You need to read more, yes you!

By Maria Piork

Young naked Man and woman in love are kissingA writer on reading….

I think we can all agree that every craft takes great practice. Look at athletes, even professional chefs, they take days, weeks, even months to perfect a new technique or a new recipe. So, it stands to reason that in order to become the best writer you can be that you invest in your craft and for serious writers this means dedicating time to both reading and writing every day.

I believe most of us writers understand this concept: a good reader makes a good writer. But, what does this mean, really? Well, it means that we writers need to fully immerse ourselves in reading the writings of others, quality writings at that. And this does not mean reading only material in the genre in which you focus, but across multiple genres. Realize that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with reading a lot in just one topic, however, you will stifle your growth as a writer if you fail to read beyond a single subject.

Now I’d like to share with you five well-known authors* and the way in which each has helped me define my own style of writing. See below in alphabetical order:

Sandra Brown – romance/suspense

Ms. Brown blends suspense with an element of contemporary romance. I enjoy reading Ms. Brown’s books because the stories are well-plotted and they offer just the right amount of tension. I also enjoy Ms. Brown’s ability to skillfully weave the romantic element in her stories.

Patricia Cornwell – suspense/tension

Ms. Cornwell writes predominantly murder mystery books, whodunit type of material. Ms. Cornwell’s background in forensics makes the autopsy scenes come alive on the page, the level of detail is phenomenal and the reader is engrossed in the moment, we can sense, almost smell the morgue, the embalming fluids. As a CSI: Las Vegas aficionado it’s really no surprise that I enjoy Ms. Cornwell’s work.

Rachel Gibson – romance/tension

Ms. Gibson writes sensual romance with a dash of eroticism (right up my alley!) and her characters are strong and ‘real’, and by real I mean flawed; her heroes are not all sensitive-guy meets Viking-god meets knight-in-shining-armor type of guy. I enjoy reading Ms. Gibson’s books because the stories are sexy, provocative, and emotionally satisfying.

Sandra Hill – romance/humor

Ms. Hill writes contemporary romance with a blend of drama and humor. Some of Ms. Hill’s writings are downright goofy at times, but it makes for a quick pleasant read. I enjoy reading Ms. Hill’s books because her characters are likable and the stories highly entertaining.

Iris Johansen – mystery/tension

Ms. Johansen is a master as weaving great sexual tension with elements of mystery. The women portrayed in Ms. Johansen’s books are often strong to the point of obnoxiousness. Nevertheless, I enjoy reading Ms. Johansen’s books because the stories are suspenseful and the level of sexual tension is outstanding. The characters flirt, disagree, flight, flirt, argue; all foreplay, of course until the moment they surrender to their urges and copulate. Awe-some!

*Material written after 2005.

So there it is folks, my top five! Do you know what you particularly like about your favorite authors?

Thanks for reading!

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