My readers have asked me what I read. Then they often times will try and compare me to one of a handful of other writers, all of whom I am sure are great. But when they ask me if I have read any specific work of fiction from any of the list of authors that they rattle off my stock answer is ‘No’. I am generally pursued for a yes at this point until the broad question of ‘Well have you ever read anything by so-and-so’ breaks upon the shore. The answer is most certainly ‘No’. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been compared to several presumably great authours, but the truth of the matter is that I don’t read. You heard me correctly.
I actually don’t read for enjoyment. Why? Well, mainly because I don’t want my characters to be influenced by the characters of other writers, whether they are great writers or not. I know, imitation is the sincerest… blah blah blah. Do I sound like Andy Rooney here? Probably. But as I said in an earlier post, I know up front that my vision is narrowed by my limited life experience. I know that to develop a story and its characters, they must have their own unique voices. But rather than borrow those voices from other works, I would rather listen to the unique voices of the strangers around me, and take from them the intreaguing aspects of character, rather than copy the voices of one of the great writers of our time then try and support that character through my storyline. if you are one of those voracious readers, wouldn’t you rather hear new fresh voices, rather than hear from somebody you remember hearing from three or four books ago?
My overall objective is to bring my readers a new perspective by exposing them to my life experiences in such a way that they feel as if they have been there with me. But in my way of thinking, as important it is to have fresh
So next time you ask me about a character in another book? I’ll smile sweetly, because I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.