The Reading Habits
Are you a re-reader? Why, or why not? And if you are, what are some of the books you have read over and over?
I am a selective re-reader. If a story is powerfully written and I know I’m learning about the craft just from studying the author’s style and structure, I read it again and again. A few I have read more than once: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher, and The Sea of Tranquillity by Katja Millay.
When is your optimal time to read – do you prefer to read in one long block, or do you also read for five minutes here or there when you can?
Before I started writing, I would sometimes read all day. Now it’s been reduced to more like an hour spread out over a lot of stops and starts. But my favorite time to read is at night when everyone else is in bed. Then I can finally manage a few chapters.
I’d love your thoughts on novellas. Are you thumbs up or down? Or does it depend?!
Well…I’ve published two novellas, so I’m definitely not opposed. Not sure if I will write any more of them because I prefer to write and read full-length novels. It’s funny—I’m not much of a talker, but I am very long-winded when it comes to writing. On paper, it takes a lot of words for me to feel like I’ve finished saying what needs saying.
Are you faithful to a genre, an author, or simply quality writing?
Quality writing and an author I can depend on are most important. Of course, I love the romance genre and every book needs to have a least some sort of love story running through it (in my opinion). But I’m open to anything if I feel like I can learn from it. One of my favorite books from last year was YOU by Caroline Kepnes. It’s suspense with a little flair for horror (also, it is NOT clean so proceed with caution). But the writing. And the storyline. And the main character was both extremely disturbing and likeable, which was a fascinating combination. And the writing. Anyway, it’s a great book, and the sequel was just released.
Which factors most influence your selection of a book?
Cover and reviews. And if it’s an author I love.
Your fiction pet peeve?
Everything tied up in a pretty little bow. A message that all will work out in the end if you just believe. Happy happy happy people.
Life is hard, things don’t always go the way we want, and people are majorly flawed. That’s what I like to read. I, for one, am a mess and can’t relate to perfect characters AT ALL.
What book have you read this year that you could not put down, and why?
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I’m reading it right now and love it. Like, I’m kinda mad I didn’t think of it myself. And the movie releases in June and it stars Sam Claflin and I will be there the second it opens.
How do you mark your spot – folded page corner, bookmark, dollar bill, whatever is at hand?
Folded corner. It annoys everyone, but whatever.
Whose debut novel impressed you more than you anticipated?
Well, YOU was debut and it was fantastic. And I’m not sure if this counts because it wasn’t technically her debut novel, but Katie Ganshert’s first indie YA—The Gifting—was so so good. I’ll read it again.
When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you?
A boring beginning that gives me a lot of information that I don’t care about. Or an author that keeps saying the same thing over and over to make sure I really get it. Stop telling me. I get it.
What are some of your favourite CF reads from around 10 years ago, or further back?
Snack/drink of choice while reading?
Sonic lemon water, extra ice (the addiction is pathetic). Coffee. Chocolate covered almonds. Cupcakes. Grapes. Popcorn. Pretty much whatever is sitting in front of me.
What book cover has really caught your eye?
Which author makes it easy to turn off your internal editor?
Tarryn Fisher, Colleen Hoover, Francine Rivers, Jenny B. Jones. I would say Nicole Deese and Tammy L. Gray, but we read through each other’s stuff as we go so I’m supposed to edit. But when their books are finished and published—definitely theirs.
What book do you wish you had written? Why?