Before I ever created my first imaginary friend–an elf named Loyal, before I ever created tales of witches and horses, of a magic talisman transporting teens back in time, of a girl masquerading as a boy in the Civil War, I was a reader. I read about little rabbits who wished for red wings, about a girl named Alice and another named Dorothy. I read about twins, teen detectives, a black stallion, and boy named Tom Swift.
First and foremost, writers should be readers. Instead of “write what you know,” the adage we follow should be “read what you write.” And read what you don’t write. Read what you enjoy. Read for knowledge, for pleasure, for escape.
With that in mind, I’m going to throw out some book titles. The first is GOOD OMENS. Released May 1, 1990, this book by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, reminded me that to be a good writer, I had to be a good reader. This is not a book I would have picked up at the time, but someone gave it to me as a gift and a book is a book. I read it. And loved it. It was the book that returned my imagination to the dark corners, to the “dark side,” if you will. If you haven’t read it, check it out. It’s become a classic.
Anyone who’s known me long knows I’m a big fan of Leslie Kelly–her sexy Blaze category romances for Harlequin and most especially her two dark romantic suspense series Black CATS and Extrasensory Agents. Due to circumstances and on account of because, Leslie had to put both series on hiatus. She’s now trying to get the rights back so she can re-release them as well as new books. So…DON’T BUY THOSE BOOKS! *gasp* I know. You can buy them later. For now, though, Les has just released the first book in a new series under the name Leslie A. Smith! Dark suspense with a touch of romance and slightly futuristic, DON’T LOOK AWAY is book one of the Veronica Sloan series. I haven’t read it yet, but our own Liza gave it five stars! It’s close to the top of my TBR pile.
And as long as I’m talking about writers I know and love, and suspense with romance, let me also recommend the Faces of Evil series by Debra Webb. B.E. had Deb as a guest on her UNPUBLISHED WRITER blog this week. Deb’s personal story is one of courage and perseverance. She was a best selling Harlequin suspense author (her Colby Agency series is much loved by throngs!) but after an injury, she moved a different direction. The result is the FACES OF EVIL series. Book 4, RAGE just released last week. If suspense is your thing, then these books are for you!
Me? I’m going to catch up on FACES, read DON’T LOOK AWAY, and reread GOOD OMENS. And then I’m going to rate/review them wherever I can because that’s one of the best way I can support authors as a reader. I can “talk” about their books.
So what about y’all? Any of these recommendations prick your curiosity? What are you reading? Not like I need any more books on my reading list but… 😉