“Read widely, and without apology. Read what you want to read, not what someone tells you you should read.” – Joyce Carol Oates.
When I moved to the Gold Coast nineteen years ago, a deal of time was spent working out where to live, and in what type of accommodation. My biggest laugh transpired when inspecting a complex of units which boasted all sorts of gee whiz facilities. The library was proudly displayed. “Over two thousand books,” we were told.
I sniggered. Back then, my own library boasted three times that number of volumes, even after trimming it enormously before making the move. Now, well and truly settled, the number has been pruned by more than half again. Further editing is required.
These days I buy only from friends, people with whom I’m sharing the writing journey. The less heavy lifting when I eventually downsize, the better. Besides, here on the Gold Coast we’re so fortunate. Books are available in abundance from the wonderful library system.
Recent reading has reflected my wide-ranging interests. A book about Chaucer. Years ago I saw a play based on his Canterbury Tales. But there is so much more to learn about him. And I can call it research, given that he was writing centuries ago, and the children’s book I’m working on is set in a parallel medieval world.
My consort brought home a non fiction book about Paris. By Eloisa James. I nonchalantly informed him she’d been a guest at one of our Romance Writers of Australia conferences, we’d occupied the adjacent room in the hotel, and that I was sure we’d actually had a brief conversation with her. Reading Eloisa’s fascinating account of a year spent in Paris prompted reaquaintance with some of her historical novels. That, in turn, lead me to the novels of Lisa Kleypas. I’d known the name, but had not explored her stories. I promise, if you give them a try, you’re in for a treat.
The other day, my consort again brought home a fascinating non fiction book, by a New Zealand journalist, Sarah-Kate Lynch, who just happened to have worked for the newspaper group he’d worked with for a while. Screw You Dolores is a hoot! For any would-be writers out there, sending out work to editors and agents, a letter in reply to a submission of a fiction manuscript by Ms Lynch (thanks, but no thanks) is hilarious! It ends with the discouraging words: In line with our new ‘green’ publishing initiative, we will be using your manuscript as toilet paper.
Ms Lynch has since been published in the fiction sphere, several times. I’ve read the story referred to above. How wrong was that publisher! The Wedding Bees is a wonderful modern romance. Highly recommended!
So, if you receive a thanks, but no thanks from a publishing house or agent and it reads a little discouragingly, toughen up, think of Ms Lynch, and try again!
The Heart Has Its Reasons is available for ORDER by clicking this link https://www.bronwynhouldsworth.com/books