Like all writers I am a serious reader. I enjoy a wide variety of fiction including mystery, suspense, crime, and several other genres. I’m always reading something.
It may be a personal quirk, but when I’m working on a novel or even a short story I don’t read other fiction. I do continue to read non-fiction, mostly books on southern history and the Civil War.
Why do I have to stop reading fiction when I’m writing? Because I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. Just kidding; I don’t chew gum. Of course, I don’t have to stop reading other fiction. It’s just part of my work process. All of my focus is on the story I’m writing. Any writer will tell you that even when they aren’t actually writing they have dialogue, plot, narrative, etc, running through their mind. Sometimes it’s like a constant loop that doesn’t necessarily pause for sleep. I also don’t want anything from another novel – an expression, turn of phrase, or something else – to creep into my own work. This is my work, my voice, and my thoughts. I’m not trying to be anyone else. I don’t want to be anyone else.
My new novel, “Deep Water,” is coming out in a couple of weeks. I hope you’ll order a copy. It’s good.