlaine Harris. What works for Jane Austen does not necessarily work for modern romance writers.

I'm generally a fast reader and early riser, so I do a lot of my reading in the mornings when I'm between book projects, or at night with wine after my day job of technical writing wipes my brain into a numbed state. I read to soothe my need for fiction and escape, and refill the well of my own writing creativity and spark.

However.

Sometimes I get utterly obsessed with an author, and drop everything to read their new book, whether it's a new mass-market release by Julie James, or an ARC or beta by one of my favorite small press authors, like  J.C. McKenzie or Karilyn Bentley or Peggy Jaeger. Even if I'm writing at the time (okay, unless I'm on deadline) I Will. Drop. Everything.

Over the holiday break, I discovered a new Must-Read author like this, and I'm totally obsessed. Penny Reid. The first book of hers I read a while ago, and liked but didn't trigger obsession. Then I downloaded her "Truth or Beard" which was a free BookBub offering... and I reviewed here Monday... and promptly read through the entire series to date. Now I'm waiting semi-anxiously for the next release in the series which isn't until July. JULY!

So the discussion topic for today is, Do you Read? What do you Read? Do you - like me - get Obsessed?

Do you agree with my premise that Writers need to be avid Readers in order to master their craft?

And more importantly, who or what is your latest Reading Obsession?

Happy Writing - and Reading - to All!




26 comments:

  1. Yes, Katie, I totally agree with you. A writer needs to read...everything. I read ALL the time...romance, suspense, mysteries...everything. I always have a book on the go. Glad you survived the festivities. Happy New Year and happy writing.

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    1. Thanks for chiming in! Happy New Year to you too!

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  2. Aww thanks Katie! I feel the same way and love reading your work as well. I also agree with you 100% that it's important for writers to be readers, too. We have to compete with a lot of other stimulating entertainment these days and I think the new reader is all about faster pace and less details. Reading successful books helps get a feel for what the market is currently craving.

    Great post! And welcome back :-)

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    1. Oh, and my latest reading obsession is Son of a trickster by Eden Robinson. I think the second book is coming out soon.

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    2. And Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs and Kim Harrison 😉

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    3. Thanks for chiming in with some author suggestions, JC! I'll add them to my "check this out" list - and really, you're on my list of never-miss-a-book. Your Carus series is sooo much fun to read.

      Happy New Year!

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  3. I read as much as time allows. My guilty pleasure. Despite writing romance, I read more of other genres: mysteries, women's fiction, literary fiction, fantasy, thrillers, etc. My last "binge book" was the latest Roman Britain mystery by Rosemary Rowe. It's about 18th in the series and I've loved all them. Also love Ann Cleeves, Tana French, Elly Griffiths and Harry Bingham. Oh, and I work in a library and order fiction so my TBR list just gets longer and longer. Cheers!

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    1. Ooh, more great author names to add to my list! Working in a library must afford unique opportunities to get and give recommendations to all types of readers - how great!
      I've never read Rosemary Rowe - will certainly check her out.

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  4. I couldn’t agree more. I always have to have something in progress on my Kindle. So often I will find that I am reading a book by another author, editing one of my own, and writing a new draft for the next book-all at the same time. Keeps me on my toes!

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    1. Busy lady! But, yeah, I'm the same way. Thanks for joining the conversation!

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  5. Great post. I'm an avid reader and read 95+ books last year, according to my Kindle and print purchases. I just finished Catherine Ryan Hyde's, "Don't Let Me Go," for a book club at the end of the month. To me, reading is a rather soothing experience where you can enter the another world in your own comfy chair!

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    1. I set a goal of 100 books on goodreads for 2017, but didn't "technically" make that because I didn't put reviews for all of them. I won't usually post reviews for books that are "meh" or that I didn't like, because that's not fair to the author who worked hard to put it out there if it's not to my taste. But yeah, I'll bet I read well beyond that...

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  6. I always read you Wednesday blogs and when I saw my name in this one I went "WHAT??? Then I cried. Sniff sniff! Molto grazie, sweetie. And back at'cha!
    Now, to the questions
    YES i am an avid reader
    YESYESYES I get obsessed. The first time I read a book by Lauren Layne I thought I'd met my long lost writing sister. I bought her entire back list on Amazon and am lucky enough now to be given arcs by Netgalley on all her upcoming books.
    YES I read even when I should be writing if the book is so compelling I can't put it down.
    I'm a book a day girl when i put my mind to it because I read fast - like you. I read in the morning and before bed, and if I can't put the book down -all day long!
    Great post by a great author!!!!

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    1. I've already preordered the next book in your Will Cook for Love series, Peggy. Lo-o-o-ove this new series of yours. #obsessed

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  7. Could not agree more with you, Katie! I read to escape from the constant chatter of my own characters inside my head, lol! And I'm a huge fan of Penny Reid! Our romance bookclub read "Truth or Beard" in October. Wow! A phenomenal story, which led me to read the rest of her books. Happy New Year!

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    1. I am totally obsessed with her writing style at the moment! Am working through her knitting in the city books now...

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  8. Oh! Forgot to mention what I'm reading..."A Vampire's Unlikely Alliance" by Tena Stetler and "Hadrian's Wall" by William Dietrich. I'm an eclectic reader. :)

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  9. As always, I love your Wednesday posts. I absolutely agree you need to be an avid reader to be an excellent writer. I get obsessed too. Last year, a writer friend shamed me because I hadn't read J.R. Ward. So, that turned into the first twelve books of the Black Dagger Brotherhood in an astonishingly short time. I'm a fast reader. I read in bed before I go to sleep. I love romance, women's fiction, some thrillers, but tend to avoid anything that will depress the hell out of me. Reading is my escape! I also re-read my favorites, often several times...Happy New Year everyone! Claire Marti

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    1. That happened to me with the Outlander series - my time travel obsessions omehow missed Diane Gabaldon completely until she hit television... although I'm trying (desperately) not to get too far ahead of the t.v. series! Happy New Year back at you!

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  10. Yes, I'm a reader. And my New Year's obsession is reading books from my fellow authors at TWRP!
    Happy New Year!

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  11. Right now I'm binging on Jenny Colgan's books. Her style inspires me. I love Marisa de los Santos. (Read in order, Love Walked In first.) I tried to read Outlander, but... Yes! I absolutely read as a writer, noticing what works, what doesn't, what amazes me, what is clumsy. Reading isn't important to writing: it's part of writing. Judy Meadows

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    1. Ooh, I love that quote at the end! I'm going to have to use that! Thanks for chiming in!

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  12. Great post Katie. I completely agree reading makes you a better writer. I get obsessed sometimes, but there are always months between new releases. Recently, I've enjoyed Anne Hillerman's books. I absolutely loved her father, Tony Hillerman's books and have every one. When he passed away several years ago, I was bummed to say the least. I ran into his daughter Anne at Mountain of Authors a couple years ago, and talent runs in the family. I'm reading one of her books right now and loving it. I guess you'd call them cozy mysteries.

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  13. Thank you for the shout out Katie! I like your books too! I rotate book obsessions, right now it's Linsey Hall's Dragon Gift series. I love reading!! Happy New Year to you! :)

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  14. Hi Katie, yes indeed I get author obsessed! JD Robb, Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz, John D MacDonald. And I am sooo sad when I run out of titles!

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