Sometimes I worry I’m becoming too blinkered, that as much as I love <insert genre/author> I’m growing ignorant of what else might be out there.
My all time favourite, go-to kind of book is in the Paranormal Romance category, or Dark Fantasy, depending on what the priorities are within the narrative. Currently got the Shifters series on the go by Rachel Vincent. And I’ve just finished the Sookie Stackhouse series.
But I need to make sure I don’t just keep falling back on what I know I’ll like- else I’ll never discover anything new, and I won’t change or evolve as a reader. And, from a writing point of view, that’s important too. To keep finding new styles and new ways of doing things.
Reading a different genre doesn’t mean you have to write it. But it does show you how to approach something differently (and that includes those books that you didn’t like, because you learn what NOT to do).
So here’s some books I’ve bought to shake things up a bit, and why:
Paper Towns by John Green
-I’ve wanted to read a John Green book for a while now, but I’ve been reluctant to read the Fault in Our Stars because of the mega hype surrounding it. I’m stubborn like that. So I’ve picked Paper Towns instead.
I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells
YA is an age group I’ve always wanted to try and write for, but any effort has been a miserable feat of frustration and disaster. But then I thought- why do I always have a female protagonist? The answer is because I’ve not really read any YA/Teen fiction that had a boy as its main character. I’m rectifying that. And I’m enjoying it too! I think I might be one of those people that feels more comfortable writing as a boy… Weirdly..
Phenomenal X by Michelle A. Valentine
The cover. My god. *heart races* This is totally not my kind of book. At least, that’s what I would have said last year. But since reading ‘Stay’ and ‘Hold On’ by the wonderful Hilary Wynne, I’ve been trying to find something with a similar kind of vibe. And while I’m not sure it exists (her books were such a ‘fit’ for me, it’s one of those rare finds) I’m no longer ignoring books in the contemporary romance section. AND I’m also gently easing myself into the ‘erotica’ pool too. (Euw, ‘erotica pool’? Nice..)
Reaper’s Property by Joanna Wylde
Similar to above, really. But I was compelled to try this series after reading the mixed reviews. I’m always intrigued to read something when it’s had as many ‘I LOVE IT!’ reviews as ‘WTF is this?!’ Generally I tend to err on the ‘I LOVE IT!’ side in these cases.. So we’ll see! And I’m a sucker for a biker..