It takes a lot to get me into a story now. It’s like a magician who knows how the illusion is done, you cannot unsee the process. While I find the behind the scenes work fascinating, there are times when I just want to enjoy the story. I think that’s why I enjoy audiobooks so much. With audiobooks I can just listen and enjoy, I don’t see the mechanics as much as when I’m reading myself.
When I first started writing I had no clue what I was doing, I just wanted to tell a story. I miss those times. Genesis talks about the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, once you know the truth, you cannot unknow it. It’s the same for a writer. As a novice, my inexperience allowed me to be fearless and experiment with things a more knowledgeable author would balk at because “it just isn’t done.” But as I learn the rules and expectations of each genre, I find myself hampered by reader-expectations. Even as a reader, it is difficult to truly enjoy a book without seeing how things come together.
I wonder sometimes when I have friends and fans read ARCs of my books and use their suggestions to improve the books if they too lose something. Does knowing how the book comes together ruin the story for an ARC or Beta reader? Am I ruining the experience by asking them to read the unfinished product?
What do you think? Does knowing how the stories are made ruin the experience or does it give you more insight?
What are you reading? Besides craft and research books, here are a few of the books I’ve read or listened to recently:
The Hookup Plan by Farrah Rochon
Mischief by Amanda Quick
Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn
The Breakup Artist by Erin Clark and Laura Lovely
Deadly Travel by Kate Parker
Sweetwater and the Witch by Jayne Castle
Home for Halloween by KB Davenport
Spy Season by Golden Angel
Flames, Flirts and Festivals anthology by TNRC writers
I like to read diversely and find inspiration from every genre. While my first love is historical romance or suspense, a well-written story no matter the genre can entertain, inspire and fill the well. For me, reading is about refueling, relaxing and self-care because it is my way of unwinding. What are some ways you unwind and relax?
Seventeen-year-old Winona aka Winnie Applegate is a trick rider and archer in Colonel Bill Dexter’s Wild West Extravaganza. Her first act was throwing knives with her younger brother, Riley, who likes to invent things. He especially likes when things that go boom.
When a mysterious benefactor offers to bring their show to England, a series of sabotages turns deadly, and Riley becomes a suspect. To protect her brother, Winnie teams up with a lady Pinkerton agent and Harry McDonald, the young man she believes she is destined to marry.
Secrets and sins come to light as it becomes apparent that it isn’t just the show they are trying to sabotage. The saboteurs are trying to stop the Applegates from reaching England.
The Americans are Coming is An Applegate Mystery, the first in a new Victorian Era Mystery Series.
Winnie is more comfortable throwing knives than knowing which fork to use. She prefers boots and britches to ballgowns and dancing slippers. Will England be prepared for the arrival of the Applegate family?