Every published author I have ever met or had contact with has always been an avid reader – or was perhaps until writing left little time for reading other writers’ efforts. Unfortunately, I have to confess though that I have also met folk who claim to want “one day” to write a book who actually read very, very few books.
Fortunately I have only met one lady like the one visiting our church many years ago. It was not long after I had my first book released, when this rather “forceful” lady told me she intended to write a novel too one day – in fact, a “Christian one”.
I rather tentatively asked the question I usually do when speaking to a would-be novelist. “What kind of fiction do you enjoy reading the most yourself?”
She tossed her head. “Oh, I’ve never read a novel. My parents would never let us read fiction of any kind.”
It was obvious by the look on her face she was quite serious. I had just met a reader who had never read a novel and yet wanted to write one!
After a quick, inner prayer for wisdom, I tried to explain how important it was to read a variety of novels of different genres to decide which she enjoyed the most. That would be the kind she would need to learn how to write herself. She stared at me in some surprise and it was obvious this lady did not agree with me. I have to be honest and admit I am glad she did not contact me again!
My biggest problem as a writer is the opposite of this woman’s. I simply want to read and read and read books by other authors. There simply never seems to be enough time to read all the books I’d love to. Sometimes I acknowledge it is sheer procrastination when I do not feel like writing my own manuscript. This undisciplined reader then has to deliberately ask the Lord for strength to stop reading, put hands on keyboard and write!
And what helps me the most to exercise discipline to work on my own stories? Being faithful in reading the Greatest Book of all – The Bible. Not only reading the scriptures is essential but pondering on the words, meditating on how God wants me to put His Word to me into practice in my own life, how He wants me to obey Him first of all in every area of my life. I have discovered He wants my life to be well balanced. I do need to read novels because I am a novelist and these are learning tools for me. Now, how did that author engage me in her story so I did not want to put the book down? What did she/he do in a book that left me feeling unsatisfied with the characters, perhaps the conclusion?
However, I also need to put into practice all the priorities God has for me each day – and not let my sheer enjoyment of a book lead me to disobey Him that day!
And of course, some days His priority is writing posts for this blog. And some days it is doing promotional work for published books as we are doing again this week. If you know of anyone who can be in Hobart tomorrow, do let them know both Ray and I will be signing our books at Koorong shop from about 11am to 3pm.
We love to meet our readers - and to read comments here too!
I am a multi-published, Australian romance author. Check out my Latest News page for updates about my books, current projects and speaking appointments.
As well as a few medical romances published by Harlequin Mills and Boon, I have contemporary and historical Christian romances from Barbour Publishing in America. My single title Baragula series were published by Ark House Press in Sydney. All my Barbour novels have been out of print for some years but available again as e-books. All three Baragula books are also out of print and will be released also as e-books. I still have a few print copies left to sell. See the Contact page on my website for details.
I enjoy being a member of writers' organisations, including my local Society Women Writers Tasmania, Romance Writers of Australia, Omega Writers Inc, and American Christian Fiction Writers.
I am available to speak and share about writing novels, my own writing journey and faith in our incredible God.
Watch out for my next projects: Delayed Dreams, a spin off from my Damaged Dreams Heartsong Presents book, and my next single title, Her Outback Cowboy.
Currently out of print but available still from author
Book One in 31 Day devotional series
The first of the 31 Day series. 5th one hopefully late in 2013.
Book Two in 31 Day Devotional series
Released from Even Before Publishing. Available from good Christian book stores and also as eBooks
Book Three in 31 Day Devotional Series
As well as from Christian bookshops, signed copies of all our books are availble direct from us. See our website and please email us for details. Ray's 31 Day Devotional books and Justice at Baragula are also available as E-books from Koorong and Word Australia bookshops and please check for Kindle..