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.