Sunday, February 20, 2011

Writers: When Do You Find Time to Read?

Please welcome author Kat Holmes!

First off thank you so much for having me, I am thrilled to be here. What I want to talk about is reading vs. writing. I’m an avid reader and have been my whole life. And I have a killer memory. You hold up a book and if I have read it, I can tell you what it’s about from start to finish.

My love affair with the written word began before I even knew how to read. My mom, fellow author L.J. Holmes, would read to me as a child and I’d follow along. I knew the stories so well that if she tried to deviate even slightly I’d call her on it and make her tell the story properly.

When I was sixteen I wrote my first full length manuscript. It wasn’t good by any means but it was the start of life as a writer. Over the years I wrote many other things, short stories and poetry and whatnot. But I only wrote them for my family and friends to ever see. In the meantime I was still a huge reader. But only print books. I was one of those snobs who wouldn’t even think of getting an ebook.

But a few years ago I was up late with the flu. Having nobody to talk to and nothing to do I surfed the internet and came across an ebook website. Just for the heck of it to pass the time I browsed their books and was surprised that quite a few sounded interesting. So I decided to buy one…just one. It was called Christina’s Tapestry written by N.J. Walters. I fell in love.

Over time I developed a friendship with her and she encouraged me to try subbing my own work for publication. Okay, more like she hit me with a battering ram. J But her nudging paid off and I’m now an officially published author of ebooks. So much for my days of snobbery. But I have discovered something.

The more and more I write, the less time I have to read. My time is taken up with writing, editing, galleys, and promotions. I’ve got a huge pile of books and ebooks in my TBR pile, something that used to be very rare for me. I speed read. I was last clocked at 480 words a minute so having a big pile of books not yet read is odd to say the least.

Last weekend, I actually scheduled a break for myself so I could just spend the whole weekend reading books. I got through four books in two days. It was a lot of fun. But the times, they are a changing when I actually have to make a date just to read! But, writing and being a part of this wonderful community known as writers is the best adventure on the planet, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Again, thank you Three Wicked Writers for having me. I had a blast. And to the rest of you, happy reading! J

Visit Kat's Author Page HERE!


Lin said...

I am the aforementioned MOM, and Kat didn't just call me on deviating from the words on the pages of the books...she'd call me on not ACTING them out the right way. See I didn't just read to my children, I created a reading adventure...but the times they are definitely a-changing. Now it is KAT who creates the adventures for me to dive into with relish.

My daughter's storytelling voice takes my breath away, and I am not saying that JUST because she's my daughter. I am a staunch reading critic. There are authors that I have adored for years but the minute they become careless in the process of creating their stories, I will dump them in a heartbeat.

The story Kat wrote when she was 16 wasn;t so much bad as it was written by a young girl who had not yet learned anything about life. It was writing from that level of naivité that made it lack meat. If she were to revisit that story today, she would knock it out of the park...but I don't want her to do that.

Why, you are no doubt asking...because she has several series today and I don't want her to stop creating Book Six in her Gods At Work series, or Book two in her Artica Lights series. I adore how she has brought modern life to the Greek pantheon, and the land of Artica, her own mythological land is a place I really, really want to return to...later today will do, Kat, please?

Kat you have blossomed into an amazing storyteller turning this Mom into a Kat-groupie. Keep 'em coming Girl.

Viviane Brentanos said...

Great post, Kat. I, like you, have always been an avid reader. At age eight, I discovered Enid Blyton and I think I have read every series she ever wrote, Famous Five, Secret Seven etc. I too was a tad pompous. Hell, what normal 16 year old reads Dostoevsky and Tolstoy? But then I discovered Margaret Mitchell. Oh hail to the creator of Gone With the Wind? Will there ever be a greater heroine than Scarlett.
I am still an avid reader, but, as you Kat,I find I have limited time. I read in the bath; the only plave where I am not distracted. I prefer to read books out of the genre I write. Weird? Maybe but I find I am always critiquing a romance novel instead of enjoying the story.What I need is a housekeeper and promo assistent to free me up. any offers?


Wendy said...

Congratulations on having a passion for writing and finding the time to write. I know reading helps you become a better writer, but it's the writing that fulfills your dream.

Lissa said...

I read when I wake up, usually for about an hour before I get out of bed. I'll read at night before I go to bed. And some days, if I'm having a bad writing day or just a blah day in general, I'll take the whole day to read. And it doesn't have to be romance, though it often is, a fair amount of time is spent reading craft books...

I fell in love with reading when I was in 3rd grade and have never stopped.


Melisse Aires said...

I came from a family of readers so our house was always stuffed with books and we maxed out our library cards every week. I loved Enid Blyton!

I also had a much older brother but I read way above my grade level so I would poach his books. My mother did not censor my reading so I read some wildly inappropriate stuff!

I prefer to read ebooks now but still make a trip to the library or used bookstore now and then. I read in bed on my pda, or in the tub since soaking my bad knees helps me sleep. The Kindle sits on the coffee table between hubby and I but sometimes he grabs it first!

I read during my lunch and during nap time at my preschool when we are settling the kids down.

Ellee said...

Hi, Kat.

I was the girl who sat on the steps at recess with a book. The principal finally gave up and let me just stay in the library at noon recess. Now, thanks to being able to carry a library in my purse via my Nook, I read while I'm waiting--in the drive thru, at the dept. of licensing, on break at work...any time I can. Right now, though, they're mostly school books as I study intellectual property law. Fascinating, but I'm looking forward to reading for nothing but pleasure.

- Ellee

Molly Daniels said...

I used to love the standard testing time in elementary school, b'c that meant I could rush through the English part (reading, spelling, etc) and then READ until the time was up. Not so the case for the math portion....but you get the point. Yes, I also read during recess, and got to class quickly in jr-sr high so I could read some more.

Now, my reading time is pretty much confined to right before bed or while waiting for my kids/appointments. I love my Sony Pocket:) And now my youngest has his own library card, so there are weekly trips:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kat - First off - I want to read like you!! I'm envious.
I get what you mean about reading, how fun it is, and how it doesn't enter in any priority list when writing and promoting. It's really tough to do both, especially if you want more than one book out there (which is where I'm at right now). Congratulations, Kat - you are so deserving of your success.
Kay Dee

Kaye Manro said...

Hi Kat! Wouldn't we all love to read as fast as you! And still it is hard to find the time. I love, love, love to read. And it is so true, as we become writers and published authors our time for reading shrinks away. I try hard to fit it in, but sometimes I just can't find the time. That's why my tbr list is so big too.

Great post!

Jen B. said...

I am a reader and I am trying to encourage the same with my kids. In fact I was at Borders today looking for a book my daughter wanted. I will warn my family in advance when a book is coming out and I know that I won't be able to put it down. Case in point, the latest Fever book from Karen Marie Moning. I didn't even want to sleep. I also can remember details about books. Sometimes someone will question something and I can quick reference and find the answer. I have gotten many strange looks for that talent. I am finding it a little more difficult with ebook reading. I had always wondered how authors ever found time to read. Thanks for the blog.

Kat said...

Thank you everyone for stopping by. This was fun. I still love to read, I just don't do it as frequently. I don't have an e-reader yet, one is on the way. I'll be able to spend more time reading when it arrives as i'll be able to take books with me when I'm out to read. It's just really weird right now having to actually make a date to read. LOL

S.Durham said...

I know what you mean about having enough time to read between all we do! Congratulations Kat! Keep on writing!

Cheers, Sara