Kira Morgan has been so great as to write a guest blog about her reading life, to go along with a blog tour of her new book called Captured By Desire. Be sure to check out my posting on the book.
First, let me say thank you for inviting me to your blog! It’s such a treat for me to interact with readers. After all, that’s what writing is about--reaching out and touching other people with stories we can share.
As with most authors, I started as an avid reader. From a young age, my mom took me on weekly trips to the library. My early reading consisted of stories with great imagination--Dr. Seuss, fairytales, L. Frank Baum’s Oz series.
Meanwhile, my dad regaled me with bedtime stories, both traditional and invented on the spot. He was always a great storyteller, and when I got older, he got me hooked on the King Arthur and Robin Hood books by Howard Pyle, which is where my affection for everything medieval began.
In grade school, I fell in love with mystery, fantasy, and science fiction. I gobbled up Alfred Hitchcock short stories, had a literary crush on the Hardy Boys, and read everything by Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, Edward Eager, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Madeleine L’Engle. In sixth grade I started writing my first medieval adventure. The cast was all boys--it always seemed like boys had more fun, and the story was a combination of dialogue I wrote and pictures I traced. I still have that crude story, which took place in England yet somehow included characters named Pedro and Jacques!
It wasn’t till high school that I discovered romance. My friends were sneaking Kathleen Woodiwiss books into class, whispering page numbers where you could find the “good” parts. I’d never read anything so exciting before. It wasn’t just the stuff you could see in soap operas--it was swashbuckling history and witty repartee and dangerous liaisons.
In college, I had a passionate love affair with Shakespeare, and historical romance authors couldn’t write fast enough for me. My favorites were Kathleen Woodiwiss, Deanna James, Jude Deveraux, and Julie Garwood, whose “Velvet” series really resonated with me. At the same time, I enjoyed the tension of the horror genre and read Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Robin Cook. (As a side note, because of my aptitude, it was strongly suggested to me in college that I minor in English, but since I was a singer and had no intention of becoming a writer, I ignored that advice!)
When I had kids, I returned to children’s books and a fondness for Shel Silverstein, Douglas Adams, and Norton Juster. I wrote a few original children’s stories, and I still have a collection of unpublished quirky poems that my daughter illustrated.
After the kids were old enough to pick out their own books, I returned to reading historical romance. Hugely inspired by Penelope Williamson’s “Keeper of the Dream,” I decided to attempt writing my own medieval adventures. I had soon authored a mega-book that ended up being my first three published novels.
During that time, it seemed like my nose was always buried in a research book. In fact, I didn’t do much recreational reading at all. It’s only recently that I’ve returned to reading for pleasure. I’m trying to slip in some of the classics--Mark Twain, Canterbury Tales, The Decameron. But I’m also enjoying Karen Marie Moning’s paranormals, Marshall Karp’s detective stories, and a few offbeat books like C.D. Payne’s Nick Twisp series, Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” and “The Unthinkable,” a nonfiction book about who survives when disaster strikes.
When I’m writing, I tend not to read in my genre, because I’m afraid I’ll inadvertently pick up on other authors’ phrasing or be influenced by their plot elements, so I sneak in historical romances between my own books.
What about you? Who are your favorite authors? Your favorite books? Do you read in one genre or many?
Again, thanks for having me. I hope you’ll give CAPTURED BY DESIRE a try, and let me know if it kept you up all night!