Sunday, November 06, 2011

When You're Not Reading Romance

I've had a bit of an enforced break from writing,  working on  the keyboard, looking at the screen, just recently.  It wasn't what I wanted but it's been necessary and I hope  it will be doing me some good. A few health problems have  meant that I'm having to follow doctor's orders to 'pace myself' and one of  the  things I'm supposed to 'pace' - or in this case 'ration' is my time at the computer screen. A series of bad headaches that have a nasty tendency to turn into flashing migraines if I over do it means that I need to restricrt the time I spend at the computer and do other things.

It's slightly scary how much 'extra' time I have when I'm not  able to work or blog  - or even email. (If you've been expecting an email from  me then  please accept this as my excuse!)  I've done some gardening, cleared out a coiple of cupboards, planned a new kitchen . . . ready for work to begin next year.
And I've read. Reading doesn't give me migraines - the print doesn't flash in my eyes, and I can focus on the page for much longer than a screen.

But because I'm not supposed to work too much   then reading romance  hasn't been so enjoyable as usual - if I read romance, I immediately want to write it. I see how someone has dealt with a plot point in their story and it makes me want to work on a  similar problem in mine. Or a character fascinates me and I want to  go away and work on my hero or heroine and make them as interesting and give them added depth - but I'm not supposed to!

So I've been changing my reading habits around and grabbing books from my TBR pile that are not romance and so don't tempt me in this way -   and I've really been enjoying it.

It's sort of refreshing to read stories  that aren't romances and I've been gobbling up books at a surprising rate. I think it's because I'm deliberately reading something differernt and so it's refreshing and new.

So what's  movedfrom my TBR pile to the HBR (has been read) shelf?

A couple of great thrillers.  Last year my son and I discovered  Linwood Barclay at the same time and now we both read the new book as soon as we can. My son gave me Never  Look Away and last week I  started this   knowing what would happen. It grabbed me, as  Barclay's books always do, and I stayed up late at night to finish it.

Back in February I taught my usual Fsihguard Writing  Weekend  - where I teach the advanced course in Romance Writing - and one of my 'students' was a published novelist called Susan Moody -  she wanted to learn how to put more romance into her stories - though personally I'm not sure she needed to. She has a new book out this year Losing Nicola, a story about the way that finding out the truth about the past can affect the present - and solve the mystery of a long ago murder.  I lost myself in this one.

Or how about Second-Hand Heart? If you've seen the film Pay it Forward then you'll  know  the work of Catherine Ryan Hyde. I've been fascinated by stories  of  the way that heart transplant patients seem to take on some of the characteristics of their donors and this fascinating book deals with that - and then what happened wheh the heroine  who has received the heart meets up with the widower of the donor. . . .

I have  more non romance books on my TBR -  the story of  The Princes in the Tower - and whether one escaped - a biography of Billy Joel  . . . The story of the murder(?) of Amy Robsart in 1560 . . . all  very different from the romance I usually read and write.  And I'm having a great time - I feel refreshed, stimulated - keen to get back to what I'm reading. I think taking a break has renewed my interest in books and sparked off new ideas . .

The only trouble is that now I want to put those new ideas into writing my own books - and 'pacing' myself isn't easy!

What about you? If you're not reading romance - what do you read? Have you tried anything new,  discovered any great new authors recently? I don't really need anything now on my TBR pile - but I'm always open to suggestions.

And as Charlie the Maine Coon hasn't picked any winners lately, he'll be glad to know that I'm celebrating.  I just heard this week that my  Presents Extra title The Proud Wife has been nominated for Best Presents Extra Reviewer's Choice Award   2011 in Romantic Times.  You may remember that The Konstantos Marriage Demand won this  award in 2010. This was one really great email I read in the time I was allowed to look at the screen!

So I'm offering a copy of The Proud Wife as a giveaway to someone who comments today - or a copy of The Konstantos Marriage Demand if you've already got TPW. I love sharing celebrations with everyone.
This post is the latest stop in my Big Blog Tour that is still going on. (you can find the details here)   So I hope you’ll join me as I visit lots of different blogs all over the world. There are posts, writing advice – and lots of giveaways. 

Kate Walker’s The Return of the Stranger is out in Presents Extra in America or Sexy Romance in Australia. You can find out more details over on Kate's Web site – with all the most up to date news on her blog.

And Charlie has just picked the winner (s) He's greedy and he's picked two so
Brunette Librarian and
Di please email me with your postal addresses and I'll get the prizes in the mail to you!

Hope to see everyone else along the way on my blog tour - there will be more giveaways then


Caroline said...

Hi Kate. I did wonder where you have been. Sorry to hear that you are having migraines - horrible things. I get them every now and then - but thankfully not too often. I hope you are feeling better now and not doing too much.

I went to the library last week (for a change!) and took out 5 books from the "Real Crime" section which has always fascinated me. It was interesting to read about unsolved crimes (one was the Millie Driver case which as we now know has been solved). I also read about crimes in the 19th Century - the "bodies in the baths" was a fascinating one! Anyway -enough rambling! Wishing you all the best - Caroline x

Kaelee said...

