How do you read?
Are you a gulper, must read in large chunks of time, one book at a time type, or can you be just as happy with a simple sips from several sources, reading several books at once?
Do you read everyday?
Do you stick with a single genre and known commodity authors, or are you seduced by variety?
Why do I ask? Because I’m seeing some interesting trends, or non-trends in the publishing industry, and I’m curious to see how other readers approach their tasks. I’m a gulper. I hate being torn away from a book. Once I’ve committed the time to an author, I want to give them my undivided attention, take the journey with them, see how they "do it," for lack of a better term.
And I’d like to think I’m varied in my choices, though I do have a few authors that I’m faithful to regardless.
For a while there I was having a difficult time enjoying anything I read. It wasn’t that I was reading poor material, on the contrary, I was on a roll with some of the big award winning names. I was analyzing their work. It’s the bane of any writer, the inability to separate your style from the story of others. Oh, I wouldn’t have used that word, or I wouldn’t have given that clue there. If it were mine, I would have. . .
Would of, should of, could of. What??? Egads, what was I thinking? Where did THAT touch of arrogance come from? How in the world could I think like this? That I would do it differently? Then it would be my book. And that wasn’t what I wanted at all. Epiphany time. It didn’t matter what I would do. I needed to respect they way the author had done it. Amazing the freedom that tidbit gave.
Which made me wonder about the pure readers, those who don’t spend half their day writing their own books. How do you read? Are you a deconstructionist, like me, or do you allow the story to unfold, trusting the author to keep you on the right track? What drives you to unparalleled paroxysms of delight?
And here’s where I’m going with all these questions.
I noticed something very interesting the other day at a Steve Berry signing here in Nashville. I go to as many of the signings as I can, especially the big-name authors. I’ve been lucky enough to see John Connolly, Michael Connelly, Steve Berry, Tasha Alexander, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Diana Gabaldon and trust me, the upcoming visit of Lee Child has me in my own paroxysms of delight. But what fascinated me is that the attendees are different for each author. You’d think that people who like Lee Child would like Michael Connelly would like Steve Berry, right? Apparently not in Nashville. Each "name" seems to have their own following, and there are maybe four or five people who cross over into each.
Why the disparity? I’d love to know the answer to that. If you have any ideas, please chime in. I guess I’m naive in thinking that mystery readers like thrillers, and thriller readers like mysteries, but perhaps I’m wrong, and never the twain shall meet. Is this phenomenon native to Nashville?
A housekeeping note: I’m going to be gone for the next two Fridays. The lovely and talented Naomi Hirahara will be blogging in my stead while I traipse through Italy. This is the first real vacation I’ve taken since the writing journey began three years ago. I won’t be taking my laptop, will assiduously avoid Internet cafes, and promise to come back with a slew of new wine selections and a renewed sense of verve. I’ll miss you.
In the meantime:
- Please visit the wonderful Julia Spencer-Fleming’s website for Tales of the Teapot: Conversations with the 2007 Agatha Best Mystery Nominees.
"2007 Agatha Nominee Julia Spencer-Fleming (ALL MORTAL FLESH) interviews
fellow nominees Earlene Fowler, Jacqueline Winspear, Nancy Pickard and
L.C. Hayden, discussing their lives, books and craft in a delightful
series of interviews."
- The brilliant, witty and always insightful Tasha Alexander has new fare! Her second novel of historical suspense, A POISONED SEASON, went on sale Tuesday. Get a copy today, you won’t be disappointed!
- And if you missed the announcement, Killer Year 2008 is gearing up. Please visit the new website for more information!
Arrivederci, i miei amici!
Wine of the Week: As the first part of the trip will be in the Piedmont region, I’m going to start with a Barbera, then have a Barolo, and maybe a touch of Asti toward the end of day one and will report back with brand names… I’m going to refuse the homemade lemon grappa this time. Non molto bene.