What are You Reading Today?

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I just finished the third book of the Outlander series, Voyager. I can’t stop thinking about these books and am holding back on buying the next one. There’s a lot to absorb in these novels. The first in the series was 560 pages, but Voyager was over 1,000.

The author tends to go into quite a bit of detail. In fact, I could use less details. Get on with the story! I’ve learned a lot of history, too. Mostly about the failed attempt of the Scottish Highlanders trying to regain the throne for Bonny Prince Charles in the 1740’s.

The book is a time travel novel, too. Clair Randall accidentally steps through one of the stones at an ancient stone circle while visiting Scotland with her husband. It takes her back to 1743 where she meets husband #2, Jamie. There is too much story to sum up in a few sentences, so I won’t try.

If you’re not a reader and think the story line is interesting, Starz has turned the books into a series. My husband has watched and liked it. Although, be forewarned, I had to skip over some scenes in the book and knew I couldn’t watch during the series. There are highly mature themes of a sexual nature in these books–Outlander especially.

The story of Jamie and Clair continues on for eight books. I thought I could stop after book one. But the need to read the next kept gnawing at the back of my mind. The characters stayed with me. Such a good lesson for writers. Shouldn’t all good books do that?

So tell me, what are you reading today?

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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

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“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”
—Virginia Woolf

Virginia was right. Every author has written a part of themselves into their books. Think about it. If a writer doesn’t share a part of him or herself, like a singer or an actor, the audience doesn’t connect.

How much do you put in your writing? Are you willing to admit a certain character is based on your life? Are some of the scenes based on reality?

I admit some characters are part of me. How could they not be? Others are based on people I know. When it comes to dramatic moments, I may have embellished the stories to make them more exciting for the book.

During a book club meeting, some readers brought up a concern in one of my books. They found it hard to believe that my main character continued to do a certain action over and over again. They felt she should’ve learned her lesson and wised up.

Funny, that storyline came from the real world. Mine. I did that same thing. Over and over. Teens are still learning their way and make different choices than their adult counterparts. Some good. Some not. They tend to believe their peers when they say they will change or listen to their lies as if they were telling the truth.

The readers’ reactions to my answer were looks of surprise. The discussion topic changed. We talked about how we all can relate to poor choices as teens and how you learn and grow throughout life.

Life experiences. They’re part of every author’s story. I think most writers can easily share them in their books.

Secrets of the soul. That’s pretty heavy. I don’t know if I dug that deep yet. But it might make a pretty interesting book.

If you plan on being a writer, listen to Virginia. Look inside yourself. You may be surprised by the stories you find there.