Thursday, December 1, 2011

You Are What You Read

So I've been thinking about Rachel's Cheesemonkey post. In remembering what I read as a child, I can see the birth of what I write as an adult.

As a child, I read a mix of historical novels, murder mysteries, thrillers, crime fiction, and a whole lot of romance and womens fiction. Yes, I know, it was quite the heavy read for a thirteen-year-old. Some might say inappropriate. But I'll never regret it. In fact, I'd like to think it gave me a view of the world that my cosseted peers didn't see. So when it came time to face certain life trials, I wasn't caught completely unaware.

But to digress. :) As an adult, what do I write? Well, I write genre mashups. My stories are a mix of historical, romance, paranormal, thriller and mystery. I love it all, so I write it all.

What I've read absolutely has influenced what I write, and what I love.

So how about you? Do you think what you've read as a child, and what you read now for that matter, helped form the writer you are today?


  1. This is so true! I went through a huge historical fiction phase, then fantasy. Now I write a mash-up of the two. Reading is one of the biggest influences on anyone's life. It makes me feel very responsible and worried when I think about people reading my work someday!

  2. Absolutely.

    A next door neighbor gave me two garbage bags full of romance novels when I was thirteen, historical and otherwise, along with a peppering of adult mystery. Forever appreciative, first of all, because my mother would never have shared.(; Second, I think it is what put the fire in my belly to write! I also love to write it all; including children's lit (minus the sex, of course).

    Life is a soup pot. Everything belongs, in my hungry opinion.

  3. Scarlett--I like the "Life is a soup my hungry opinion." Great way to say it. ; )

    Kristen--I read everything as a child/teen, but I really liked SF. Though now I find my SF trilogy shoved aside for a genre I've never read much of--women's fiction. I've been trying to remedy that lack, but for some reason the SF and DG's books keep creeping back in. : )

  4. Oh yes. While I'm not quite in Stephen King's ball park (g), the darker elements of what I write certainly stem from my love of being scared witless by books like his. Then my love of historicals and crime fiction are thrown into the blend, too.

    And I think that if your kid is up for it, it's fine to let them read widely, beyond what is generally labelled as suitable for kids. I had to sign a special permission for Child #1 (Cheesemonkey) to be able to borrow from the older sections of his high school library; he's not brought home anything too racy, but the books he's had access to have really opened up his mind. A Good Thing, indeed.

  5. I got around the special permission issue by making friends with the librarians :)

    But in all seriousness, I would agree with you, Rachel. Reading widely, beyond what was considered appropriate for my age, was really instrumental in shaping my view of things.

    The first real books I read were the Nancy Drew books, at 6/7. I was obsessed. Also lots of classics like Narnia, Half Magic, 5 Children and It, etc. I also read a lot of fairy tales - I was into magic from an early age.

    Then I segwayed into more straight up fantasy. I still remember reading Tamora Pierce for the first time and falling in love with the genre - this was when I was about 9 or so. Alanna made quite an impression on me.

  6. I'm not sure. I don't read much romance, so it's hard to say. I love Tolkien, but don't write in that way. I think... I just love words. I hope that comes across in my writing, at least. (wh'at with all the "I" sentences?)