One of the most effective ways of improving your skills as a writer is to research. And what does research involve? Reading! And lots of it. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to read around your genre, whether it’s police procedural or epic romance. Knowing your market not only helps improve your craft but also shows publisher and agents that you know what you’re talking about. You know the market you’re writing in to – it’s not a romantic image, but it’s the truth.
So, I was tagged in a challenge the other day on Instagram (if you’re not following me, go check out my page for exclusive content including reviews, behinds the scenes sneak-peeks and tips.) As an editor, I do even more reading for both the manuscripts I’m working on but also in my own time. So check it out…
Q: How do you choose books to read?
A: In short, I don’t really have much of a method. Mostly I just pick up what I fancy, when I am not prioritising reads for work, publishers, advanced reading copies etc. A lot of my inspiration comes from seeing titles pop up on Instagram, but also from Netgalley, and friend’s recommendations but I admit wholeheartedly that I do judge a book by its cover. I need to be grabbed, or else I tend to put it back down. Shallow, I know.
Q: Do you buy books online?
A: For the year I’m here in Aus, I have put myself on a strict book-buying ban, simply because I want to minimise the TBR pile that I will be totally unable to drag myself away from and have to get three extra suitcases just to transport home with me. However, back in the UK, yes I do by books online – I love book mail! But I am trying to buy more locally where I can.
Q: Do you wait until you’ve finished a book before you buy a new one?
A: Nope. I have no will power. Literally none.
Q: When do you usually read?
A: Back in the UK, I used to love reading on my commute. But now my commute is from the bedroom to the kitchen table, I have to schedule more reading time in. So I tend to read with my breakfast and lunch, if I’m home alone, and then always before my boyfriend and I go to bed. It is my favourite part of the day – we and I call it our ‘reading date’.
Q: Favourite genre?
A: Without a doubt, crime, thriller and suspense. I love unravelling a good mister, and I’m a sucker for plot twists. I think I get this from my mum – when we were younger we always used to sit down and watch CSI, Poirot, Lewis, Inspector Morse, Jonathon Creek and try to figure out whodunnit. I was always wrong! You really can’t beat a good mystery. It’s also my favourite genre to edit – working with the author to weave the best possible, intriguing, surprising and satisfying story!
Do you have an idea for a bone-chilling edge-of-your-seat thriller, crime novel or gripping suspense? Don’t hesitate to get in touch via the contact page for a no-obligation consultation of how I can help make your manuscript the best it can be.
Q: Do you lend books?
A: All the time but often they don’t come back. I have a love-hate relationship with keeping books. I want to keep them, but then I also accumulate so many that sometimes I have subject myself to some tough love to get rid of some. The best way to do this is to give them away to someone you know who will love them. Saying that, I did accidentally give away a signed Yuval Harari – oops! So I only lend books with special meaning to those I know will return them/ I don’t mind nagging to get them back.
Q: Do you read two or more books at a time?
A: Technically, yes. I can be reading up to three/four books at once if you count the ones I am working on as an editor, alongside my personal reading. I have tried to limit it to just one, but sometimes circumstances mean I have to switch it up – normally when I’m travelling and can’t lug three hardbacks with me, then it’s on to whatever is on the kindle.