In the last week, I’ve read one YA paranormal, one standalone contemporary romance, one historical romance, one book on tarot and a book about how villages have evolved, grown and developed in Britain.
Quite aside from the fact that this is more than I have read in months (thanks in part to the suggestions on my Reading Page) it also tells you quite a lot about what I’m working on at the moment.
The YA was because I’m (still!) revising mine for the agent that requested the R&R (we’re several versions into this one now) and I was worried about losing the tone. Keeping a hand in with other YAs means that, in theory at least, my voice stays teenage. Next up on the reading lists is another YA, because I’m still revising the damn thing, and have now read other stuff in between and started forgetting that my teenage protagonist doesn’t use certain words or phrases.
The contemporary was because I’m just starting planning on a new series that I’m envisioning as light-paranormal-romance-with-a-contemporary-feel. The idea is that the books are all set in the same very English, very proper village – with a stonking big paranormal secret. Each book has a new romantic couple, and I want their stories to be contemporary romance, just with the odd ghost, demon, or unexpected power. Reading really great contemporary romances helps me keep the feel I want in mind, even as I’m planning conversations with demons.
The historical, I’ll be honest, was just for fun.
The tarot book card was research for both the YA and the paranormal, actually.
And the village book was, obviously, for the paranormal series. I’m plotting out my village right now, trying to fit in all the little things I know I’ll want to use at some point, even if they don’t show up in the first book. I’m on the second draft of the map right now, and discovering new and exciting things all the time. My characters are going to get into so much trouble there… I can’t wait!
What about you? What have you been reading, for fun, or voice, or research?