Reading and Writing

One of the questions people ask about is what I’m reading. I was a voracious reader growing up and that habit continued uninterrupted until I had kids. During the time both kids were under the age of two, I couldn’t finish a cup of coffee much less a book.

As the kids got older, I was able to go back to reading and did so. Then, however, in 1982 I hit another full stop as far as reading was concerned. That’s when I started writing, and I worried that reading other people’s material might somehow cross pollinate mine. I know now that was clearly a case of authorial insecurity from someone who had not yet developed her own voice and was worried about copying someone else’s.

I’m pretty well over that now. From Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys onward, I’ve always loved mysteries and thrillers, and I tend to enjoy the ones plenty of other people like—Lee Child, Dan Silva, Alexander McCall Smith, Ann B. Ross. Going on a cruise with an iPad loaded with unread books is my idea of heaven—and it’s a whole lot easier than lugging around a collection of dead tree books in a suitcase—which I have done, by the way.

Right now, I have two separate books in the initial stages of reading. One is The Searchers by Tana French and the other is How to Raise an Elephant by Alexander McCall Smith. (I much prefer his Mma Ramotswe books to his others. Just because I like one series of books from an author doesn’t mean I have to love them all. By the way, that’s as true for readers of MY books as it is for me reading other people’s books!)

Right now, I’m five chapters into the audio version of Tana French and one chapter into the Baby Elephant. I’m also stopped in my tracks. How come? Because all of a sudden, J.P. Beaumont started talking to me and telling me about what’s going on in his life. In other words, I need to step away from other people’s stories in order to pay attention to mine.

I didn’t plan on having this happen. That’s why I started those two other books. I thought I was on a writing vacation until at least after the holidays, but such is not the case.

Duty calls, and now that it’s happening, I need to stop writing my blog and go back to writing the book. Don’t ask me about the title because I have no idea about that at the moment. What I can tell you is this: Beau just woke up on a cold December Tuesday morning, and he’s not having a very good day.

26 thoughts on “Reading and Writing

  1. I have always wondered how an author could read books and not have them infiltrate into their own books? One of my other very favorite authors just lost a reader by “phoning in” the most recent book and getting political in the process.
    That Beau, he can be a chatty fellow sometimes!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us. Just makes reading your books that much richer. Keep up your steps – I take encouragement from your attention to your health. Happy holidays.

  3. I am sorry to hear that Beau interrupted your reading, but I am also glad because I know there is another book in the works.
    I have always been an avid reader, starting at a very early age with the Boxcar Children, then on to Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. I enjoyed Ed McBain, Faye Kellerman, Sue Grafton, some James Patterson, Joseph Wambaugh, and Patricia Cornwell. I discovered your first JP Beaumont book in 1985 and I was instantly hooked and became a fan! I enjoy all your different series. I am drawn to mystery, police, detective, lawyer style books but will read most anything. I have read many books from not so great authors, but I can honestly say you have NEVER let me down. Thank you for keeping me entertained for the last 35 years! Most of the authors I like to collect for my library usually have books published in time for my September birthday and Christmas so I always have been given either the books or gift cards to purchase them.
    I am rarely seen without a book or tablet in my hands.
    I hope you, Bill and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a great New Year. I am praying 2021 will be better for everyone!

  4. So happy to hear that a new Beaumont book is coming. Can’t wait! And I know what you mean about liking some series of an author and not others. I’ve never gotten into the Walker family books but all your other series (serieses?) I really like.

  5. Hi

    If you haven’t read his work I recommend William Bernhardt’s books. I really enjoyed the Daniel Pike and Ben Kincaid ones. As I do all of yours

  6. Cannot wait to see what Beau is up to next! I’m finishing up a Beau binge, and have loved starting with “Until Proven Guilty” and listening to all in order once again. Current readers are fine, but Gene Engene WAS Beau. Wonder why switch was made.

    As a 2011 model is what I drive, I was excited when Beau’s rental car in “Partner in Crime” was a Kia Sportage. (Same vehicle has appeared in a later book, too.) But, I was disappointed in the description of its road handling in the mountains. While my normal driving is on the flat land of the Texas Gulf Coast where the closest thing to a mountain is 3rd level freeway overpass, last year I took a 21 state driving tour. Maybe it’s because my Kia Sportage is turbo charged, but nothing, including the mountains of New York, Vermont, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Colorado and New Mexico, caused it to hiccup at any incline.

