YA Indie Carnival: What Reading Teaches Me As a Writer

A writer seriously can’t talk enough about the importance of reading. Just like an artist learns by studying the styles of the classical masters, a writer learns style and device from the timeless works of others. They do not have to be the classics many of us with more outlandish tastes chunked through in high school amidst much whining and groaning. Many of those were great, but a writer can gain knowledge from reading science fiction or fantasy classics too. Really any book you enjoy reading: ‘classic’, popular, or unheard of gems that you think are awesome.

We all enjoy reading just purely as an imagination ride, for escape, or amusement, or catharsis. But in addition, reading other people’s works provides me, as a writer, with three things: 1. Ideas in device and style that I can mimic, absorb, and then transform into my own unique voice. I love Ray Bradbury, his prose poetry, and it affected the way I used words. 2. An idea of what doesn’t work. We all learn what not to do from things we didn’t like, as much as from what we do, when we analyze why we didn’t like it. 3. An opening of paradigms and ideas to explore new worlds of thought and perspective. Reading books like the Dune series, Lord of the Rings, or the Hyperion series changed the way that I looked at things forever. They affected me as a human being, and therefore affected what I wrote about and how I thought of the stories I wanted to tell.

The most stark example of the effect of reading and reviewing is the Torah. Whenever it was written, or by whom, it has been argued over by countless rabbis, over countless bottles of wine, grape juice, and vodka for thousands of years. And many Jewish people, in the course of our studies, do not just read the Torah. We read the enormous body of commentary that has risen up around it, ‘reviews’ if you will, interpretations in different ages by thousands of scholars, both Jewish and otherwise. Reading this one document inspired and formed an entire culture, and from that culture stories re-told by numerous authors from their own experience. Although this is not to say that this is enough. It drives me insane when people say things like, “All I need’s ‘the Good Book’.” That particular perspective, Jewish or otherwise, inspires me to write about multiple gods, demons, and as much sex as I can pack into a story, preferably nasty, kinky demon sex.

In any case, my experience is that the importance of reading is for a writer what the experience of listening to music is for a musician. Without it, I would lose sight of structure and form. I would be limited to my own personal experience, which in the busy days of trying to earn a living and raise a family, would not make an action packed read. That’s a good thing. Books extend our experiences vicariously. I’m totally okay with not actually battling dragons or orcs at this point in my life. I’m too busy battling the economy.

See how other writers and reviewers use reading to enrich their experiences and writing.

http://www.refractedlightreviews.com Danny Snell’s Refracted Light Reviews

http://pattilarsen.blogspot.com Patti Larsen, Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, the Hunted series, and the Hayle Coven novels.

http://courtneycolewrites.wordpress.com Courtney Cole, Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://wrenemerson.wordpress.com Wren Emerson, Author of I Wish and a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.

http://laurasmagicday.wordpress.com Laura Elliott, Author of Winnemucca.

http://nicoleawilliams.blogspot.com Nichole A. Williams, Author of Eternal Eden, and the upcoming Fallen Eden. She is also participating in the Glassheart Chronicles.
http://fisheramelie.com/blog/ Fisher Amelie, Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://amyjonesyaff.blogspot.com Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://thewarriorseries.blogspot.com T. R. Graves, Author of Warriors of the Cross.
http://ctefft.blogspot.com Cyndi Tefft, Author of Between
http://pjhoover.blogspot.com P.J. Hoover, Author of Solstice, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, The Necropolis.
http://www.aliciamccalla.com Alicia McCalla, Author of the upcoming science-fiction novel Breaking Free.

http://heathercashman.com/better_off_read Heather Cashman, Author of Perception.

http://www.abbiglines.com Abbi Glines, Author of Breathe, and the upcoming Existence and Vincent Boys.

http://cidneyswanson.blogspot.com/ Cidney Swanson, Author of Rippler.

http://cherischmidt.blogspot.com, Cheri Schmidt, Author of Fateful, Fractured, and Fair Maiden, Fire Dancer

http://www.lexusluke.com/, Lexus Luke, Author of Manitou, The Sky People Saga, Fire Breather

http://www.suzyturner.com/, Suzy Turner, Author of December Moon and Raven, Dragonslayer

http://kasi-kcblake.blogspot.com/, K. C. Blake, Author of Vampire Rules, Elephant Trainer

http://hereventuality.blogspot.com/, Gwenn Wright, Author of Filter, Ring-Leader

http://kimberlykinrade.com/, Kimberly Kinrade, Author of Bits of You, Pieces of Me and Forbidden Mind, Prestidigitator

http://jlbryanbooks.blogspot.com/, J.L. Bryan, Author of Paranormals series- Jenny Pox. Tommy Nightmare & Alexander Death

http://darbykarchut.com/ Darby Karchut, Author of Griffin Rising, and soon Griffin Fire

http://puttingpentopage.com/ Heather Self

http://brynabutler.wordpress.com/ Bryna Butler, author of the Midnight Guardian series

What’s new this week?