Hi Kate ~ I was also missing you. I know how it is with computers. I don't read many on line books as my eyes get tired and dried out. It seems like that is a common complaint among computer users as people don't blink often enough.

Congratulations on the nomination.

I have Linwood Barclay's first book in my TBR. I'm going to dig it out and read it after I finish The Return of the Stranger which I finally got in my Harlequin order this week. I enjoy changing up things a bit. Room by Emma Donague was my last diversion and it was an awesome study in human nature.

I bet you have reams of long hand notes around right now. Take care of yourself.

runner10 said...

I enjoy suspense books. I have an iPad and am now entering the world of ebooks.

The Brunette Librarian said...

If I'm not reading romance...I read Young Adult Romance :) I've recently joined a few book clubs..which are fun and definitely get me to reading things I wouldn't normally. I'm not into just general fiction but it definitely has its shining stars. Wonderful post today!

rachie2004 AT yah00 *d8t* c0m

chey said...

Sorry to hear about the migraines. Have you ever tried accupuncture?
When I'm not reading romance, I read Thrillers, Suspense, Mystery and YA.

Leni said...

The books that I read that aren't romance are mysteries, thrillers, and just about any kind of suspense. I've been reading some of the same authors in these genres and haven't read a new author yet because I've been reading the latest releases of my favorites.

marybelle said...

I branch out in my reading when I find a great author - usually daughter recommended.

Congrats on the nomination.

I'm following the tour & enjoying it. I'm on your newsletter list.

Di said...

I enjoy the Harlequin Presents books; reading them is like armchair travel & they've been the closest I've gotten to traveling to Greece & Australia. My reading has branched out a bit more lately. In mystery I've recently read & enjoyed Rhys Bowens 'Her Royal Spyness' series (I suggest reading them in order). If you like the BBC mystery series, you should like these. Hope you don't have any more of those headaches, but our bodies do have ways to let us know when we need a break.
sallans d at yahoo dot com

Laurie G said...

The Book Thief Markus Zuzak
Hunger Games series Suzanne Collins
Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians
The Lightening Thief

Tim Dorsey's satirical books set in Florid,
Michael Crichton
James Clavell
Lee Child

Deanna Favre's book DON'T BET AGAINST ME

I want to read Jane Fonda's biography.

johnslake at usa dot com

Kate Walker said...

Oh dear - 'pacing it' does mean I'm a bit late in coming back to answer your posts. But I am here now! And Charlie is ready to pick a winner when I've given him the names

Kate Walker said...

Hi Caroline - Thank you for missing me. I used to be fascinated by the True Crime books - read loads of them but then of course the Babe Magnet started writing true crime - and he took over that interest! Have you ever read anything by Anne Rule? She's American and so are the crimes she writes about - but she reports them brilliantly

Kate Walker said...

Thank you for your thoughts Kaelee - and I really hope you enjoy The Return of The Stranger when you read it. I envy you just starting out on reading LinwoodBarclay - that first book just gripped me. And Room is something someone else told me about - it sounded fascinating

Kate Walker said...

Hi runner - I envy you that ipad - I keep wonderign whether to treat myself to a kindle or an ipad . . . But I love real paper books!

Kate Walker said...

Hello Brunette Librarian (that would have described me in my past before I started writing) I used to love YA books then - still do - and I had the pleasure of ordering books for the YA section of the library so I got to read them first! It was a real treat

Kate Walker said...

Hi Chey! I used to try acupuncture but I haven't done for a while - perhaps I should go back to it.

BTW - do you know that Charlie picked you as a winner over on The Writers' Playground at the end of last month? You need to claim your prize - email me for details

Kate Walker said...

Hello Leni - it seems a lot of us like to read thrillers as a change from romance - it's a real contrast of genre isn't it? I have been so absorbed in some great thrillers recently. I hope you're enjoying the new releases of your favourites

Kate Walker said...

Marybelle- isn't it great when your children recommend a good author? I often find new great reads when my son recommends them - and I suggest authors to him.
Thank you for your congratulations

Kate Walker said...

Hello Di - I agree with you - I think our bodies do tell us when we need a break and I'm trying to 'listen' to mine! It does help that I'm enjoying reading so much. Presents novels are great for armchair travel aren't they?

Kate Walker said...

Laurie - that's a great list - The Hunger Games is a title that keeps coming up and I think I'm going to put that on my TBR list - about this time of year I put book titles on my list and then if anyone wants an idea for Christmas they can use that! That way I get what I want ;o)

Kate Walker said...

And Charlie has just picked the winner (s) He's greedy and he's picked two so

Brunette Librarian and
Di please email me with your postal addresses and I'll get the prizes in the mail to you!

Hope to see everyone else along the way on my blog tour

Nas Dean said...

Hi Kate!

Congrats on the RT Reviewers Choice Award for your THE PROUD WIFE, Kate!

And you certainly are a powerhouse! Unknowingly another Craft Post crept up! Once again it's DownUnder! 9th November at

And is with another GIVEAWAY!