Thursday, 8 March 2012

What are you reading?

As a writer I hear all the time that you should just write, write, write and when you have finished writing, then write some more. This is good advice to hone your skills and become a better writer.

Trouble is, before I was a writer, I was an avid reader. The advice on reading isn't as prevalent, but it is there. The premise being that to be a good writer, you have to read, read, read.

What am I supposed to read that will make me a better writer?

Should I read the type of subjects I like to write? My friends Elaine and Gill from my writing group on facebook refuse to read books on the subjects they write about, in case they accidentally have an idea that isn't originally theirs. I think that is a good approach to writing, but what then do I read?

Should I read things that don't interest me and which I don't like to write about? Nah, that would be silly, and most certainly boring. So what then should I read?

Instructional books on how to be a better writer? Spelling, punctuation and grammar books on how to get better at writing coherently? These seem to be good things to get I suppose, but only if you need them.

I think that writing, like any skill, comes with practice. No amount of reading can replace actually getting down and doing for yourself. So with that in mind, I will forego all the instructional stuff, and I will read anything I damn well choose to read.

At the moment I am reading the Ben Hope series of ebooks on my kindle by Scott Mariani. Not the sort of book I could possibly write, and not a subject I would be interested in trying to write. But reading them is, to me, fabulous. They are action-packed, fast paced and I am drawn into the story and care about the characters. I can't wait for the next in the series to be released in May. If a fast-paced, action packed, SAS meets Dan Brown type of novel is for you, then be sure to check out the Ben Hope series,

Before I read through Scott Mariani's books, I read the Twilight books. Twinkling vampire in love with a teenage human. A young adult supernatural romance that everyone knows about. Another subject I wouldn't write about, mainly because vampires have now been done to death, in all their guises. Or have they? I read sample chapters of a vampire book recently that took vampires back to their roots, and gave them back their nastiness of legend. Do we have a new twist on the vampire legend? I have no idea yet, but I intend to find out. I will be buying Kevin Ashman's new novel, Vampire, in the near future, for no other reason that it sounds like a very interesting read that I could get immersed in without sighing with displeasure at the poor vampires whose legend has been sullied with silliness. If you want to read about real vampires, then you can find Kevin's book on Amazon here

Another series of books that I really enjoyed and will be reading again are the Chicagoland Vampire series by Chloe Neill. Yes, vampires again! But I really got into these books, even if the vampires were friendly ones, so I am going to include it here

You may have noticed that I am promoting some books today. Also notice that I am promoting books that are being sold, and not given away for free. I much prefer books that I have to buy, makes me feel that they are worthy of my attention. I'm sure that I am probably missing out on some gems of novels by refusing to read a book simply because it is free. People are much more likely to choose a book carefully, and one which they are interested in, if they pay for it. Downloading free books willy-nilly just because they are free could leave you with a myriad of novels you are less likely to read, mainly because you parted with nothing to get them. It's not as if ebooks are expensive either, and I have hundreds on my kindle, each one bought, thoroughly enjoyed and well read, more than once.

We should all support our indie authors and encourage more of them to actually sell their books and be on a 'real' best seller list, because a free book has not been 'sold'. If their books deserve it, and their writing is sound, then they will get on the real best seller list one day, and actually make money doing so. With that in mind, I shall promote one more ebook. My own. It is a supernatural thriller, (not vampires) and it is less than £2.00 at Amazon. I really enjoyed writing it, and hope you like reading it, if you are not averse to spending pennies on something you may just like.

Give reading a go, it might surprise you. Go buy a book, settle down to read it with a nice cup of coffee (or beverage of your choice) and lose yourself in another world for a while.



  1. I am currently read "The Colour of Magic" by Terry Pratchet, but only because you haven't yet finished the follow up to Stealth. 8-)

  2. Really good post Gail, I am reading Stealth, Hmmm wonder who that could be by, and also Me Before You by Jojo Moyes for my bookclub.