Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A Break with Romance

I am taking a break from romance. Reading, not writing. Although I am also branching out into other areas of writing as well with a shift to more mainstream historical fiction and, of all things, children’s books. Then there’s that crime/legal thriller that’s been kicking around in my cranium for a little over a year now…

But I digress.

You see, here’s the thing. Firstly, I love historical romance. It combines all the elements that interest me – history, adventure, relationships. But lately, that’s all I’ve been reading, and I’m discovering that sometimes too much of a good thing is not such a good thing. Even my favourite authors who never fail to keep me glued to the page are not doing the trick. I don’t feel the same joy I normally feel when I delve into a new story. And it isn’t because the book is not a good book, it’s simply because I am craving something different. Like I overfed on Caesar salad and now I’d sell my own mother down the river just to have a taste of Greek.

Okay, I wouldn’t actually sell my mother down the river. I like my mother. She’s highly entertaining, survived having me as a daughter, and makes the most amazing apple crisp. But you get my drift. I want something different. In reading material, not mothers, that is.

And it isn’t as if I don’t have a bevy of books to choose from. My TBR pile has a plethora of selection. Granted about 65% of that selection is historical romance, but I also have plenty of historical fiction, fantasy, literary and a few contemporary. I have authors like Ken Follett, Anne Bishop, Emma Donoghue, and Marisa De los Santos sitting on my shelf. I have classics like Middlemarch and North and South waiting to be picked up. I have a few borrowed books I’m sure my critique partner would like to get back that are completely outside the norm of what I would normally read but still look interesting.

So here is what I’m doing – for the rest of the summer I am going on a self-imposed hiatus from historical romance. I will start working my way through the other 35% of my TBR pile. I will rediscover my joy of a good story well told in genres outside my usual comfort zone. My imagination is feeling the need to expand and reach beyond its boundaries. It’s growing stagnant and that’s never a good thing for a writer.

So off I go. Should be an interesting summer.

8 comments:

Anne MacFarlane said...

I get tired of the same genre, too. I've been reading thrillers for the past month or so. Reading mostly female authors but now I'm burnt out on serial killer/sex crimes.

Julia Smith said...

Enjoy!

Melissa Marsh said...

Switching up yours genres is a great way to improve your writing, I think. I just recently picked up a romance novel after having abstained from them for a couple years.

Trisha said...

If you get a chance, try Greg Iles. He is top-notch and his characterization is so good. All his characters are very complex, real people. He wrote Turning Angel in 1st person, present tense. I thought I'd hate it but it is riveting. True Evil is excellent as well. Also Jeffery Deaver's The Blue Nowhere is terrific, especially the shocking plot twists that he is known for and the villain.

I think one of the big problems with historical romance is finding anything different, like NOT set in Regency England with a hero who is NOT a duke. To me, they all sound the same. It's always about the heroine's rep and scandal and the ton. Some of the paranormals and spy theme historicals provide a little variety.

Bonnie Ferguson said...

Happy reading! :)

Lexi said...

Kelly, that's a GREAT idea! Enjoy yourself!

Peggy said...

Mixing it up is an excellent idea. You'll be surprised at how much it also feeds your writing as well.

kacey said...

You go girl! I've actually been contemplating stealing my dh's guy suspense novels and reading them this summer...Time for a change.