Time to Read AND Write

 One of the reasons I became a writer is that I LOVE to read. As a child, I loved immersing myself in fantastical mysteries like Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle In Time and anything with Nancy Drew in it. As I grew older, I enjoyed squeezing in a book by James Patterson, Agatha Christie, or Stephen King in between the required reading for school English classes. When I had my kids, reading the work of Gillian Flynn, Katherine Slaughter, Dennis Lehane, Tana French and Scott Turow allowed me to escape the world of sippy cups and bottle sanitizers and give my mind some much needed exercise.                                                                                          (I am so jealous of this woman in the picture—->) Unfortunately, as a writer with a full time day job of taking care of two young kids, I don’t have much time to read for pleasure. Like most novelists, I must read the other works in my genre (psychological and domestic suspense, for me) so that I am aware of what’s been done in my market. I must read upcoming books from authors that I admire who have kindly asked that I provide a review for their covers. I must read other authors in my publishing house who may be paired with me for upcoming publicity events. And, I can’t do any of this reading while actively writing lest I unintentionally absorb the cadence of other talented scribes and let it slip into my own work. I’m thinking about this, I guess, because I decided to reward myself for finishing some recent edits by reading the wonderful Brad Parks’s latest book Say Nothing. It was so good and it made me regret that I don’t have more time to read all the authors that I admire or with whom I’m friendly. When do you read? How do you fit in it? What do you read first?

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