Everyone’s heard that in order to write successfully in your chosen genre you need to read what’s currently being published in that genre. For me, that includes science fiction and fantasy pertaining to demon culture and/or alien invasion–as those are the two kinds of books I have in the works at present.
In addition to looking for books under these general guidelines, I also looked for ones with either a strong romantic plot or ones with disfigured MCs as these themes also run throughout my own writing.
Though I haven’t read a lot this year (please forgive me as I’m generally a slow reader, but with the addition of a baby my reading time has almost ceased entirely), but I’ve found a few titles that I’ve enjoyed and which have broadened my knowledge of what’s been done.
I will list the titles below and give an idea of which categories they fell within and what my overall thoughts were.
Eve of Darkness by Silvia Day. This book was a fast paced, romantic, fantasy novel. The MC was a girl named Eve who’s at the heart of a tortured love triangle with Cain and Abel. She must not only defeat the forces of evil, but decide where her heart truly lies. Once I got past the 60 pages of sex in the beginning, I really enjoyed the book. (Not that I don’t enjoy a good love scene, but really … 60 pages…)
Half A King by Joe Abercrombie. This book followed the path of a disfigured young prince as he assumed the thrown, was enslaved by an enemy, and his eventual path back home. It fit nicely into my disfigured MC and fantasy list, but also into the royal aspect, which I often include in my own writing. After I got past the awkward names of the characters, I really enjoyed the MC’s journey and unexpected twist at the end.
Touched By An Alien by Gini Koch was my only read to notch in the alien category. It followed a young woman who discovered aliens on Earth and must cope with saving the planet, not to mention her mother’s secret identity. It checked off romance (as if the title didn’t give that away) as well. This book was probably my least favorite, in that the characters developed a high level of familiarity with one another in the matter of minutes, and that all the characters also had the same kind of personality and sense of humor. I did however enjoy the romantic relationship which evolved at hyper-speed between the MC and and ultra attractive alien.
Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey was probably my favorite book. It followed a man who escaped hell after 11 years of torture and his mission to bring vengeance on the one responsible for sending him down there (alive!). This book covered demon culture as well as disfigured MC. I really can’t say enough about this one! I loved Richard’s creativity and what felt like a depth of knowledge concerning the subject matter.
I did read a few other books this year, nothing pertaining to my writing though. I hope to get a few Barnes and Noble gift cards for my birthday and then I’ll be skipping off to the bookstore once again. 🙂
I’m not sure if I can articulate what’s been learned while reading these books. I just have a better sense of what’s popular, I guess. The story telling of Richard and Joe have inspired me to make sure there’s a very strong main plot in addition to an alluring romantic sub-plot. I want to feel like I’m giving more than just a hot ride to my readers. 😉
So tell me, what do you read to inspire your writing?