I recently had a call with someone who is starting out on their first novel. It was incredibly exciting to listen to them talk about their love of reading and their eagerness to dive into writing their first book.
One of the knowledge bits I shared was the importance of continuing to read. Writers start out as readers and when we can’t get enough books, or can’t find ourselves in enough stories, we turn into writers. But then you get busy drafting, editing, submitting, formatting—and on and on. It’s easy to get so busy that we end up not reading!
I’ve seen authors that proudly claim they don’t read. I’ve read their books. And I still say it’s important for an author to read and to read outside your genre! Why? Because a great book has more than one genre element in it. A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN by Roseanne A. Brown is fantasy with a little mystery. THE LAST ASTRONAUT by David Wellington is science fiction blended with thriller and horror. Pick up your recent read and see how many elements you can pull out.
But where do you find books when you’re busy wiring your own novel or promoting your newest release? Check out my fellow SFF Seveners’ posts from this week, there’s some gems in there. And if you need some more ideas, here you go:
1: Your local library. I love my library! They’ve always got a surprise read or two facing out on the shelves, and I’m such a sucker for a good book cover.
thank you Dakota County Library!
2: #writingcommunity I spend my social media time on Instagram and follow this hashtag because it’s filled with authors in all stages and they’re either sharing their release news, posting book birthdays, or shouting about whatever great read they just finished! It’s fantastic! (if you’re on Twitter you’ll find writers using the same hashtag)
3: Blogs! Yes, I still follow a handful of blogs that have proven time and again that their book tastes run similar to mine and undoubtedly sway me into trying reads I wouldn’t have picked up otherwise.
4: follow me on Goodreads. Kidding, but not kidding. Goodreads is a never-ending supply of book choices and if you follow people with similar tastes, or maybe completely different, you'll see what they're reading and reviewing and find some books to add to your own TBR (to be read) list!
I hope the information I shared with the aspiring writer was helpful, at least I know it helped me when I was starting out. And I hope one day, when he’s further along in his writing career, he lends a hand back to someone else that’s on their way up. Because I believe that’s how things should work, by receiving and giving, giving and receiving. And reading!
Now, go find some great new reads this weekend!