June 26, 2023
Writers are readers. I firmly believe it’s essential for people to read and read widely (I know, persistent prejudice of a former English teacher), because writers open the world and in places where most of us never choose or have to journey. Writers take us to real worlds, fantasy worlds, potential worlds. They immerse us in love, war, creation, despair, hope, joy, fear, abomination, spirituality, aspirations, grief, loss. They allow us to see life through many different eyes and from vastly different perspectives.
I was asked last week what I read, especially as I write in specific genres. It’s expected I read fantasy since I write fantasy, but I rarely do nowadays, and for two reasons. I don’t want to copy other fantasy writers, and I don’t want my stories to be influenced by what others are writing while I’m writing my stories. When I read fantasy it’s always between projects and never during.
My love for reading was fostered in three places. As a pre-schooler, my grandfather used to read newspaper articles to me. At home, my parents had a very tiny book collection that included Readers Digest condensed novels and I read these avidly. At school, there was the SRA Reading library and I devoured it, and the school library itself was a haven on wet days and days when relationships with other kids were not as joyous as I hoped. And I won books as school prizes, all of which I still have.
Without reading, I doubt I could write, not because of a lack of ideas, but because all those writers – thousands of them – taught me the art of writing and I am forever in their debt.
Writing is my passion. Ideas, opinions, beliefs, experiences expressed through language - through words and images - pervade and create my life. Writing is my voice, my soul, my self. My dream is one day writing will sustain my life...