Literary Love: Reading and Writing Across Genres

Where to begin? Kudos goes to my mother (may she rest in peace) for instilling in me the love for books and to my oldest sister for picking up where she left off.

I honestly don’t remember when I started to read, but I grew up in a small town without a library or a bookstore, so the first books I ever read belonged to my older sister. As the second-last born in a family of eight kids, I was introduced to more complex books at a very young age, starting with King James Bible. I didn’t read the bible to understand the scriptures or for religious purposes. I just loved those old testament stories. Angels fighting with people, Sodom and Gomora… Noah and the Ark… So when I sat down to write my first fantasy series, I focused on angels. Okay, mine are children of the fallen angels, but po-tay-toes, po-ta-toes.

AwakenedBetrayedCOMING APRIL 2nd 2013

There weren’t a lot of MG and YA books in the seventies, so I devoured what I could find, like Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. My older sisters read romance and my brothers read general fiction, so I’d mix age appropriate books and adult ones. FYI, couples in romance books didn’t even kiss until the last chapter. I’m not sure who to blame, or thank, but I’m one of those readers who get bored easily when they read one genre for too long.

I went through a stage when all I read was romance. I’d focus on contemporary only, get tired and switch to romantic suspense, then historical. Then I’d gt bored and switch to fiction. I recall getting into medical thrillers when I discovered Jonathan Cook’s books. I swore I’d become a doctor when I grew up. Then my brothers introduced me to Mario Puzo’s books, the Godfather and the Sicilian (my favorite) to name a few. Got bored. Espionage held my interest the longest after I discovered works by Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum. Detective… courtroom drama… non-fiction (Scott Peck’s the Road Less Traveled books). What can I say. I’m a bona fide book wh*re. Then YA and MGs became big and I found new food for my hungry, restless mind.

I reached a point when reading, going back and forth between genres wasn’t enough, so I started to write. Like my reading habit, I write whatever interests me, shifting from genre to genre-contemporary romance with or without suspense (Fitzgerald series), urban fantasy (Guardian Legacy series) and paranormal (Runes series-with my agent), children’s picture books (Little Leo and his pet Cuckatoo-taking up space on my computer) and MG (Fairy Tales with a twist-unpublished). Who knows what I’ll try next.

Are you an eclectic reader or are you more selective?
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About Ednah Walters

Author of several YA/teen series: The Guardian Legacy YA books about children of the fallen angels who nuke demons between classes and high school drama. Runes series (NA) about Immortal soul reapers and their interraction with humans. And contemporary romance series about an Irish-American family on the west coast and their search for love in these trying times

17 thoughts on “Literary Love: Reading and Writing Across Genres

  1. I LOVED Nancy Drew! And you know I love your Guardian Legacy series. SOOOOO good! I could talk all day about how awesome your books are.

    I do read a variety of things. I love paranormal, romance, fantasy, and mystery. I’ll also through in some sci-fi and dystopian.

  2. I was reading Hardy Boys books before I was ten. Even then I thought it was strange how they were the same age in every book. 😉

    I read more widely when I was younger, but these days I focus on SF/fantasy, with an occasional historical fiction or mystery thrown in.

  3. I’m much more of a fixated reader. My reading habits last for decades. When I was a teen (the time I really started reading voraciously) I was a bit more eclectic, but obsessed over the Anne Rice vampire books and Robert Heinlein’s sci-fi (dating myself here). I probably didn’t read a single word other than what I had to in college (which was less then you might think since I was an art major). Out of college, I jumped into mysteries and Stephen King, then pretty much stopped reading for about 8 years when my kids were little. Then along came Harry Potter, and what started as me reading to my daughter became the massive obsession I have with YA. Yes, Harry started as MG, but gradually slid into YA–and there I have mostly remained, chewing through the best ones I can find. And right after I finished reading Harry Potter book four, I finally started writing. So, thanks for that JK!

    • JK is amazing. I got into MG with R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps then her books. I’m one of those anal mothers who must read books, especially the first book in a series, before I let my kids touch it.

  4. I browse other genres at least once a year. But after a handful of books, even if they’re all fabulous, I always end up returning to my favorite genre– which is anything fantasy. 🙂

    I’m currently reading “The Art of Racing in the Rain”, by Garth Stein, (from the “Literature & Fiction > Women’s Fiction > Domestic Life” category… according to Amazon.)

      • Racing in the Rain is told from the point of view of the family dog. (that alone made me want to read it!) But I was crying so hard by the end of chapter one, I could’t pick it up again til just recently. (Apparently, putting my own dog down is too fresh of a wound.) But it’s very good, and Universal Pictures is currently making it into a movie– starring Patrick Dempsey. 🙂

  5. Oh! And I’m not such a mixer. I love contemporary fiction. I try to read any buzz books … the ones every teacher, librarian or author is talking about. I try to read best sellers and award winners. And I love non-fiction, too.

    • Heidi, I smiled reading your response because I have a daughter who is a total hipster, If everyone is talking about a book, she will go out of her way NOT to read it. She’ll find an abscure author and read all of his or her books and shun what every teenager is reading. Through her I found Neil Shusterman (sp), not sure if he’s unknown but he writes most amazing books… she also got into Emily the Strange… don’t know who wrote that. She wasn’t always like that, but as long as she’s reading I’m happy.

  6. I love that you were reading “weighty” books at an early age. By age ten, I’d read all the books in the children’s section of the local library (not so difficult – I think it was two revolving racks) so I moved on to the mythology/fantasy section. (Yeah, they were lumped together. Like I said, this library was small) By junior high, I’d read the Iliad, Odyssey, Beowolf, Lord of the Rings, Idylls of the King, and other great works. Then, I went on to earn a science degree, and read nothing but nonfiction for ten years. And, I loved it all.

    • Like you, I got my phD in science (chemistry) and I wasn’t reading journals after journal, I was eyebrow deep in research and loved it. even now, the best part of writing for me is research and typing THE END when i finish a WIP

  7. Nancy Drew was a gateway drug for me… I started pulling books from the library based on spine size for a while (the Oz books were great for that) and then found my way to anything about magic and witchcraft. (I think my parents thought I was going Wiccan at one point…) There wasn’t much paranormal YA to read when I was young, but that was totally my thing! Great post!

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