Tuesday, February 9, 2016


I decided to repost some older blogs I've done over at the YAtopia BLOG.
This one is from last November. I revisited it partly to see how far I've gotten with my reading goals (I'm suspecting not as far as I'd like...)

The band KISS might not approve of my title (above), but hopefully they would be good sports about it. Who knows? Maybe some of them are avid readers, too!

As a published writer, it is my sworn duty to inspire other aspiring authors, young and old, to push their noses to the grindstone and write away.

Here we go.

Okay. Thinking.

Oh, never mind. The truth is, right now all I want to do is read. Instead of my eyes being bigger than my stomach, my eyes are bigger than my bookshelf. My TBR (to be read) pile topples over my bedside table. I keep adding to the places I can store books: in closets, in cabinets, at odd angles on my bookshelf.

I bought a bunch of books over the holidays, so this TBR pile is growing instead of shrinking like it should...

Not only to I want to read new books, there's just as many I want to reread. I watch my son, perched up in a tree devouring the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid while I rake and mow and haul wood. Let's admit it. I'm jealous of the time he gets to spend reading. I fondly remember what summer vacation used to mean to me: hours upon hours of books cradled in my hands. Nowadays, there is no such thing as summer vacation. I'm an adult and not wise enough to become a teacher.

Then my son started reading the Narnia series. He's asking so many questions, and I can't quite remember the answers, so now I want to read them again soon...

I have three book series out now (Dead Girl Running and How to Date Dead Guys published by Curiosity Quills and An Occasionally Grim Fairy Tale in the process of being published by Fantasy Works). This means I owe everybody sequels.

I do want to write them. I've got outlines and ideas and scenes doing jumping jacks in my head. For the last six months straight, I've been editing, editing, editing (with the occasional pause for proofing), and to quote Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland "I need a moment."

Actually, I need a lot of moments to read enough books to fill me back up.  This is how I feed my imagination, my creative fire. When I don't read enough, the fire sputters and almost burns out.

Let's see what you think of my list. Please make suggestions in the comments below. I'm always on the lookout for more good books, whether I truly have time (or space) for them or not.

Five Books I desire to read before I write my sequels:

1)   Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
(a reread, of course) Done!

2)   Storm Siren by Mary Weber
(I've wanted to read this for so long) Done!

3)   The Maze Runner by James Dashner
(so curious about this one)

4)   Burn Baby Burn Baby by Kevin Craig
(I predict this one has the feels) Done!
And it scared me half to death--I predicted wrong!

5)   The Gateway Through Which They Came by Heather Marie
(this one might creep me out, hopefully in a good way)

Okay, make that five more:

6) Watch Me Burn by Sharon Bayliss
(the first was so good I'm impatient to find out what happens next)

7) Kiya Hope of the Pharaoh by Katie Hamstead
(it's been far too long since I've read any historical fiction)

8) Please Don't Tell My parents I'm a Super Villain by Richard Roberts
(the title gets me)

9) The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
(the cover seduced me—how shallow, right?) Oh my gosh, how I want to read this!

10) Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
(honestly, I forgot what this one is about but I really want to read it)

Apparently, I can't count. Here's five more:

11) Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
(I seek excitement)

12) Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
(I've heard such good things)

13) Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
(a friend keeps bugging me to read this) Done! Fabulous!

14) All Fall Down by Ally Carter
(why haven't I read this yet?)

15)  Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts
(I don't know Billie Letts personally, but I love her anyway)

Five Books I need to read before I write my sequels (research):

1) How to Stay Alive in the Woods by Bradford Angier
(I've read some of this, and it's surprisingly humorous)

2) The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish
(it's kind of scary)

3) The Real Witches' Handbook by Kate West
(a bit of a reread)

4) Ear, Air, Fire & Water by Scott Cuningham
(also a reread)

5) The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson
(this one freaks me out, I'm forcing myself to continue)

Whew! That's my list.

Now I have to add
1) Pretty much every book Christina Baker Kline (author of Orphan Train) ever wrote.
2) Reread Anne of Green Gables with my daughter.
3) Every book Jenny Han ever wrote (author of The Summer I Turned Pretty). 
4) All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
5) Siren's Fury (sequel to Storm Siren).
6) Seriously, why do I bother? The list is endless...

Ever since I started seriously writing, I feel like I haven't had as much time as I'd like to read. I'm curious how other authors feel regarding this.

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