Becoming a published author has had an affect on my reading habits. From the time I could read a chapter book at the age of five, I have been a very voracious reader. As many of you probably were, I was that kid that the “only seven books per child” rule at the library was broken constantly, with my mom adding some of my books to my sister and brother’s piles so I could read to my heart’s content. There was the Tacy, Betsy & Tib series, I couldn’t get enough of. Then came the Anne of Green Gables series and then The Miracle Worker, which set off my love of both historical fiction and true-life biographies. Following that I found two things that would shape my life, the Sue Barton, student nurse series and romance novels.
After nursing school, which limited my reading to course books during the semesters and fiction on school breaks, I couldn’t get enough books to read, usually no less than three a week. By the time I started writing, I was reading between two-fifty and three-hundred books a year.
Then I started writing. At first it was just a can-I-do-it sort of effort. Then I finished my first book (CANTRELL’S BRIDE), and I was hooked. But it wasn’t until I started publishing that I realized not only did I have less time to indulge in reading three or four books a week, but I had to be careful what I read while I wrote. When I’m writing the small town Westen books, like my new release, CLOSE TO THE HEART, I steer clear of other authors who write the small-town romance genre books. When I write the darker Edgars books, I don’t read any dark romantic suspense. Why? Because I don’t want what I’m reading to seep in and influence my stories, plots, characters or my writer’s voice, (aka how I tell a story).
So, even though I soooooooooo want to read Karen Rose’s new release, INTO THE DARK, since I’ve started a new book in the darker Edgars novels world I’m refraining until my book is finished. I’ve been on a Paranormal and historical and non-fiction kick. This is what I’ve been reading:
- MAISIE DOBBS-by Jacqueline Winspear. A series of mystery books set in the period between the end of WWI and the beginning of WWII. The main character is Maisie Dobbs, (which is also the title of the 1st book in the series), a nurse in the Great War. She is also a trained investigator and somewhat psychologist. Totally not something I’m ever going to write, but I do enjoy them. I’m on the fifth book in the series.
- BLOOD TRUTH-the 4th book in the Black Dagger Legacy series by JR Ward. I’ve love the BDBrotherhood books ever since my friend Addison Fox told me I had, HAD to read Dark Lover. Good thing, too, as I never writer true paranormal books. Yes, occasionally a character may have premonition-type visions, but nothing beyond that hits my books. Again, not in my wheelhouse as a writer.
- AND IF I PERISH; FRONTLINE U.S. ARMY NURSES IN WORLD WAR II by Monahan & Neidel-Greenlee. This one is non-fiction and combines not only my love for history, but the very much forgotten stories of nurses and other medical personnel who served in dangerous situations to care for the wounded—soldiers, civilians, POWs and even their own—during WWII. As a daughter of a surgical nurse and having worked in surgery almost daily in L&D, I found the nursing advancement made during these stories enlightening. The personal stories are true, and sometimes hear-breaking.
- And finally, THE FLIGHT GIRLS: A Novel by Noelle Salazar. I actually bought this thinking it was non-fiction. (Yeah, I know it says novel in the title, but I was half-awake when I clicked on the buy button.) I was delighted it was a novel, women’s fiction with heavy romantic elements. I haven’t finished it yet but am thoroughly enjoying it.
Why so much historicals and non-fiction? Well, I’m reading things that might ground me in the period right before WWII for the second book in the Neptune’s Five series, which I’ll work on after this Edgars book. Also, none of these books interfered with me writing CLOSE TO THE HEART, either.
So, what are you reading?