Reading. As writers, we're expected to read. But what most people don't realize is that it's actually hard to find time to read when you're a writer. Writing can consume major amounts of time, whether it's actually pecking away at the keyboard, plotting, storyboarding, filling out character charts, researching, or merely thinking about the novel. Not to mention we have to find some time to eat, do laundry (nice to have clean underwear, right?), and sleep. And a fair lot of us work day jobs, too.
So, time to read? A luxury, for certain. However, because I write and have an affinity for writing well, I love to explore the written word as much as possible. The challenge these days, especially with the rise in indie pubishing, is finding authors or, in the very least, an author who you can thoroughly enjoy and respect.
While I've a plethora of go-to authors I frequent whenever I'm writing or am in the mood for a good book (this often opens when I've read a chain of bad ones), I thought I'd share two whose works I've read recently and for the first time.
1. Julie Cantrell. Her debut novel, Into the Free, landed in my inbox one morning as the Kindle Daily Deal on Amazon.com. I checked it out, read the sample, a few of the reviews, and decided to give it a whirl. A wonderful read, this book. Set in Southern Mississippi during the Depression Era, the novel is told through the eyes of young Millie Reynolds, who struggles with an abusive father, a drug addict mother, and, ultimately, to find a place where she belongs. Beautiful imagery. Exceptional writing.
2. Tracey Garvis-Graves. This is another one who hooked me with a debut novel. On the Island is about thirty year old school teacher Anna Emerson, who is offered and accepts a job tutoring sixteen year old T.J. Callahan at his family's vacation spot in the Maldives. While they're en route to join the Callahan family, the pilot of their seaplane has a heart attack and the plane crashes, leaving Anna and T.J. stranded on a deserted island. This story is about their journey, struggles, and immenent relationship, which, despite their age difference, is not at all wierd, I promise. Great research, good writing, if simplistic. Lovely story--can't stress this one enough. A definite keeper.
What are you reading?