Reading and it’s effect on Writing.

Going from the title, you might be fooled into thinking that I am going to regale you with a scholarly essay.

You’re in luck though…there’s a reason that I hated English A Level…

Actually, I just finished reading “Lies Sleeping” by Ben Aaronovitch.

It was one of my christmas presents and all the way through I enjoyed the experience.  I always do. Mostly because it’s like Ben Aaronovitch seems to have read all the same books as me – I’m forever catching the literary version of what film buffs like to call Easter Eggs – and we appear to have the same sense of humour.  Which probably explains all the Pratchett references…

However, this time round I finished the book and found myself thinking two things;

1) I wish I could write something that good.

2) I now see the reason that Sir Terry Pratchett and various other big authors have said “When you’re writing, you shouldn’t read in the genre you’re writing in.”

The first thought, is what I always think when I read one of my favourite authors. Doesn’t matter if it’s STP, King, Tolkien, Carriger, Howey, Eddings, Reichs, Slaughter… I always feel in awe of the story I’ve just read and the author whose imagination it came out of.

The second one requires a bit more explanation though.

Thinking about all the books I have read over the years, I’ve read a startling breadth of stories and authors. I started with Enid Blyton, Lewis Carroll and CS Lewis, passed through Tolkien, Eddings, Bradbury, Clarke, Herbert, Anthony, McCaffrey,  Michener, Le Guin, Anthony… you get the idea.
I took in Stephen King, James Herbert, Dean Koontz and various other horror writers. I spent some time in Romance Land (yes, even Mills & Boon) and although I don’t remember any of the authors (other than the Grande Dame of that realm, Barbara Cartland) they all delighted me while I read them.

They’ve all had an effect on my writing, even if I don’t know it. I adore STP, but I can’t deliberately write Comedic Fantasy. I’ve been told that there’s a certain humour to my fantasy though, so something must have rubbed off on me.

The problem is, when you read exclusively in one genre, you don’t just pick up small touches of each author’s voice; you start sounding like them enough that it could be considered plagiarism.  I had a brush with that when I was at Uni –  I helped TOH with his written coursework for the course we were doing together,  and I’d changed his personal “voice” enough that it sounded like he’d copied my work!

That time, he was accused of plagiarising me… and I really don’t want to have my work sound so much like my favourite authors that I get sued for plagiarism! Hence why I thought the second thought…

So what’s the fix? I have to read in my favourite genre to keep up with my favourite authors or any trends, but I don’t want to sound like them. Any ideas?

When in doubt… try again…

As I said in my last post, I’m in the doldrums a little over my work… so I decided to republish “The Tower and The Eye” series  with the last set of editions – and realised that “Nightbringer” had never actually been published by itself – just as the omnibus edition!

So all five individual books are now available on Kindle. I’ll eventually sort out print covers for them too, and republish the Omnibus ed. Audiobooks are a world that I am exploring currently so I’m working on those too…

If you’re interested in the kindle books, just click on the cover banner up there ^ and it’ll take you to my author page.

Another project that I am working on this year (as well as all the WIPs) is the illustration of “Author & Muse Stories”. I’m doing it for Inktober 2018 and will be posting the completed pages in my Fan Group on Facebook. I’m under no illusions about this – the stories themselves took seconds to write (they’re dialogue heavy, flash stories) but illustrating them will probably take a lot longer!

As a preview, here’s one that I attempted earlier in the year:

I’m not massively keen on this style of page or drawing. so it’s not the way the book is going to be exactly, but it gives you an idea of what I’m trying to do.

As far as the pieces of writing that I’ve been working on this year are concerned, I’ll be continuing “Curious World” for NaNoWriMo in November and trying to finish “Teacups & Time Travel” as well as “Curse of The Jade Cat“.

The latter story already has a cover, done by Author’s Assembler, but until I’ve finished the story and started on the edits, I’m not going to do a cover reveal. So keep your eyes peeled for that one!

Well, that’s it for now… see you later!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New place to read my work…

I’m always on the lookout for new readers… and I came across this site called Tapas while I was browsing my timeline on Facebook.

It’s like Wattpad but has Comic Artists as well as Writers.

So now that SB is three months old (where has the time gone?) I’m going to start putting myself out there again. I’ll be publishing “Teacups & Time Travel” on Tapas in chapters until I finish the storyline, so come and read along with me…

Click on the image to go to the book!

On Wattpad I’ll be working my way through “The Seven Towers: The Lost Princess”  – the first three chapters are already up there, along with my book of poetry

Click on the Cover to go to the book!

I’ll also start adding new posts to my Patreon page again – and should you feel so inclined, I’d be delighted to add you to my patrons…

There will also be some new things available soon, so keep your eyes peeled and watch this space!!!