- by Chris Marie Green
But on to the topic….
The other weekend, someone asked me what I like to read and how that fits in to how I write.
What a great question, because I used to read for pure pleasure. But now?
Not so much.
That’s not to say I don’t read anymore. Boy, is that ever not the case. I’ve merely reshaped my reading time so that it adds to whatever I’m writing at the moment, whether it be an urban fantasy, a steamy romance, or a home-and-hearth relationship story. I still enjoy my reading, yet as with the trips I now take (all of which inevitably end up in one book or another—but I’ll blog about that in the future), my reading now comes back to my writing.
This makes it sound as if I’m mired in research reading though. Again, uh-uh. I love the adventure of words too much to restrict myself to any “type” of reading. It’s just that I’ve come to use my reading material as inspiration rather than escape.
I’ll explain what I mean. A few years ago, when I started writing more books per year, I began my own blog, where I actually detailed what I was reading during the writing phase of my first Vampire Babylon book, NIGHT RISING. What I listed wasn’t necessarily what someone might expect from “research.”
First, I delved into Drew Barrymore’s memoir LITTLE GIRL LOST. (Bear with me—the connection to my noir vampires will make sense in a second!). Drew had quite a life as a youngster, embarking upon what pretty much amounted to a second career in drinking at the age of nine. That’s not a typo, either. Nine years old. The drinking—and utter lack of self-esteem—also led to a coke habit and stints in rehab.
So what the heck does this have to do with vampires? I was actually hoping for a glimpse into the pressures and details of childhood stardom, because one of my pivotal characters in NIGHT RISING was a child star who fell from grace. LITTLE GIRL LOST gave me some ideas about what a young entertainer might encounter–and get away with–in Hollywood.
Another odd choice for reading during the creation of a vampire book? DUNE MESSIAH and CHILDREN OF DUNE. These books served a huge purpose—to inspire me in piecing together a detailed world that would hopefully seem as if it could operate somewhere out there. If I was going to build a world, I wanted to learn from the best. Besides, adapting the phrase “Fear is the mind killer” ain’t a bad thing when you’re in the midst of creating a book that’s challenging you. But with challenge comes the giddy possibility of success, and changing fear into something that drives you forward is a wonderful trick.
To round this off, I thought I’d just share my newest book trailer for BREAK OF DAWN, Vampire Babylon, Book Three (which is on shelves now!), and if you see any lingering hints of Drew Barrymore or DUNE in it, you’ll know the reason….
Enjoy, and good luck winning FIRST BLOOD!
(You can click on the next link to watch the video or go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ReLmr6MYk8 to watch.)