Friday, May 8, 2015

A Reading Smorgasbord by Diane Burton

Do you read in various genres? Or just one or two?

I’m an eclectic reader. First and foremost, I read science fiction romance. I didn’t used to. I was afraid I’d inadvertently use someone else’s ideas in my own work. Then an author I admire told me to read more in the sub-genre I write so I would know the tropes, the language, the abbreviations that writers use and readers expect. I can’t tell you how many new (to me) authors I’ve discovered and enjoyed.

I read sweet romances and gritty suspense. I find Young Adult books intriguing. Where were those books when I was a teen? When I was in my twenties, my girlfriend suggested I read Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances. Loved them. Recently a friend, Alyssa Alexander, began writing Regency suspense. Way cool. A perfect combination.

I’ve always read mysteries, starting with Nancy Drew when I was a kid. My mom had a whole set of them and I read everyone. I love mysteries and romantic suspense that include humor. Slapstick comedy like Stephanie Plum or situation comedies like M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin. I like Bob Mayer’s military suspense novels and Nancy Gideon’s vampire and shifter stories.

So many books to choose from . . . so little time.

Since I love mysteries, I decided to write one. A story about a private investigator who sometimes takes chances she shouldn’t. I set it in a fictitious resort town on Lake Michigan, a place similar to where I live.

Small town . . . big case.

After taking over O’Hara & Palzetti, Confidential Investigations from her dad and his partner, Alex O’Hara’s bottom line has taken a plunge. So when a femme fatale offers her the case of a lifetime along with a huge advance, Alex sees her finances on a definite upswing. She might even be able to change her diet from ramen noodles to prime rib.

But someone doesn’t want her to find the long-lost brother. Complicating matters is the return of Alex’s old heartthrob, Nick Palzetti. Is he really there just to see her or does he have an ulterior motive? The Lake Michigan resort town of Fair Haven is abuzz with the news that O’Hara & Palzetti are together again.

Diane Burton writes romantic adventure . . . stories that take place on Earth and beyond. She blogs here on the 8th and 30th of each month and on Mondays on her own site:


Margo Hoornstra said...

Can't wait to read this one, Diane. I remember those Nancy Drew books. Then, for me, Phyllis Whitney took over. Kathleen Woodiwiss and I was forever hooked.

Jannine Gallant said...

Loved Nancy Drew and had a huge collection of them. Read a lot of historical romances then switched to suspense. My writing followed the path of my reading. Nice post!

Chrys Fey said...

I read books in just about every genre. I have broad tastes and I love to learn about writing through reading lots and lots of books. :)

Rolynn Anderson said...

Love your cover, Diane. Brilliant color and cute touches. I, too am eclectic. My book club choices keep me reading stuff I never would have picked up. I like literary fiction (All the Light We Cannot See, by Doerr), but I don't write it. I write light suspense spiked with romance...and I do like to read that genre as well as write it. Just finished an Ann Rice for the fun of it...won't read another. It's all about right or wrong, for sure.

Diane Burton said...

Margo, I loved Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, & Daphne du Maurier. Those ladies did gothic romance so well.

Jannine, I know what you mean. I can't help writing a suspense into my stories.

Chrys, me too.

Thanks, Rolynn. I love the cover, too. I belong to a book club that "makes" me read books outside the romance genre. Some I don't care for at all. As you say, it's about preferences.

Patricia Kiyono said...

I loved reading about Alex and Nick. I sure hope there are new adventures coming up for them! As for reading habits, I guess I like to read a lot of different sub-genres, but I enjoy a good romance no matter what the setting.

Alicia Dean said...

Love this book! You do mystery very well. I also love reading a variety of genres, and while I am willing to try books out of my normal genre, I often find that I don't enjoy them. My pleasure reading time is so limited, that I have to really be grabbed up front, regardless of genre. :)

Alison Henderson said...

I enjoy reading most genres, although I've never been able to get into dark paranormals. I love the look of your new mystery, Diane. Best of luck with it!

Leah St. James said...

This looks terrific, Diane! Just grabbed my copy for Kindle. :-) Fantastic cover - perfect for the genre. I started with Nancy Drew, also. I was hugely hooked on Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books. I still remember their adventures on the plains during blizzards. (I think it was the start of my dislike for snow!) Then I got into Victoria Holt and the Gothic mysteries, then Kathleen Woodiwiss came along. :-)

Diane Burton said...

Thanks, Patty. No matter what I read I always love the romance. I'm so glad you enjoyed Alex & Nick. Of course, there are more stories waiting to be written.

Thanks, Alicia. I reserve my reading time for bedtime. Some nights it's a page or two; other nights I read too long.

Alison, I don't care for dark paranormal either. Glad you like the cover. I do, too.

Leah, thanks for picking up a copy. I never got into the Little House books. Now Kathleen Woodiwiss--loved her stories.