Writers love to read!
It's a fact that we're often voracious in our appetite for words and we'll read anything we can get our hands on.
But when it comes to our writing, one of the best lessons I was ever taught was to read what you plan to write.
For example, if you're a mystery writer - read mystery novels. If you're a children's writer - read children's fiction.
I work part time writing financial articles and technical material, and while some may find these topics make rather boring reading, I need to stay up to date with current affairs and financial legislation so I read the industry mags and papers.
However, my preferred genre is history with a dash of romance stirred through. I love it!
So after I put aside my serious corporate hat, I can't wait to settle in with a well-researched historical drama. Throw in some suspense, a few twists and turns and a passionate love affair, and I'm in heaven.
Think: Diana Gabaldon, Pamela Belle, Philippa Gregory - these are my favourites! These ladies know their stuff. They are well researched and historically factual - and boy do they know how to write! The quality of their writing is not easy to come by these days.
These ladies challenge me in my thinking and their individual talents spur me to greatness. And just when I think I've nailed something, I'm reminded that you can never know too much about the genre in which you write. So I read some more.
Here's a secret: I set myself a goal to produce the most well researched, historical fiction I possibly can. It will be entertaining to the reader, the language realistic, the characters unforgettable, their stories haunting and their behaviours faithful to their time.
I would like to arouse in my readers the kind of enthusiasm for my genre that my favourite writers arouse in me.
With the realease of my novel Torn, due out in the next few weeks, I hope my readers will say that I've achieved my goal.
And really, whether I have or haven't, as a writer I know I can only give it my best shot and continue learning as I go.
So, with that in mind, the moral of my story, is to read what you would write! Allow those writers you admire to inspire you to brilliance. Let them challenge you and stoke that fire in you.
And at the very least you'll get to read your favourite books.
Who are your favourite writers and why? Tell me how they have influenced your own writing.
Oh - and before I go - check out this pic of me with my cat Katie. We adopted her from a shelter about three years ago and she's adorable!
Until next time - keep writing!