I couldn’t call myself a writer if I hadn’t been a reader first! So, while following my greatest passion, I’ve been doing a bit of reading in between my scribbling—and, for the most part, enjoying every moment.
Right now I’m continuing in the Adventures of Bloody Jack, a 12-book series of mostly nautical tales from the viewpoint of young Mary Faber. She started out as a ship’s boy, yes, that’s right, ship’s boy—until it was discovered she’s actually a girl. Each book lives up to the “adventure” promise! I’m on Book 7, and “Jackie” isn’t much older than sixteen, but she’s survived more perils than Pauline.
Before that, I finished The High Mountains of Portugal, a book written by the author of The Life of Pi, which I loved. Sadly, I can’t say the same for this one. It began with promise then meandered into symbolism beyond my ken. Although I finished it, which speaks of the excellent writing skills from this author, I can’t recommend this one.
I also read Kate Morton’s latest, The Lake House. As I would expect from this wonderful author, this book had a great cast of characters. Other than one little contrivance in the plot, this one’s a thumbs up for me.
To satisfy my taste of the classics, I read Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel. Perfect for its brooding atmosphere, with an ending that fits and yet is so very . . . well . . . I won’t give it away!
To me, reading is the absolute best teacher for those who wish to write. As we’re entertained (or not) we can’t help learning what works and what doesn’t, even if it’s at a subliminal level that we can hardly articulate to someone else. The best writers I know remain avid readers, because they keep honing that inner radar that measures good storytelling. If that’s not enough to recommend the reading habit, most of the readers I know, those who have no desire to write, are among the happiest of my friends. Somehow jumping into a story world helps us enjoy the real world around us.
So my tip for the day: pick up a book and start reading!