Reading the Genre

The day I discovered that I could run and listen to audiobooks at the same time was life changing. I subscribed to Audible that day. It’s a little shameful, actually. My library’s free app, Hoopla, got me started on audiobooks and I don’t know why I made the switch from complimentary to an app that requires you pay. But regardless of whether I’m paying for audiobooks or not, I’ve been consuming them like a mad woman. I listen while I’m at the gym. I listen in the car. I listen while I walk my dog. I listen while I’m cooking on the Amazon Echo. I’m just chewing through them.

Before anyone gets on me about the purity of turning pages, I also have paperbacks sitting on my nightstand like a good little emerging author. I get through those too, just slower.

I mostly listen to contemporary fiction. Occasionally some classic fiction gets in there, and I had a brief side quest into the world of self-improvement and a little non-fiction, but by and large fiction is my jam.

I am, however, writing YA. Through this whole process I have been drawing on influence from my childhood and teen years. I’ve re-read some of my faves. But with pitching and hopefully publishing right around the corner, I know I need to be more up-to-date on my chosen genre.

Last weekend, I ran my first full marathon. It took me over 5 hours. That means over 5 hours of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I loved it and strongly encourage you to read it. I won’t go into detail because I wouldn’t want to spoil it, but it captures first love in a way that I remember and aspire to write. It was very inspirational and will be, I’m sure, very influential in my writing.

So, naturally, when I finished it today my next step was to download another one. I’m completely re-addicted to reading YA. I think, though, that it’s going to make me a stronger YA writer, and a stronger pitch when it eventually comes to that.

Just 23 days until I leave for my retreat and finally put the polish and love on my first manuscript, Hot Mess #1. Depending on how much work I need to to do with it. I may even be able to continue writing Hot Mess #3 and start the first round of revisions on Hot Mess #2.

What are you reading right now? Is it helping your writing? I’m always looking for recommendations!

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