Sunday, August 8, 2010

I'm Calling it Research

I've been on a real writing roll the last four weeks and it has slowed down a little but I still hope to have the rough draft done by the end of August on the second book in my latest fantasy series.  I could make lots of excuses for why the fingers are hitting the keys less often but I have to admit.  I've just stumbled on too many good books.
The new library in town started the problem with their grand opening a little over a week ago.  I've been a fan of the collaborative team of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child for years.  The hero in their suspense series, Agent Pendergast, is one cool operator.  Both these authors also write suspense on their own but I've never read any of their individual titles.  The library had one from each of them so I couldn't resist.  I like them together more than separate but it was interesting to read their solo books and try to guess how their team works and who contributes what.
I also picked up a book I've been thinking of reading but would never buy because I wasn't sure I would like it and it's a thick book.  The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is historical literary fiction.  I read nearly two hundred pages before I decided if I intended to finish.  It was lovely and I'm going to get the sequel one day soon.
To completely freeze my writing progress, my wonderful sister from Picayune, Mississippi visited me.  She belongs to a book club and always has a few thick hardbacks with her she doesn't want to carry back home.  Usually it's because of the weight but she drove this trip so I'm not sure why she left them with me.  Unfortunately for my WIP she and I share similar tastes in reading material.  The Passage by Justin Cronin, another very long book, completely captivated me.  Two late nights until two AM and one day of letting my family starve and I finished it.  The other book she left me, Under The Dome by Stephen King hasn't grabbed me with that "can't put it down" feeling is still a very interesting book.  Does anyone write dark characters better than king?
Jonathan Maberry's Ghost Road Blues kept me up late one night to finish only to figure out with two chapters to go it was the first book of a series.  Checked today and my local Borders had it and the third book. 
Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mystery series also has me intrigued.  I really want the next one but I'm resisting. 
So today I'm catching up with my friends' blogs, writing a little and hoping to get back in the computer chair.  I'm not buying any more books, not even going into the library and resisting my daughter's pleas to read one of her books. 
So I'm calling my last six or seven days research rather than indulgence in my favorite pastime.  What author do you put everything aside to read? 


  1. I know what you mean about the reading getting in the way of the writing. I tell my guilty conscience that I need to read a lot in order to write :) I LOVED The Passage - I'm not at all a fan of dystopian novels, but this one grabbed hold of me from the very beginning and never let go. I am really looking forward to the sequels!

  2. Research it is! :)

    I actually do think it's very important to read a lot in order to write well. So it's been time well spent!

  3. Belle, I feel the same way about dystopian novels but my sister recommended it and it quickly hooked me.
    Jemi, I believe you're correct. I also think it's important to read outside the genre one writes in. I used to read mostly in one or two genres and I know I read almost any kind of fiction.

  4. I enjoyed Pillars of the Earth, but haven't read the others on your list.


  5. I like to call it research too.

    My current can't put it down author is Maggie Stiefvater and, at the end of the month, it'll be Suzanne Collins when her novel Mockingjay is released. As soon as I get my copy, nothing, absolutely nothing, will get done until I've finished reading it.

  6. Definitely research. I'll back you on that all the way!

  7. Most good writers are avid readers so don't feel guilty at all! I'm a children's author but I put lots of fun writing activities on my blog just to jump start creativity or writer's block. Please stop by!

  8. Helen, I loved Pillars also and I picked up the sequel at the library, World Without End.
    Haleine, I'm waiting for Mockingjay also but my 16 year old daughter gets first read.

  9. Thanks, Jan and Ava, for your support. I'm doing some more 'research' later tonight.