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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

M.J. Scott: Reading Loves

If anyone asks how I became a writer, part of me wants to point to my parents and grandparents and say "it's all their fault". Not because I come from a long line of writers (in fact, can't say that I know of any in the family tree) but I definitely come from a family of READERS.

My parents are both teachers who loved books and I learned to read before I went to school. Reading was encouraged (well, apart from the odd argument about how I should actually put the books down occasionally to go to sleep or go outside and run around or go to school) and books were supplied and libraries joined. It's been a lifelong addiction.
It was my parents who first gave me books like the Hobbit and the Narnia books and the stories of E.E. Nesbitt and Susan Cooper. They introduced me to the many worlds of fantasy. Elves and magic and secret worlds and great quests. Honor and bravery and good versus evil. I was hooked.

It was my grandmothers, also keen readers, who gave me my first tastes of romance. They gave me classics like Anne of Green Gables (ah, Gilbert) and the What Katy Did books. Hooked again. As I grew older they added Heyer and Austen to the mix. (Romance with men with swords and frock coats and women in gorgeous gowns...plus come to think about it, a lot of honor and bravery and good versus evil in a different way).

Ever since those first tastes, it's been fantasy and romance that I turn to when I want comfort or just to lose myself in my type of story. With all those stories filling my head, I guess it was inevitable that I might start writing down some of my own. I wrote in school but then did more seemingly sensible things for a while. But the stories kept fighting back and eventually I gave in and started writing again. My first book, SHADOW KIN, came out yesterday and it's probably also inevitable that it is a fantasy with a healthy dollop of romance. It also deals with good versus evil and whilst my heroine really doesn't like gorgeous gowns, there's a hero who believes in honor, and the odd sword and pair of breeches make an appearance. Apparently, I write what I know (or what I love, rather).

So let's talk about reading loves. What's your favorite genre or sub-genre? Do you like gritty suspense, sparkling regencies or the drama and glamor of a Harlequin Presents? Kick-butt urban fantasy heroine who can out-Buffy Buffy? Alpha male military heroes? Do you stay true to your love or do you like to mix it up? I’m giving away a copy of SHADOW KIN to one commenter.

M.J Scott is an unrepentant bookworm. Luckily she grew up in a family that fed her a properly varied diet of books and these days is surrounded by people who are understanding of her story addiction. When not wrestling one of her own stories to the ground, she can generally be found reading someone else’s. Her other distractions include yarn, cat butlering, dark chocolate and fabric. She lives in Melbourne, Australia. You can find out more about her at her website or Twitter, Facebook.

22 comments:

Keziah Hill said...

You and I have very similar reading histories Mel. I could read before I started kindergarten and read many of the books you mention. I've always been a great crime and mystery reader but I love most other genres as well except perhaps for very hard techy scfi.

Sonali said...

Hi MJ,

Congratulations on your Debut release. Wishing it all the best.

I am a die hard reading fan of the romance genre but if i find a storyline that interests me, i will pick up the book and read it.

M.J. said...

Keziah, I struggle with hard SF too sometimes...I have a few military hard SF series I like but will confess to skipping over the long technical descriptions lol

M.J. said...

Sonali

Thank you! And it is hard to go past a great romance : )

Sarah Mayberry said...

Mel, you're freaking me out. I read all those books as a youngster, too. Loved Susan Cooper so much. And we've already bonded over Sheri S Tepper. Hope the launch day celebrations were suitably licentious!

M.J. said...

Sarah, obviously a woman after my own heart. I still re-read the Dark is Rising books every so often!

Launch celebrations have been ongoing!

CrystalGB said...

I like to mix it up. I read paranormals, urban fantasy, historicals, contemporary(including category) and YA.

Lil said...

I read almost everything, it just depends on my mood. However,my current love is for urban fantasy.

Congratulations on the release of your book.

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

petite said...

Congratulations and best wishes. Your post was lovely. I enjoy all fiction and non-fiction especially historical fiction.

traveler said...

Your post was fascinating. I read mystery fiction and enjoy family sagas. I grew up reading anything in our house. Loved reading from an early age.

M.J. said...

Crystal, I read all over the place too and more than one book at once!

M.J. said...

Thanks Lil! Urban fantasy is my fave fantasy sub-genre. Something about those strong heroines and weird critters : )

M.J. said...

Traveler, thank you! Mysteries are good...I tend to stumble onto mystery series late then binge on a whole series. I am currently working my way through the Jack Reacher books (though I guess they're bordeline thriller) but spacing them out so I don't overdose!

Na said...

Congratulations on your just-released book! Shadow Kin has a fantastic cover by the way.

I can also attribute my love reading from a family of book lovers. There are books everywhere in our household, everything from cookbooks, history books to novels. I can't say I have a dominant genre perference because I read everything and always mix it up. I grew up reading a lot of historicals, the classics, Little House on the Prairies, Anne of Green Gables so historical fiction is one of the genres I really enjoy. I recently discovered urban fantasy and science fiction books and loved that too. I'm never running of things to read, rather it's reading time I need more of :)

Cambonified (at) yahoo (dot) com

M.J. said...

Thanks Na! Yes, I was blessed by the cover fairies (or the Roc art department!). It's true, when you read all over the place, you don't run out of things to read : )

And I hear you on needing more time to read!

marybelle said...

I will reach for an Historical Novel before any other genre, but after that I'm all over the map. I love a great thriller, mystery, romance: you name it.

M.J. said...

Hi Marybelle!

Good to see another omnivore reader!

M.J. said...

Hey everyone

Thanks for stopping by! Through the magic of random.org, the winner of the copy of Shadow Kin is Lil!

Lil, I will email you.

Pat Cochran said...

I read everything except dark para-
normals and extra-spicy eroticas! I
guess you would call me a "mix-it-
up-er"!!!

Pat Cochran

Laurie G said...

I primarily read historical and contemporary romances. I do mix it up with YA, suspense, paranormals and inspirationals. i'm just learning about Urban Fantasy. I'm always willing to try new genres and new authors. Best wishes for continued success with your writing!

M.J. said...

Pat and Laura, mixing it up is a good thing to do : )
And Laura, thank you!

SiNn said...

to be honest i lve gritty suspence and paranormal with heros mroe kick but then ange and heroines more kick ass then buffy once and a while i want sparkly historicals

your book sounds awesome congrats on its release