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.