A Reader – first and foremost

One of my favourites books is the inimitable Stephen King’s “On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft”. Yes, it is a book about writing, but it’s also about what made the writer, the path he travelled and the events in his life that shaped him and his work. So many times, in reading of his childhood, you think, “Oh, that’s where the idea for such and such came from!”

I’d highly recommend you take a look at this remarkable book that stands the test of time.

To paraphrase, Mr King says to write, you need to read. Most of the writer’s I know are voracious readers. I am too.

As a child, I devoured classics and modern-day tales, quickly progressing to books far beyond my years. The latter secretly “borrowed” from my much elder sister. I found that I skipped the parts I didn’t understand. Only after re-reading it years later did I fully appreciate why my mother was furious when she saw me reading Peyton Place at twelve years old.

I’m an eclectic reader and read most genres. I also re-read, and a few my favourites are listed below.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – the original will they/won’t they, enemies to lovers, with one of the best-known openings of any book, this story kick-started an entire industry. Now, 200 years after Austen’s death, P&P (as it’s affectionately known) has spawned re-imaginings and books set in the P&P universe. Darcy and Elizabeth’s legacy continues to enthral.

I have a P&P story plot in mind myself, or rather for my alter-ego, Julia Hardy. Watch this space! 

Naked In Death by JD Robb (aka Nora Roberts) – This book started a crime thriller phenomenon. Roberts is renowned for her romantic suspense trilogies, but, as JD Robb, her characters had more to give, and we are now, at the time of writing, at the 52nd book in the series.

Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens – the historical romance that launched the Cynsters into the world. These books have passion, bags of it, but also suspense, intrigue and criminal activity. Several different series have followed, all set in the same world.

Over the last few years, my favourites reads have been Terry Hayes I Am Pilgrim, Callie Langridge’s haunting A Time To Change and Octavia Randolph’s Circle of Ceridwen series.

One takes us on a thrilling journey, the next a time-slip love-story and the latter a richly-detailed historical saga taking us to 871, marauding Vikings and embattled Kingdoms.

That’s what stories do. We’ve ridden across desert plains, survived in harsh dystopian societies, risen to the top in the boardroom, flounced about at Regency balls and rid the world of many a baddie. You may have too.

For we are readers.