Writers Love Readers
Where would we be without them? After all, writers are just readers who ran out of books to read.
But seriously, do authors write because we always loved reading, or did we love reading because we were hard-wired to write?
You know you’re writer…When your children leave a note for you, not on the kitchen table but on your keyboard, because they know your life revolves around your computer and your latest manuscript. It’s a bit sad really. Sometimes my long suffering husband will take me out to dinner and he’ll sigh and look across the table at me and say, “Your head’s in your book, I can tell.”
I don’t remember learning how to read. In grade one I can remember sitting in class in grade one and being pages ahead of the rest of the class so that when it came to my turn to read, I had no idea where they were up to and the teacher thought I couldn’t keep up. In those days we read Dick and Dora.
Riveting stuff. But if you’re like me you can’t stop yourself reading — labels, street signs, and those annoying text that runs across the bottom of the TV screen while they’re doing the news.
In primary school we had the class readers. I’d start at one end and read my way through all the books. Then I’d get in trouble because I never stopped to look up any of the words.
High school was a bit of a desert, I’d read everything at home. In desperation when I got my school text books for the year I’d read them all in the week before school started.
Then when I left high school I had a second-hand bookshop. I was in heaven, reading a book in the morning and a book in the afternoon and a book after dinner. If I found an author I liked, I’d read everything of theirs that I could lay my hands on. I’d try to read them in chronological order to see how they developed as a writer. (Now I know that books can be published out of the order).
If I really enjoyed a book, I’d read it three times. The first time was when I discovered it. The second time I’d read it to see what really worked. And the third time I’d see where the book could be improved. This went on until…
Horror. I’d read everything I could find in the genres I liked. Back in those days we didn’t have the internet so it was hard to find books by your favourite author. I really only started writing because I couldn’t find any more books that carried me away.
As you can tell I’m a reader from way back and I love books. I had to cull my library a couple of years ago. It took ages to decide which books would stay and which would go.
Why is it that books feel like old friends? We can come back to a book years later and see more in it, so that it grows as we grow. I guess the mark of a good book is that it has enough layers to grow with us.
You know you’re a writer when you remember different periods of your life by the book you were writing at the time. This last year I’ve been writing King Breaker.
I’ve spent days fighting battles with Byren, as he faced set back after set back. I’ve spent nights wandering through plot convolutions trying to rescue Piro from predicaments and I’ve wondered how Fyn would reconcile his duty to his brother Byren, with the fact he he’s fallen for Byren’s betrothed.
Writing this book has kept me up many nights this last year. I hope King Breaker keeps readers up late at least one night!