I’m going through changes in my reading and my writing. I used to binge read in categories. After a while, they all started to feel the same, so I have to switch off what I read. Lately, I’ve discovered Robyn Carr‘s Thunder Point and Virgin River series. These are complex, well-written books, and make me care for the fully-fleshed main characters – and the secondary characters. They’re longish books that involve a whole town and many people.
Jennifer Estep does that in all her books, too, though she writes paranormal, YA paranormal, and urban fantasy. And I wouldn’t say hers are longish; they’re just right. In Dale Mayer‘s Psychic Vision books, she often brings in characters from other books in the series, too. She’s building a community in her books. So does Mary Hughes in her punk rock musician Nixie books (with a new release out now, Murder at Chipmunk Lake) and Michelle Diener in her three series.
My contemporary romances are set in a community, and it makes me a little crazy to remember characters from previous books. Right now, I’m writing a Halloween novella for a box set that will be published in early October. The hero is from a Rescued Hearts book, and the heroine is from a Miracle Interrupted books. Before I could start writing, I had to go back and read to find out the ages of everyone and calculate how old they’d be now. And since one character was pregnant in Finding Awesome, I had to figure out if she had the baby or not. (She did. )
I’m finding I like novellas a lot, as a writer and a reader. If they’re fully fleshed out and don’t feel rushed, they can be a satisfying and fast read. I’m so busy that it’s often pleasing to read a story in one night. But sometimes I’m hungry for the complicated, bigger books.
It’s really a lot like food. I don’t want to eat the same food all of the time. I like a variety and I wish I had more time to experiment in my cooking. Yet we usually have pizza once a week. And that’s good, too.
What about you? Do you like a variety or do you tend to read one genre and one size?