Today, it’s my great pleasure to host the amazing Jennifer M. Eaton as she goes on tour with Paper Wishes, a Contemporary Sweet Romance from Astraea Press. Take it away, Jen!
Do I read what I write? Umm… Huh? Do I have to answer that?
Well hi-dee-hoo neighbors! Good to see ya!
I’m here to selfishly promote my book “Paper Wishes” offer some words of wisdom on a topic of Nicky Well’s choice. I do this hoping you will buy my book out of the kindness of my heart, because Nicky told me to is such a good friend.
So… What is the topic?
Reading books in the genre that you write.
Ummm… Really? Can’t I talk about something else? No? Ugh. Okay… so here’s the scoop.
I know that everyone out there who calls themselves an expert tells you to read inside your genre. Their reasons are totally sound:
- Get a feel for the market
- Make sure the story you want to write is not already written
- Learn from the style of others writing in your genre.
There may be other reasons, but since I’m going to debunk anyway, let’s just hit these three.
Let’s chat about these:
- If I read books out right now, they were contracted at least a year ago. So, let’s say vampires are in… I write a vampire book. So do 100,000 other people. Publishers get tired of vampire books saturating the market and stop requesting them. Now I’m skunked, right? In my opinion, write what you want to write. Write what makes you happy. If it’s good, it will probably sell. You are going to spend six months or more with these characters… why stress out about writing characters you don’t like for a market that might not be there when you’re done?
- Who the heck cares if the story is already written? How many different versions of Red Riding Hood are out there? Ideas are not copyrighted. You can have the same idea as someone else. The trick is to put your own slant on it… and if I didn’t read a book like it (in the genre) I’d have to put my own slant on it, right?
- Now that’s just ridiculous. You can pick up on anything from any genre and apply it to what you write in. If you do it well, it will transcend genre.
Here’s the God’s honest truth:
- Last Winter Red, in the Make Believe Anthology, is a Dystopian. I don’t think I’ve ever read a dystopian, although I’ve seen movies. In fact, I had no idea that is was Dystopian until someone told me. Did not reading Dystopian hurt my story telling abilities? Nope! Seemed to work out fine for me!
- Paper Wishes is a Contemporary Romances with heavy Christian influence. Do I read Christian Romance? Absolutely not! (Although there is nothing wrong with them) Romance as a whole is not my cup of tea, unless you mix some explosions in there. I wanted to make my Romance “Paper Wishes” more interesting, so I decided to shove in a supernatural theme, and since it was Christmas, I went with God… Imagine me… putting God back in Christmas. I’m such a rebel! But that’s how this came about… I flexed a genre to make it interesting to me… and I didn’t have to read a bunch of stuff that didn’t appeal to me.
- The First Day of the New Tomorrow (Coming out in September of 2013) is a young adult urban fantasy. Now, I will admit to reading in this genre, but I couldn’t really point to anything of my past reading to say it was an influence.
- Fire in the Woods is a contemporary YA Sci-Fi. Nope, I don’t read it. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve even seen anything like this anywhere. Hmmmm. That could be good, or bad.
What do I like to read? Give me knights. Give me Dragons. Give me Elves. Castles? Oh Yeah! Love it!
Why don’t I write it? Well, I tried once, but since I read SO MUCH OF IT I could not come up with anything that I thought was original. The novel lays at the bottom of my closet, half-written.
See my dilemma?
Nope, sorry. I will not start feverously reading inside the genres that I write. The next book I pick up will be because it interests me… not because I need to do research.
And as for castles and dragons…. I’ll leave writing those to the people who do them best.
Do you read inside your genre?
About Jennifer M. Eaton
Jennifer M. Eaton is a contemporary blender of Science Fiction, Dystopian, and Romance. Her work ranges from the sweet contemporary romances of Paper Wishes, to the dystopian society of Last Winter Red and Optimal Red, with a dusting of young adult paranormal just for fun in The First Day of the New Tomorrow.
While not off visiting other worlds, Jennifer calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her wonderfully supportive husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.
Full time team leader, full time mom, and full time novelist… what more can you ask for? Writing help did you say? Well, sure! Jennifer hosts an informational blog aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be. Stop on by and chat. She loves to hear from fans! http://www.jennifermeaton.com/
Her contemporary sweet romance, Paper Wishes is currently available in ebook format. The Dystopian novelette “Last Winter Red” is available as part of the “Make Believe” Anthology. Each title is available from Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com and Smashwords.
Paper Wishes: Jill has no idea what she wants for Christmas, but when it looks like her best friend Jack is going to get exactly what he asks for, Jill makes a Christmas wish that will change both of their lives forever.
Last Winter Red: In search of a husband, Emily leaves the safety of the city and risks her life stepping into the outside world. What she finds there will question the foundations of everything she believes in. Available as part of the Make Believe anthology.
The First Day of the New Tomorrow: Maya dreams of having everything she wants, but when she gets it, she can’t give it back fast enough. (Coming in September, 2013 from Muse It Up)
Make Believe Purchase Links
Make Believe on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Make-Believe-ebook/dp/B00ACMPEGQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
Make Believe on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/reviews/Make-Believe%2FJA-Belfield/1113844175
Paper Wishes Purchase links
So, my lovelies. Here’s the question: do you read in your genre?
My answer is: yes. I do. Absolutely. 100 percent. I love my genre and all the fabulous writers in it. However, I don’t just read in my genre. I read crime and literary and historical and thriller and adventure, not to mention a large library of children’s books and novels that is setting up in my house again. I get inspired by techniques I observe in crime and thriller, particularly viz pacing and rhythm. I find ideas in children’s books. I love reading, full stop!