Catnapped and Doggone
How has being published changed my reading habits? Well, I write more and read less and sometimes I feel like I’m missing out. Some of that is because deadlines need to be met and I have less time to spend cuddling the dog and losing myself into the pages (yeah, I haven’t broken down to buy that eBook or Kindle yet) of a great read. But a lot more of it is because there is so much more I want to read. Being published, or even attending the conferences or other writer events, introduced me to a lot of fascinating people I am then DYING to read. I go home from these with enough new books to threaten the safety specs of Boeing’s biggest airplane. I can’t wait to get home and spend days in my pajamas, drinking tea and seeing how the funny panelist, the intense graphic novelist, the not quite right bar guy see the world. How they translate it into writing. Believe me when I tell you meeting an author and then reading their work is far more revelatory than any speed dating experience. It’s intimate in a way that’s positive naughty. Who doesn’t love that?
The readers of my work have affected what I read as well. If someone is going to take the time to send me an email telling me they liked my work and mention that I remind them of a favorite author they read as a kid, I’m going to go down to Seattle Mystery and ask my friends there to chase that book up for me. Or if that’s not available, I’ll attempt to describe the idea of the book and ask them for a recommendation. I never did this before I was published. I suppose some of it is because I feel like an old friend there. A bookophile Norm at Cheers getting his beer served before his butt hits the stool. But now that I do know them, and they me, I don’t even blink when Fran tells me that I simply have to read Sex and Bacon. I pull out my credit card and take my copy.
Now that I’m published, I’m also looking for the next story. This has pushed me beyond my comfort zone at the library. I read a lot more non-fiction. Right now, I’m reading The Art of the Steal. It’s about Christie’s and Sotheby’s art auction houses. The book is true but the story I’m working on is fiction. Knowing that there will be art afficianados in my audience checking up on my facts, and ferreting out believability in the characters and the “feel” of an art mystery, has me digging deeper in my reading list. I’m not looking for dry tome of facts and figures, but seeking out the experience of a well-written book so that I can offer the same full service to my wonderful readers. But to do that I need to read great fiction, engaging non-fiction, old favorites and new finds. Now if only there were enough hours in the day.
Thanks for reading, not just me, but every author who appeals to you.