#ReadWithMe ♥ Finding My Genre

readwithme3In celebration of National Reading Month, Ms. Felicia is hosting this amazing blog hop for all readers to spread the love and joy of this favorite pastime with the world. If you’d like to join in the fun, please click on the banner above to add your post to the linky list!

The Novel Brick Road

Every reader develops differently, but it seems that we eventually come to a specific genre that calls to us more than any other. Even if we take brief detours, we come back to the one genre that always puts a smile on our face.

My path to Erotic Romance is paved like a game of hopscotch, jumping genres back and forth and crossing wide gaps in random patterns. I’m not counting all the books I read as a kid or had to read for school. I’m talking about when I started taking control of my own reading choices.

It started off innocent enough. The reading bug coming to nestle in my brain, demanding that I find something to entertain it. My mom had a wide variety of books to choose from. She was a fan of Stephen King, Terry Brooks, Ann Rule and V.C. Andrews – I didn’t understand these were all different genres. They were just books! I read Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always and wanted to live in his brain, but it was really V.C. Andrews I became addicted to for quite some time. Luckily, my mom had plenty of her books to feed my obsession.

I went through a phase following this that I call the researching years. I wanted to know things, so my dad and I started going to the library on a regular basis. I love ancient Egypt. I have books and then I have BOOKS, as in large Coffee Table hardcovers spanning every dynasty of Ancient Egypt. I was going to become the next Howard Carter. I was 14. I was also going to be a supermodel, fashion designer and a Marine Biologist. Not necessarily in that order.

Around the same time, I got my first taste of the paranormal from the (now famous) author L.J. Smith and her Night World series, which includes the well known Vampire Diaries and Secret Circle. This was the first author I ever purchased from a book store with my own money. It was a big accomplishment in my life as an avid reader. I had never heard of L.J. Smith before, but I suddenly had options. Lots and lots of options!

It led to more research. With the help of Francis Ford Coppola, I became extremely interested in reading everything I could get my hands on about the truth behind the myth of Dracula and the real life Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia. It eventually led to me learning about the medical condition of Porphyria, which disenchanted my research, so I returned to my fiction. I read Anno Dracula by Kim Newman. My dad never would’ve let me check it out from the library if he’d known what it entailed. A fanfiction sequel of sorts to Bram Stoker’s masterpiece with all of the dirty details a Victorian era Englishman would never dare to write.

On the hunt for new material, I found Anne Rice and never looked back. As much as I loved L.J. Smith, I couldn’t return to what I suddenly realized was very YA in comparison. More than that, Anne opened my mind up to the world at large, sating my inner traveler and historian simultaneously.

I became obsessed again, and only wanted to read Anne Rice… until I couldn’t find anymore of her books and needed another loan – mind you, this was before the wonderful invention of eBook retailers. Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey was placed in my hand with a “You have to read this,” and so I fell headlong into the mind-blowing world of epic fantasy. Now, I remembered, vaguely, The Hobbit from when I was younger and my favorite movie The Last Unicorn. It was a bit nostalgic diving back into this kind of world – only better, because it was at an adult level without losing any of the wonder of magic.

My first book idea was born on the cusp of my 18th birthday, but not yet hatched… more on this later.

Over my young adult years I read a wide variety, even some non-fiction, but mostly it was keeping up with authors I already knew, like Rice and Lackey. Then I ended up with a Nora Roberts book (honestly can’t recall how) and found myself obsessed yet again. I wasn’t alone this time, though. My friends got on the same kick and we had a grand time swapping books, buying new ones to share, putting them on our birthday and Christmas wish lists and discussing them like crazy. I think between just 3 of us we might own almost 75% of the books she’s ever written… okay, maybe 50%. Nora was my first true Romance author and not what I’d been expecting. I had never even glanced at the ‘obvious’ romance books on the shelves with the bare-chested buccaneers and Scarlett O’Hara wannabe’s.

Having children gave me the perfect excuse to return to YA with Harry Potter, Narnia and Eragon… yes, the books, not the movies (though, I love those, too). My oldest also has some of the Immortal Instruments novels, which I’m very tempted to read since watching City of Bones.

Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb unwittingly led me to my first erotica series, though it falls further under the Crime/Detective genre, the sex scenes are explicitly detailed, whereas Nora Roberts’ usually aren’t. I think she sneaks it in every once in awhile.

I went through a stint where I felt left out from a pop-culture standpoint, because I’d never read any of the ‘literary classics’. So, I attempted the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and found it far too dry and boring (don’t hurt me), so I moved onto The Catcher in the Rye, which was entertaining, yet 100% pointless (again no hitting). Of Mice and Men left me emotionally damaged and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is a prophetic masterpiece that’s already coming true, therefore should be reclassified as non-fiction horror.