    Thanks for sharing your reading with us. I read most anything that looks interesting, but mysteries are my favorite. Sue Grafton and David Baldacci, among others, are favorites. Sue is next up for a binge reread.

    Thank you most for bring much enjoyment with all your writing. I’ve enjoyed them all, but I just LOVE Beau.

    • The Beau’s KIA experience was based on what happened to my kids years ago when they rented a Sportage for my brother’s funeral in Bisbee. It had trouble making it up over Mule Mountain Pass. When I was at later event in Orange County, a Kia exec came up to me and said they were aware of the power issue, and that they working on it. Sounds like they made it work. But this was far early than 2011.

      • Thanks for the background! I’ve no experience with Kia’s regular engine. When I went looking for a new car, a fully loaded turbo charged variety was on the lot and they were willing to meet my offer/demands. It really moves out and climbs anything without hiccup.

      • I love it that a Kia exec knew about the problem and talked with you about it. I wonder if he was a reader or someone else told him about you?

  7. Good morning, Ms Jance. I enjoyed your message this morning. I finished “How to Raise An Elephant” two nights ago. I have all of Mr. McCall Smith’s Precious books. I have enjoyed them so much but also tried one of his other series books and did not continue. I’m sticking to Botswana Botswana Botswana…

    During this pandemic I have read and am completing the Thrush Green series, have begun the Louise Penny books, specifically the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, one of a local French policeman which I have to find again, I gave it to a friend, I loved it, have a Michael Connelly latest Bosch. He writes about my area, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and now Cilka waiting, too many political, Hot to Trot waiting, etc. Have been in touch with Jan Karon who will soon read Shepherds Abiding on Facebook page. So, let me finish my Christmas cards so I can READ. Happy Days ahead despite that pesky, evil virus. I appreciate your shares. -Judy

    • Yes, agreed. Botswana, Botswana, Botswana.
      Love hearing what others are reading. Our library is closed because of COVID so I decided I should look at unread books I’ve collected. Currently into Sigrid Undset’s The Master of Hestviken. Not the best translation, but Undset deserved her Novel prize for the trilogy Kristen Lavransdatter and there is a good modern translation.

  8. My hubby will be happy for a new Beau book. He’s not into the others but we do an audio of the Beaus and listen an hour after dinner, together.
    Not a novel idea that anyone these cold December days, 2020, is having a bad day.

  9. Oh good, someone else who likes Mama Remotswe better than A. S. McCall’s other novels. The Botswana novels are so good that I wish that female detective was real and I could meet her.

  10. Thanks, J.P., for stepping up to the plate to keep things going! All the best to everyone for a safe, happy holiday season and a better new year.

  11. I agree on the Mma R. books – I haven’t liked any of his others, but love Mma. I really enjoy all of your books, and I’m sure I’d like any other series you might start!

  12. I’ve been missing JP and am THRILLED to read that he’s still hanging around and we’ll be connecting again.

  13. I have several books going at once, one on kindle and one on Audible. Working my way through a detective series and a F.B.I series.
    I don’t watch much TV but my teenager has me hooked on a series on Hulu and we have plans to watch the Hardy Boys.
    Glad to hear that J.P., is talking to you, maybe the Walkers will make an appearance in your dreams soon, even if it’s just a cameo. I feel a re-reading binge coming on just in time for year end accounting. Listening to books make the drudgery task less boring.
    Happy writing and Merry Holidays

  14. Oh I cannot wait to hear what’s going on with Beau now. I’m in the process of reading the Beau series for the second time. I’m 3/4 through DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. I know I’ve read it before because I keep track of everything I’ve read on GOODREADS but I’m amazed that I don’t remember reading this at all which I’m loving because it’s like I’ve found a really good story that’s completely new to me. One of the perks of an aging mind?

  15. I am new to your blog and really enjoying it. Can’t wait for the next Beaumont. A couple of suggestions for pandemic reading: The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes (about women delivering books on horseback during the depression) and a real tearjerker by Earlene Fowler–Love Mercy. All of Earlene Fowler books with quilt names in the title are good also. Merry Christmas to you and Happy New Year!

  16. I love all your books but Beau is my favorite. Looking forward to your new book. Hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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