Thursday, September 3, 2009


Do You Read Romance When You Write?

Whenever I'm writing, I avoid reading romance. First and foremost, I'm terrified of borrowing. We all borrow, maybe a little teeny-tiny bit on occasions. For example, many authors write about shifters, paranormals, vampires, so of course there's a little bit of give and take that goes on, some small similarities from author to author, but I'm afraid of being influenced by what I read and unconsciously allowing another author to shape my story or my characters. That wouldn't be fair to either of us, so I stick with a strict diet of nonfiction during writing jags. I love to read magazines like, Sunset, Outdoors, Food and Wine, Cooking Light, The Smithsonian Magazine, The New Yorker. And I love the New York Times, especially Wednesday's edition - because of the Food Section. I might pick up a biography or something like, Into Thin Air, or occasionally a work of fiction that has no bearing whatsoever on romance. My fears about being derivative are so strong that as you might imagine, my Romance TBR pile keeps growing!

So those of you who do read while writing, and I know a lot of you manage to do so because I hear from you - how do you keep your work separate? I would love to know.

On another topic altogether, it is ungodly hot here and tinder dry. SoCal is burning and I can only hope we make it through the next two months without going up in smoke! The Santa Ana's will be here in October. Scary thought!


  1. I find lately I'm not reading at all when I'm writing. Magazines, maybe, but no books. My TBR pile is so huge it's scary.

  2. Julia this was a great topic. When I'm in the middle of a project I try to avoid reading too close to what I'm trying to write. I always have a huge list of books I want to read --should read... But when I'm writing I'm too tired at the end of the day. I usually end up watching the History channel or something mindless on VH1. I do bring a book with me to the gym and I read on the treadmill. I'm wishing for an e-reader so I can start taking some of these great ebooks with me.
    XXOO Kat

  3. I read every day. Romance, mystery, non-fiction, whatever strikes my fancy. I've never even considered worrying about "borrowing". I think my stuff is so far out there that borrowing is unlikely.

  4. I just read! In fact, I prefer reading to writing. But I have edits to do, and a book to finish so I need to get by fanny in gear and do it! *sigh*

  5. I'm like you, Julia. I don't read a thing when I'm writing. I might do some newspaper article reading or some research-type stuff but that's it. When I'm really into the writing everything else is a distraction.

  6. I do admire those of you who can read romance and work on a romance at the same time. Like Regina, it's just too distracting for me.