Those books that keep us coming back
I was a reader long before I was a writer and, despite the fact that my writer’s mind now often interferes with my reading experience—it’s hard not to notice flaws, plot devices, foreshadowing and the myriad of other author devices—I still remain a reader first and foremost. I admit, however, that I often despair of experiencing the innocent beauty of a book I enjoyed before I learned a darned thing about writing. (Everything comes with a price.) Then suddenly, I’m lost in a story, the author in me slumbers, and I rediscover the pure joy of reading. I love jarring from the trance to find myself on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what’s about to happen.
The natural reaction of yelling at the characters, or gasping at their audacity and wanting to strangle them for their thick-headedness is priceless. The characters you love to hate and hate to love are those that animate our favorite books, the books that incite in us the most startling and dramatic—not to mention unexpected—reactions. For me, some of those books are A Tale of Two Cities, Wuthering Heights, Gone With the Wind, Interview with a Vampire, Julie Garwood’s The Bride, Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage, Amanda Quick’s Desire, and so many more. I have reread all of these books (and more) many times over. It’s wonderful how each time I read them I glean a little something new.
These books have withstood the test of time and each generation discovers what those of us in the past learned of life, love, sadness, and sometimes even death. I smile to myself when my daughter scoffs at the books I recommend, then sit back and watch as she eventually discovers the book for herself—and loves it! The human condition is ever constant, and we can take comfort that these works of art will continue to unite us throughout time. I love being a writer, but I am forever reminded that being a reader is by far the greatest teacher of how to connect to characters. My one wish as a writer is to never lose the childlike joy of reading, for if I manage to stay a reader first, I might aspire to create a truly memorable story.
As far as the baker girl in me, that’s who I am when I’m plotting ways to torture my heroes and heroines or reliving the latest work of art I’ve just read.
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Genre – Historical Romance
Rating – R