Tag Archives: reading

15 Authors in 15 Minutes

I think I got tagged on this last month on Facebook. I didn’t have time then to respond, so I thought I would do it here. I know this is supposed to be a list of authors who have most influenced my writing and not a list of my favorite authors, but I can’t help it if a few of my favs snuck in here. Also, this is not in any particular order, just the order that I thought of the names.

  1. Judy Blume

  2. Scott O’Dell

  3. Patricia Briggs

  4. Carrie Vaughn

  5. Nora Roberts

  6. Carol Berg

  7. Frances Hodgson Burnett

  8. L.M. Montgomery

  9. Jim Kjelgaard

  10. Linnea Sinclair

  11. Barb & J.C. Hendee

  12. Robin D. Owens

  13. Mercedes Lackey

  14. Madeline L’Engle

  15. Diane Duane

What authors have influenced you? If not for writing than for something else?

Rain, Rain Go Away!

rainNothing much going on right now. It’s rainy season, so I have to curtail my walking. That’s what I love to do on the weekends, take a long walk around my neighborhood. I get a lot of plotting done while I walk. Sometimes the plot doesn’t work in the end, but I have fun slipping pieces of my story around in my head, working on dialog, and trying out new scenes just for fun.

I walk along a 5.5 mile trail and I can finish it in about 90 minutes or so without rushing. I have a long stride anyway, so that cuts down on some of the time. It’s difficult to carve that 90 minutes out of my day when I know there’s writing to be done. Rain gives me an excuse not to go, but then I end up going to the gym anyway.

Pixels Galore!

Binary
Binary

So now that I have my MacBook Air, I’ve suddenly become a ebook magnet. I’ve purchased maybe a dozen ebooks before now, but only because they were only available electronically. And I had to read them on my not-very-smart-very-tiny-screen phone. So here’s the list of my new ebooks (in no particular order):

What ebooks are you reading right now? What’s in your electronic “to be read” list? I need recommendations!

What about love?

Recently, I had a discussion with a friend of mine who writes epic fantasy. I asked if I could read it just for fun and he was surprised. He knows I write romance and romantic element stories. He figured I’d have no interest in sword & sorcery style books. When I asked why, he said he thought I’d only read what I wrote because its what I enjoy. Fair enough. I do read romance genre books, but if you put them in outer space or in Middle Earth, I’m even happier. The problem I have with non-romance genre books where there is a romantic subplot is that so many of them leave me unsatisfied with either the execution of or the resolution of the love story.

Before I continue, I should mention the difference between romance and love stories. They are not the same thing. A genre romance has a happy ever after (HEA) or a happy for now (HFN) ending (the HFN is usually for books in a series). A love story does not have to have a happy ending. For example: The Terminator is one of my most favorite love stories of all time, but there is nothing romantic about it. Gone with the Wind is love story, maybe even with some romantic elements, but Rhett kicks Scarlett to the curb – not something a romance hero does.

I thought it would be fun to list a few of my favorite SFF books where the authors tickled my romance bone. These aren’t in any particular order, so no fair asking me which is my favorite. Also, I’m behind in my reading list, so I may not have read the most recent release of the series:

(I don’t think there are spoilers ahead, but I’m not always the best judge of what is and is not a spoiler. If you’re sensitive to spoilers, you might want to skip the rest of this post).

  • Magiere & Leesil: The Noble Dead saga by Barb and J.C. Hendee. One is half vampire, the other is half elf. They grow from partners, to lovers, to a married couple through trials that would have torn most other literary couples to pieces.

  • Kitty & Ben: The Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn. Yes, I was all Team Cormac when the series began, but Ben has grown on me over the last half a dozen books. I love the fact that Cormac has his own role in the series and it doesn’t involve trying to win Kitty back or interfere in her marriage.

  • Mercy & Adam/Anna & Charles: The Mercy Thompson/Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs. Different couples in a shared world, but each one follows their own storyline. Two very different heroines find their mates in Alpha werewolves who don’t need to dominate the women they love (as if either Mercy or Anna would let them).

  • Valen & Saverian: The Lighthouse Duet by Carol Berg. This is one of those barely there romances. In fact, I don’t think Saverian comes into play until the second book. The lovely language smooths the ruffled feathers between the two until Saverian visits Valen in the Well.

  • Luke & Mara: Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn. I had to narrow my selection down to just these three books, where Luke and Mara first meet, because of the roller coaster quality of the expanded universe. Suffice it say, these books get to the heart of the matter.

  • Roy & Koriand’r: Red Hood & the Outlaws: DC Comic’s New 52. I have never done such a complete 180º on a story as I did this one. I won’t rehash the outrage of how Kori was portrayed in the first couple of issues, but afterwards, when she & Roy form a true, stable relationship, that’s when I decided to stick with this title.

I asked fellow romance writer, Pamala Knight, what books she would suggest and she mentioned John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War. I had to think about this book for a couple of days and ultimately decided not to include it on my list. John (the main character, not the author) admits that he had an affair while married to Kathy and Kathy had affair soon after that and they almost divorced over it. I know stuff like this happens in real life, and maybe for this book it makes John’s determination to win Kathy’s love stronger, but for me it didn’t work. I just can’t get past the fact that they both cheated.

Pamala also mentioned a few classics where the romance is central to the plot, but it doesn’t follow the format expected of genre romances today: Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby and Vanity Fair.

I’m a curious cat. I’m also always on the lookout for book recommendations. So tell me, what non-romance genre romances make you a fan?