Guest blogger: Rowena Cory Daniells
Well, I can answer for myself and I suspect many writers when I say we all start out as readers, voracious readers!
I used to have a second-hand book and record shop. I’d read a book in the morning, another after lunch and another after dinner. (This is back in the days when a book was only 200 pages long). If I didn’t have a book to read I’d wander around like a lost soul until I found one.
In desperation I’d re-read my favourite books until I started to see the mechanics of the writing. For me, writing books was what I resorted to when I couldn’t find any more books by my favourite authors.
What I wanted from a book was:
Great characters – I really had to care about the characters.
Interesting setting – I loved the way Georgette Heyer brought the Regency period to life. But it didn’t have to be Regency.
Challenging plot – I’d get really frustrated if the plot was too predictable.
I love discovering books that leave me thinking about the characters. If I find myself days later, thinking why didn’t she do this? Or what happened after the book ended? Then I knew I’d found an interesting writer. If I did, I’d hunt up everything they’d written and try to read it in order of publication. In my innocence back in those days, I thought I was reading it in order of when the books were written. Now, as a published author I know this isn’t so.
For instance, my paranormal crime The Price of Fame comes out next month. The first draft of this book was written when I was twenty-three. I dug it up again when I was in my thirties and submitted it to the Harper Collins $10,000 Fiction Prize where it made the long-short list. Then, when I was in my late forties, I redrafted it, created a second contemporary time line and Ta Dah! Award-winning author Lindy Cameron had selected it for her new line of books with ClanDestine Press.
There’s a girl, a ghost and cat, but there’s so much more. And it’s great to see the cover, which captures the feel of the book.
But I don’t just write paranormal crime. In fact I mostly write fantasy trilogies. When I go to events like Supanova people still come up to me to talk about The Last T’En, which came out over ten years ago. More recently the King Rolen’s Kin trilogy has been released in Australia, the US and the UK. I had so much fun writing this trilogy. There’s mythical beasts, a kingdom in peril, three brothers, a crown at stake and a younger sister who keeps her brothers on their toes.
The nice thing about this trilogy is that I’ve had somone comment on my blog saying their husband has dyslexia, but they enjoyed the books so much they zipped through them. My DH (darling, long-suffering husband) did a wonderful trailer for the series.
The last few months I’ve been neck deep editing The Outcast Chronicles, which is due out in July, August and September of this year.
This trilogy took over my life. There’s an inexperienced leader, a disinherited prince, a king a step away from madness and nations forged by magic yet sundered by war … Gives me goosebumps!
I guess you can tell I’m still a voracious reader, still looking for that book that is going to sweep me away to another world and leave me wanting more. What have you read recently that swept you away and why?
Comment on Rowena’s post by telling her the latest book you’ve read that has swept you away and one lucky commenter will win all three books of Rowena’s King Rolen’s Kin Trilogy. The winner of the giveaway is Laine! Congratulations.