Monday, June 4, 2012

Books That Change the Way I Write

Today is Day Four of the 28 Day Blog Challenge for Authors (More details here) and it's been such a pleasure to read other writers' thoughts on these topics. The prompt for today is:

How do the things you read impact your writing? What do you love to read? What do you avoid reading at all costs? How would your writing change if you read more of the things you typically avoid?

Since I write mostly YA, I do tend to read a large number of novels from that genre. I often follow the trends in YA fiction to stay in tune with what’s in style right now. For instance, I read a lot of the vampire novels after Twilight became popular and a ton of dystopian series after The Hunger Games became a hit.

Although YA books are usually the top of my list, I do like a change from time to time. During these periods, I typically enjoy a romance novel, a thriller or a true crime book.

A few favorite books from these areas include Columbine by David Cullen, Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane, Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella, A Time to Kill by John Grisham, the Heiress by Jude Deveraux and Lothaire by Kresley Cole. These types of novels are astoundingly helpful for creating suspenseful and romantic scenes in my Second Sight series.

I used to loathe science fiction novels. I could never get into them and pretty much avoided them at all costs. But after reading one of my favorite novels The Host, I’ve grown to have a much better appreciation of them. Across the Universe by Beth Revis is an example of another sci-fi novel that I enjoyed. This urged me to not be narrow-minded and give certain genres a shot. You may end up surprised over the amazing books you stumble upon when sampling something new.

The only books now that I won’t really pick up are political writings and erotica. I’m guessing maybe my works would be much more scandalous if I did. I have very little interests in politics and I’m way too much of a cornball to read anything erotic. I’d probably childishly giggle during every sex scene.

I’m always on the look out for the next exciting read to inspire me and my writings. Can’t wait to see what other challenge followers have to say about this intriguing question!


  1. Impact indeed. Do you find yourself using common phrases from your favorite authors? I am hyperaware of Fern Michaels' penchant for coffee guzzling women who have thirsty towels and twanging nerves (think that's from all the coffee?) so I know not to use them in my own work. Stephenie Meyer's The Host was a GREAT book. I had never read sci-fi until that one either. :)

  2. I avoid political stories as well. I have no interest in them, and they actually make me feel stupider, if that's even possible. :D But, I too, follow the trends and even though I was very skeptical to read both Hunger Games and the Twilight series, they became some of my absolute favorites. If something's popular, sometimes it's for a reason. Sometimes it's not. I like to find out for myself...

  3. I do try to be aware of the phrases or even the plot devices. That's why I don't read too many fiction books about psychics. I don't want it to effect how I write my series. I rather use my own imagination than feel like I'm drawing from other authors' ideas about the subject.

  4. I used to do the same thing with popular books! Then most of the time I end up loving them too. A few exceptions has been the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Game of Thrones, but that's probably because I'm not a huge fan of the genres.

  5. lol about the erotica. I can read it without blushing but writing it would be another story!

  6. All really good books! You and I have similar taaste in novels.

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