Morpho Wilson thought her life was difficult enough. Her father is Pazuzu, the Mesopotamian demon of plague and the Southwest wind. As a teenager Morpho struggles against her father, while trying to adjust to high school in a new neighborhood. The family is constantly moving in an attempt to elude Pazuzu’s murderous ex-wife, a demoness known for killing children.Then something unique happens. A socially-impaired classmate becomes so intrigued by Morpho that he pursues her, despite the mystery surrounding her family and the danger that accompanies it.

But before their romance can grow the demoness tracks Morpho down, and now only needs an ancient artifact called the Tablet of Destiny to complete the destruction of the world. The tablet confers on its owner the ability to control the fate of everything and everyone on earth.

Once the tablet is discovered in the Middle East, the oldest and most powerful gods begin a battle for its possession, with the human population caught in the middle. Morpho, her family, and her new friend must decide, do they escape from the horrifying demoness or fight for their own destiny. How far will Pazuzu go to save his daughter from a hellish fate? Will his banishment from Heaven so many millennia ago end up being a curse…or a blessing?

Journalstone is doing a giveaway of Pazuzu’s Girl on their site through Goodreads, ending February 22, 2012. They’re giving away 10 copies! Pazuzu’s Girl by Rachel Coles will be released February 10!

Question: When your mother is a powerful witch and your father is a soul-sucking vampire, what does that make you? Answer: Cursed. With all the beauty and charm of a Siren, but cursed as a blood-sucking succubus, Empusa longs for love and a normal life. Neither of these can ever be hers, because the only thing she brings to anyone she loves is death. Em lingers in the mortal world, hiding from her father and existing in a lonely life. Until she meets Brennan. With golden hair and a radiant smile, he captures her heart and awakens it from slumber. But Brennan is more than he seems. And in a relationship where life itself hangs in the balance, is love ever really enough?
Against all expectations, Samantha Ruiz has survived attacks by two of Helmann’s deadliest assassins. She’s alive, but she’s far from safe. Helmann is planning a second Holocaust and wants Sam to play a starring role. Will, meanwhile, separated from Sam by an ocean, seeks a way to prevent Helmann’s apocalypse. Along with Sir Walter and Mickie, Will plays a deadly game sneaking into Geneses’ facilities, discovering unsettling clues as to Helmann’s plans. The clock ticks down as Will and Sam discover just how much they must be willing to sacrifice to stop Helmann. UNFURL, the powerful conclusion to The Ripple Series, will leave fans breathless.
Gemma’s parents have put enough rules around her relationship with Harrison that she feels like she’s living on parole. But she wins one battle—a summer job working for Harrison’s step-father. It is the perfect chance to spend the steamy, hot Florida days with her boyfriend. It’s also a great distraction from the cellphone hiding in her underwear drawer—her only contact with Gabe, the mystery man who’s stalking her.When she confronts Gabe, he tells her that her parents are not who she thinks they are, and Harrison has the gall to believe him. Surrounded by conflict, Gemma doesn’t know what to believe, and it takes a trip back in time for her to glimpse the sickening truth.

Thanks to her parents, she returns to the present to find the love of her life no longer exists. His family line was broken and now, so is she.

This betrayal forces her to seek out Gabe. Setting aside her fear of the truth, she must trust this man and learn what he can teach her… otherwise, she’ll never get her boyfriend back.

Syd has what she’s always wanted. Thanks to her demon’s sacrifice, she is finally normal. Why then does she want her magic back so badly? It really sucks to find out Brad was only into her because of her power. And even Quaid is keeping his distance. Her loss couldn’t have come at a worse time. A storm is brewing, one that could devour the entire world. Syd refuses to accept she will never be a witch again, doing everything she can to track down the Chosen of the Light and rescue her demon. If only the ordinary life she’s been building didn’t interfere.
16 year old Karlie has had a pretty normal life… But when her Mom dies she is force to move over 1,000 miles away to live with her Dad. That’s when things start getting weird. She can’t explain the earthquakes that nobody else feels, or why she no longer sleeps. But most of all she doesn’t know why she trusts Shane so much, even though his Dad wants her dead. Suddenly, Karlie’s normal life is turned upside down and she enters a world she never dreamed could really exist.
Nothing says Happy New Year like Halloween! For the first 12 days of 2012, free chapters of 13 on Halloween’s AUDIOBOOK available! Click here to gather around a fire and hear how Roxie’s birthday wish comes true when she receives a birthday gift that’s literally out of this world! http://www.authorlaura.com/#!books

One Response to “YA Indie Carnival: What Reading Teaches Me As a Writer”

  1. Reading really is that important. There were times when I would feel guilty indulging in someone else’s book until I forced myself to stop. Not only is it an excellent research tool, it’s a way to build connections inside your muse to those things you love, while nurturing your creativity with pure pleasure. Thank goodness it’s a job requirement 😉

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