My first BDSM novel was Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. Again, by ignorance. I thought it was just a fantasy. I was deliciously wrong. Later, I found out that Anne Rice also had other pseudonyms… and why. Exit to Eden followed by the Sleeping Beauty Chronicles added to my Erotic-BDSM shelf, Belinda borders on taboo and I haven’t finished reading it, but I think it might be along the lines of Nabokov’s Lolita – don’t quote me on that.

The ability to read an eBook helped open up the Erotic Romance genre for me even further when I became a reviewer for a friend’s reviewing site. It wasn’t long, though, before a new bug burrowed into my brain demanding to be fed – and I started writing…

But, I will save that for the next post. 😉

Are you still reading the same genre you first fell in love with, or perhaps the second? How many genres span your most cherished collection?

Get Your Read On

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The Daily guru’s are calling today’s Prompt “The Great Divide.”  Codswallop!  There’s no division in reading, that’s arithmetic – which I loathe like the dentist’s chair!  Just for that, I’m ‘dividing’ your two-part question!

When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction?

Both.  I’ll normally choose fiction when I want to be entertained, get lost in another’s creative imaginings.  But…

When I’m extremely interested in something, I will read everything about that subject I can get my hands on! I find that equally as fun and/or fulfilling.  Not to mention, like most writers, I want my books and characters to stand out, so I research in order to try to find different ways to tell the same ol’ tales.

Now, have I ever found manuals/text books/articles/etc. that I’m ‘required’ to read fun?  Pfft, no!  Most people (aside from Literary students) don’t enjoy the things they’re forced to read, whether it’s for work or school.  My eyes cross, the words blur and my comprehension level drops to subzero.

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Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?

Uh, hmm….  Well, I guess I started out reading fiction as a child, then progressed to researching.  I spent several years looking for the real Dracula, reading everything I could find on Vlad Dracul III, Prince of Wallachia, aka Vlad Tepes “The Impaler,” while simultaneously researching Ancient Egypt.  Mostly, I think I was driven by the idea of ‘discovering’ the answers to long-standing mysteries. (That was all pre-internet, too, when we used this funny building called a Library!)  In the interim I was breaking up the tedium with fiction books like Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey, Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice or The Secret Circle by L.J. Smith.  I saw one as learning and one as relaxing. I know now that that was a wrong assumption.

I will always prefer Fiction because I enjoy reading and writing fiction.  “Read what you write” – oh, I do!  And despite what some people believe, you truly do learn how to write by reading the things you enjoy most.  You learn how to structure sentences and hone your ability to discern styles.  You also expand your vocabulary – a lot!  Just, please, do not tell my kids that they’re learning or I’ll never get them to read again! 😉

I will always prefer Non-Fiction in the form of research, real-world topics that interest me, and genealogy.  “Truth is stranger than fiction” – boy, ain’t that the truth!  I never knew just how much, until I started doing my own family research.  I’ve even shared some of those stories with you all here.

As far as the great divide goes, I say “Read and let read!”  No matter what you prefer or why, reading is a vital tool for entertainment, inspiration and knowledge that everyone should have the right to enjoy.  I don’t really see a point in arguing over which is better, but I suppose if you have nothing better to do, then by all means…

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…I have far too many books to read, subjects to research and manuscripts to write, myself.  Am I alone?  Let’s find out:

  1. Fictional Facts | From Balderdash To Epiphany
  2. Boring | Gut Honest Faith
  3. Daily Prompt: The Great Divide | VexingPoint
  4. A Song A Day Keeps The Sadness Away #34 | Life Confusions
  5. Non Fiction Is Not Boring, I Repeat – Not Boring | Really Just Words
  6. Daughter Of The Ganges – Asha Miro | Our Gorgeous Chaos
  7. Timeless Pleasure | My Daily Minefield
  8. Fiction or Non-Fiction…it’s all the same | Ryan Erickson Writing
  9. What’s Ur Poison? | Ripples N Reflections
  10. Fiction! | Just Writing!
  11. The Great Divide: Philosophical Non-Fiction | Rubber Tyres –> Smooth Rides
  12. On Writing | Risingrave28
  13. Adventures Neverending | Mojowritin’
  14. The Great Divide | tnkerr – Writing Prompts and Practice
  15. (NO)N FICTION! | The Undaunted Blue Madness Of My Life
  16. 50/50 split | Designer Sophisticate
  17. No Divide Here | Prairie Views
  18. The Great Divide: Fiction Or Non-Fiction | Awake & Dreaming
  19. Hail Fiction…daily prompt | Saya…D Poet…
  20. The Great Divide, really?? | perferviddreams
  21. The Great Debate | Passion through Poetry
  22. Of Fact or of Fiction | The Lark’s Roost
  23. Why Else? | you ain’t special
  24. Fact or Fiction | A Day In The Life
  25. The Great Divide | A Little Fluff
  26. Longest Reading Queue, Purely For Fun | TyroCharm
  27. I love reading | Life as sirli
  28. News Blues | Lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown
  29. Fact or Fiction | Seeking An Enriching Life
  30. My Fiction: functionally non-fiction | A Nameless Space
  31. This is How I Read! | Sweat, Tears and Digital Ink
  32. Stranger Than Fiction | Ginger Musings
  33. Fiction or Non-Fiction? | My Creative Writing Log
  34. Fiction For Me | Tony’s Texts
  35. It’s Not the Genre That Matters | ROUND THE WORD
  36. Fun but not Facts | Takeshi’s Flight
  37. Fiction Rules | Musings of a Soul Eclectic
  38. Fact – Stranger than Fiction? | agonyandecstacy
  39. Give me Fiction or Give Me Facts | Monkebus
  40. Fiction vs. Non-Fiction? Seriously? | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  41. The Great Divide | A Penny For Her Thoughts
  42. Fact or Fiction | Rideo, Ergo Supero
  43. Fiction or Non-Fiction | My Simple Life
  44. Faeries and Fiction | A Teenage (Poet’s) Life
  45. This isn’t Real is it? | The Daily Blabber
  46. NO GREAT DIVIDE | SERENDIPITY
  47. JUST READ | jk109
  48. LOST | A lot from Lydia
  49. “Who am I?” – a bookworm’s introspection | Writer’s Abode
  50. The Great Divide – let’s upload a book | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  51. What Happens to Me | Flowers and Breezes
  52. The Great Divide | Raven Haired Girl
  53. ~Daily Prompt~ The Great Divide | My Book Self
  54. The Bibliophile in me… | Berryduchess
  55. The (non existing) Great Divide | Estelea’s Blog
  56. I will carry your dreams.. | The Wandering Poet
  57. Does it Matter? | joatmon14
  58. The Great Divide | Vintage 1956
  59. The Great Divide | Amanda Ho’s Blog
  60. Non-Fiction Is My Bag | From Slacker To Scribe
  61. No Frictions in Fictions? | Hardethaewoh’s Blog
  62. Choosing Sides – The Great Divide | Thoughts of a crooked mind
  63. I’m more like Archie… | djgarcia94
  64. How To Tell Fact from Fiction – Five Tips | Emotional Fitness
  65. Reeding is Gud! | The Brie’s Knees
  66. Fiction Baby! | Giving Thought
  67. THE GREAT DIVIDE | stream of consciousness
  68. Daily Prompt – The Great Divide | RobertMcQ
  69. Post A Day: Fact or Fiction? | Corinthia Lynne
  70. Over the other one | Pigeon’s Blood Ruby
  71. Escape From Reality | The Sunny Narrative.
  72. The Great Divide | Daniel Gregson
  73. The Great Divide | Life, Lyrics and Lemoncake
  74. Fact or Not-Fact | The Gad About Town
  75. For non-fiction we have real life | Camembert & Chocolate
  76. Page Turners | Thoughts From the Front
  77. the great divide | crystal blue persuasion
  78. Being Fictional! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
  79. Fiction or Nonfiction? | Words from the heart
  80. The Best President That Never Was | This Blog Needs A Title
  81. The Written Word | Day to Spade
  82. Fantastic Flights | Barryjack’s Place
  83. The Big “What If?” | A Just Man Is Hard to Find
  84. I read what I read | Willow’s Corner
  85. I ♥ Grammer | wtf Am I On About Now?
  86. Fun of the Fiction | Halfway Amazing
  87. to Fiction or Not to Fiction? | brian writing
  88. The Great Divide | INSPIRING MAX

It’s Show Time!

Lestat

Lestat – Queen of the Damned

Seriously, I have a problem…

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Damon – The Vampire Diaries

dracula

Vlad – Bram Stoker’s Dracula

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Lucas Hood – Banshee

 

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Eric Northman – True Blood

I can’t seem to stop rooting for the not-so-good-guys…

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[Nic]Klaus – The Originals

…(Or the not-so-good-girls!)

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Pam – True Blood

Wait a second… there isn’t a single ‘good’ person on Banshee, so I guess I’m rooting for the whole damn cast!

Ivana+Milicevic+Antony+Starr+NOvZ08S-Uy3m

Rebecca, Job, Lucas, Carrie (aka Ana[stasia]) – Banshee

And of course I watch the Game of Thrones, but that cast is just confusing.  Everyone I started out hating, I now root for and everyone I used to root for is now dead… except two.

Hail Khaleesi!

Hail Ayra Stark!

 

*I do not own anything related to these shows or movies.  All rights are reserved by the actors, producers, studios, networks or agents, respectively*