I have been listening to some creative writing podcasts from a university in England. I am loving them, in no small part because of the British accent of the professor. (Okay, I'm shallow. So sue me.) The second of the 20 podcasts in the course is about reading creatively. The instructor said, "If you don't love to read other writers, why on earth do you believe anybody will want to read your work?" (That's my paraphrase, not his exact words.)
Anyway, this podcast confirmed a decision I had already made––to take another endorsement sabbatical. I've done this in the past, but this time, I'm doing it for reasons in addition to the limited-time factor.
When an author reads other books for endorsement, they almost always have to be done in a short amount of time. I am not naturally a fast reader. I like to savor a really good book. When reading for endorsement, I often have to speed read, and while I get the story and often know it is excellent, I still don't get the full enjoyment of mulling over a piece of brilliant dialogue or reveling in a paragraph of wonderful narrative.
Thus, for the foreseeable future, I'm going to read only what I want to read when I want to read it and at the speed I want to read it. My Kindle is overflowing with unread books, and my iPod has dozens of audio books I have yet to listen to. Fiction and non-fiction. Histories and memoirs. Dramas and comedies. I'm going to use my precious reading time to indulge myself for my own pleasure.
Change of subject: A few days ago, I was delighted to learn that my soon-to-be-released novel, Betrayal, is a Top Pick for November from RT Book Club Magazine. Perhaps I did enough whining in this blog for you to remember that Betrayal was a hard book for me to write. My hero and heroine are both wounded characters who have been cruelly betrayed in their pasts. Telling their stories the way they needed to be told was just … hard.
When the writing of a book is like that, it's hard for this author to have much confidence in the final result, and even when people read pre-release copies and like the book, my lack of confidence manifests itself with words in my head like, Well, she's being kind and doesn't want me to know how bad the book really is.
I know. I know. I shouldn't listen to that negative voice. But it's hard for creative types to tune it out.
Anyway, here is what the RT Book Club reviewer said:
"Hatcher is a consistent 'must read' author. Her books are always engaging, and Betrayal is no different. The characters are very real, their trials and tribulations are easy to relate to and the setting is well researched. You’ll feel a warm, satisfying glow after turning the final page of this touching novel."