Your Guilty Reading Pleasure and How it May Affect Your Writing

I thought it might be amusing to speak a bit about writing and reading and generally how the two sometimes do not match.

Chris and I write historical fantasy for the most part.  However, oddly enough… most of the time we don’t gravitate towards reading historical fantasy for fun, which sort of strikes me as odd.

Generally, if I have time to spare, I’ll pick up true crime books.  I’m not entirely sure why I enjoy reading them.  Maybe it’s the fact that when I was younger, I wanted to be Clarice Starling when I grew up.  Granted that dream never got very far.  I’m flatfooted, clumsy, and not the best at logic puzzles.  I know I’m a better librarian and writer than I would be an FBI agent.  However, maybe that’s why many of the female characters we write about are deceptively strong and quick-witted, but also come with flaws.  Let’s face it Mael Muire/Maire is pretty flawed and messed up on the inside.  Then again, I guess the male characters are just as fractured and messed up in their own ways.  Marcus can’t move away from his mistakes in the past sometimes.  Mandubratius is pretty much opening a can of worms when it comes to trauma affecting how they treat others.

Then again, I’ve never liked perfect characters.  I feel nothing in common with someone who makes everything look easy.  I remember this happening a lot in the YA books that were popular when I was a YA librarian, and it annoyed me greatly as teenagers are seldom like this.  At least I wasn’t.  Like I said, clumsy, shy, and naive about a lot of things.

Chris enjoys reading Star Trek books and pretty much sticks to the Forgotten Realms series, particularly those by R.A. Salvatore.  Perhaps that’s why our stories have been called ‘more like adventure books where the characters are blood-drinkers/vampires as opposed to horror stories with vampires’.  Which is a good thing as it means that we get a wider and more diverse audience I think.  I’ve seen women pick up the series for various reasons and so will the men.  Generally, most men aren’t interested in the typical supernatural stories involving sparkling, big chests and happily ever after endings.   Usually if a reader wants that I point them to another series we carry or mention… well, books, you know.  You can’t please everyone with them.

I have no idea why we write what we write sometimes.  Other than it piques my interests about history and how we interact with each other.

I wish I could say more and make it a profound statement, but there are whiny kitties to pet now.  😉

So what do you all read for fun?

Happy hump day all.


  1. Reply

    Star Trek novel solidarity!
    I’m similar. Though I write paranormal, I don’t read a whole lot of it. I’m a tremendous fan of classic horror movies, and those probably influence my writing much more than anything the modern paranormal or horror genres have produced.
    My reading tends a lot more toward nonfiction – history, anthropology, folklore, etc. When I do read fiction, it’s mystery, science fiction, and high fantasy. I’ve recently been reading a lot of children’s literature and picture books, for a class.

    • Reply

      I’m glad we’re not the only ones! Most paranormal doesn’t really pique my curiosity. It seems to have become as pat as some romance. I like a good mystery too. Then again, I’ll read anything by local indie authors as their works seem so much more original these days than what the big house publishers put out (with a few exceptions). Some of my favorite books are picture books and I have a few here at home. 🙂

      • Reply

        Have you by any chance read I Saw Esau? It’s a collection of historical children’s rhymes originally compiled in 1940-something, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak. I finished reading it today, and it was something I thought you’d get a kick out of.

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