Look at my Books Read in 2010 sidebar section. Now look at me. Now back to my Books Read in 2010 sidebar section. Now back to me. Sadly, my Books Read in 2010 sidebar section does not reflect the writing me. Why is this, I wonder?
On Saturday, I attended Bob Mayer’s Warrior Writer workshop. Good motivational stuff about BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard) and other industry tricks and tips. As many before him have said, Bob made mention of many of us writing what we love to read. And I think we do start out that way. At least I know I did.
I swallowed Silhouette romances whole. Linda Howard, Diana Palmer, Elizabeth Lowell, Sandra Brown. Those were my original four go to authors for everything I wanted in a romance novel. I was at my local indie bookstore each month waiting for the new shipments to see which of my faves had new books, and what new authors I wanted to try. I found Theresa Weir, Nikki Benjamin, Mary Kirk and so many more.
The romance genre wasn’t the behemoth then that it is now. Classic historicals from Kathleen Woodiwiss and Bertrice Small ruled. I read those, too, and continued to read romances up until the day I picked up my first Andrew Vachss, Flood. And even then I still read romances. But more and more I found myself looking for thrillers. Many of the first romances I loved, those published by Silhouette Intimate Moments, had suspense elements, so latching onto the early days of romantic suspense was a natural progression. I followed Lisa Gardner (who wrote for SIM as Alicia Scott) and Tess Gerritsen and Tami Hoag out into the big bad single title world and was in heaven.
Honestly, I’ve never gone back. It’s sad that I’ve only read 22 books this year, but interesting that only four of those fit under the romance umbrella. I wondered if other authors wrote what they liked to read, so did an informal poll on Twitter.
- nope. Love to read historicals, but write contemporary. ;-)
- How does one write what one hates to read?
- No. I can’t write romance. I don’t have the ‘voice’ for it.
- Yes, yes, and yes.
- yes. But I read more more out of my genre than in. Nonfic humor. I am a book slut.
- of course. why write anything else? Or, why would you want to?
- I write what I love to read, but I also read other stuff that I don’t write, like historical romance. Too much research. ;-)
- yes. Historicals with interesting characters. Love to read em & write em.
- I write about food and football. I cannot be happier. :)
- Yes. Is there another way to write?
- Yes.I like 2 read & write hot historicals w/ mature characters.My reading focus has narrowed, w/occasional paranormals.
- I read a lot of things, but yes, still most enjoy what I write. And read to “keep up” with what’s happening in my market.
- I love writing historicals…but I will read lots of things. Historical, contemporary, mainstream and books for research!!
- I write w/ a co-author & so we write something that is combination of what we both like to read. Mysteries w/humor & a whodunit.
The responses on Facebook were primarily YES on this thread and this thread. Now the question I need to answer is why I don’t write thrillers. Ha! Beyond the fact that I’m a linear writer and manage very few twists and surprises . . . I really don’t know. I wrote two suspense stories for Blaze, ONE GOOD MAN and GOES DOWN EASY. And my Smithson Group series is definitely action adventure with a touch of whodunnit.
I think I lack the plotting gene to pull off the sort of suspense that would satisfy me. It takes a lot to surprise me and those surprises are what I read for. The Greg Rucka I just read did that for me. Jo Nesbø does that for me. Harlan Coben is THE MAN at unexpected twists. Lee Child, Michael Connelly. My latest discovery, Jack Kerley.
I hate being sexist, but it’s usually the male authors who do that for me, heh. And there’s probably a whole lot to analyze right there! But then there’s Chelsea Cain who I can’t live without. Almost all of these stories still have romantic or at least sexual relationships, and I could never write a book that didn’t include the same.
But these days, so wrapped up in my own amazing happily ever after, my reading tastes have changed. I love writing romance. I love exploring that wonderful male / female tension. Getting those scenes to come alive just makes my creative day. It’s just when reading, or even in television and movie watching, that I gravitate toward the more deeply disturbing parts of the human psyche that make people tick.
Do I have any twisted sisters? ;)