One of my friends gave me a healthy living magazine recently. She passed it on as there were some gluten free recipes that she thought I might like. Inside was a small article extolling the benefits of reading. Seemingly reading can reduce stress levels and prevent anxiety. I am sure all readers knew this anyway but, heck, it's always good to have these things backed up by research. I would have loved to have been one of the subjects for this particular research study. Anyway I digress slightly.
So what of reading as a writer. I read a blog post this morning which got me thinking about the different ways in which I read. Also the variety of books I read. The first, and I feel more important, way in which I read, is purely as a reader. I read to get enjoyment from the novels written by others. I immerse myself in the story and spend time in another world. I read for enjoyment and the thrill of being swept away by the story. I would have said that I had catholic tastes in reading but I have recently come to realise that I mainly read crime novels. So, following advice that writers should widen their reading, this is my current reading pile.
As I say, I read for pleasure. However, I and most other writers, also read in order to develop the craft of writing. This may mean reading novels, or non fiction books slowly, and taking note of techniques used. This is not just looking for what is good in a book, but also areas where the technique may not be quite as good. I read with a critical eye. I also read books about writing. I have many of these, but here is just a small selection. I am striving to stretch myself as a writer and move forward. I am trying to be the best I can be in order to ensure readers enjoy my books.
As a writer I am very aware that I am also a business woman. This involves marketing and promoting my books. Now, I am sure you are all aware that this is an important part of the process of writing. Getting the word out in a world which is already full of noise and yet doing so in a way which doesn't spam the heck out of everyone you have ever met. I have a number of books on the topic and again here is just a small selection. These ones have proven to be particularly helpful.
Last, but not least, I find myself reading for research. Most writers will know that it is the little things which trip you up. Trying to be as accurate as possible, whilst still keeping the reader interested, is a fine balancing act. In one of my books it rained. A lot. Many readers feel, quite rightly, that it did not portray Dundee in the right light. Dundee is the sunniest city in Scotland. It is facts such as this which may ruin a book for a reader. I will point out, however, that I did know this fact. It just rained a lot whilst I wrote the book. I am just raising it as an example. As a crime writer I am more likely to get caught out by forensic details, or the ways in which I kill the victims. Therefore, I do read books on these subjects. Again, here is a small selection.
I am sure you will all have your own lists of books which you find indispensable as a writer. It would be helpful if you could share them in the comments. This way I may find more great books which should be read by writers.
I hope you will forgive me mentioning one more book. The Third book in my DI Shona Mckenzie Mysteries, Killer's Cross, is released today. I am excited beyond belief and looking forward to the launch tonight at Waterstones, Dundee. You can find out more on the links below. If you are from the UK you can get signed copies from my website. I'm even helping you with your Christmas shopping. Thank you for indulging me, and joining in my celebration.
About The Author
Wendy lives, and writes, in Dundee Scotland. Her first book, Killer's Countdown, was published in November, 2014. The second book in the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries, Killer's Craft, was released on 20th July, 2015. The Third book, Killer's Cross, was released on 16th November, 2015. You can find out more on her:
Amazon Author Page