About Writers On Reading

Welcome to Writers on Reading! You can expect a great author interview every Friday. Plus some fun drawing giveaways you won't want to miss during the month of June! So make sure you enter! Click here for scheduled interviews. Our goal is to present the books writers love, so through their interviews, you can get to know writers as readers too. (And hopefully find new favorites!) I remember a special thrill whenever I heard my favorite writers loved the writers I loved. Here, I hope you'll share my delight of discovery. I am arranging interviews and will soon be listing upcoming guests. If you have a question you'd like asked, or if you'd like to be guest, please use the contact form below. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, 28 August 2015

Writer Susan Page Davis On Reading

Susan, welcome to Writers on Reading.
Thanks for having me here, Deirdre!

You are a prolific writer! Children’s books, Historicals, Mystery, Romantic Suspense---just name it, and it seems Susan Page Davis has written it! I cannot begin to guess what you’ll read! So, I cannot wait to ask: as a reader, what themes do you find yourself most drawn to when you’re picking your next reading adventure?

I love stories with adventure and emotion, and I find that the theme of reconciliation and forgiveness—one I frequently write about—resonates with me when reading as well.

It seems you have a new book releasing every month! With so many books coming out, you must be frightfully busy. When you’re writing, do looming deadlines hold your full attention or do you find time to read too? If so, what did you read while working on your latest book? If not, did you treat yourself to a book after you typed The End?

Well, it’s not quite that frequent. I did several books release this year.

One of the newest is a novella called Blue Moon Bride, a historical romance. It appears in the e-book Twelve Brides of Summer Collection #1, and also in the paperback Old West Summer Brides. Next year, the publisher will release a 12-in-one paperback of the complete Twelve Brides of Summer series.

A lot of the reading I do while writing is for research. For instance, I’m now writing a cozy mystery concerning a magician for the Mysteries of Silver Peak series from Guideposts Books. As part of my research, I recently read a real magician’s memoir. While researching Blue Moon Bride, I read Captain Jack and the Dalton Gang: The Life and Times of a Railroad Detective, by John J. Kinney.

Sounds fun! Do you read during the months you spend writing a book or is it either/or for you? If so, what did you read while working on your last book?

I do read novels during my writing periods. I find it relaxing. I’ll often choose something in a totally different genre from what I’m writing. If I’m writing historical romance, I might read a fantasy or a thriller. Right now I’m writing a cozy mystery, and I decided to read The Secret Life of Bees, a coming-of-age novel that came out a decade or so ago. One of my kids is scheduled to read it for a college literature class, and I thought, “I should have read that ten years ago.”

I've been regretting not reading that sooner and wanting to get to that book all summer! Now I do have to...What was the last book you absolutely couldn't put down? Why?

I guess that would be The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd. Despite the rough language in it, the story kept me turning the pages.

Did a book recently make you laugh/cry/shiver?

Van Reid’s books always make me laugh. I recently read Fiddler’s Green, in his Moosepath League series. It got off to a slow start, but once I was into it, I loved it. And yes, I cried over The Secret Life of Bees. I’m happy to say, the ending was more satisfying than I had feared it would be.

Were you the kind of kid/teen who loved reading? Which novel do you first remember reading?

Oh, yes! I don’t recall the first one, but I know I read Clarence the TV Dog as one of my first chapter books, and Miss Pickerel Goes to Mars. We had a bookmobile come to our rural community from the state library, and through it I discovered many books, including romance, mysteries, science fiction, and classics. Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one that stuck with me all this time.

A fantastic book, indeed! Glad you loved it. What is on your to-read list?

I want to read Van Reid’s Moss Farm, and also the “next books,” whatever they are, from Randy Singer and Julilana Deering.

Sounds like you can expect some good reading ahead, and we can expect more great books from you! Thanks for taking the time to visit with us and letting us get to know you better as a reader. Where you find the time baffles me, but I’m glad to hear you get to enjoy both the pleasures of reading and writing. Folks, you can continue to connect with Susan Page Davis at the links below and browse her many books, too!


Susan Page Davis is the author of more than sixty published novels and novellas.  Her historical novels have won numerous awards, including the Carol Award, the Will Rogers Medallion for Western Fiction, and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest. She has also been a finalist in the More than Magic Contest and Willa Literary Awards. A Maine native, Susan now lives in western Kentucky. She’s the mother of six and grandmother of ten.

Susan’s website:  www.susanpagedavis.com (sign up here for her monthly book drawing and occasional newsletter).

Heroes, Heroines, and History, where Susan blogs on the 23rd

of each month: www.hhhistory.com

Twitter: @susanpagedavis

Buy Blue Moon Bride in the e-book collection: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XIW4FQ2

Check your Wal-Mart for the paper version, Old West Summer Brides.

Susan’s newest offering, The Reliable Cowboy: http://is.gd/6H9wBZ

Friday, 21 August 2015

Writer Angie Brashear On Reading

Angie, welcome to Writers on Reading! Congratulations on your debut book, Of The Persecuted, recently being chosen as a finalist for the Laurel Awards, as well as all the other accolades it has a garnered this year! Since it and its sequel, Of The Coldblooded, are both Young Adult Fantasy, I’m curious as to what’s your favorite reading genre? Other than genre, what else do you look for when choosing your next reading adventure?
Thanks. I’m excited to hang at Writers on Reading today—can you hear my squeals through cyberspace?!? {very big grin} My favorite genre is Fantasy Romance. I love speculative fiction, and while it took me a long time to admit it, I also LOVE a strong romantic thread. These days, now that I’m blessed to call so many writers friends, I rely on their recommendations when choosing my next adventures. But…covers have a huge impact on whether or not I make a purchase. I love to stare at beautiful designs and to smell the pages of a new paperback. Just sayin’…

Hah! I didn’t know anyone else sniffed paperbacks! Well, since you mentioned covers, as a writer you should know better, but as a reader you know we all do it…so, when did you last “judge a book by the cover”? How did it work out?

Oh, I DEFINITELY judge books by their covers. I can’t help myself! The Selection by Kiera Cass, and it worked out well for me. I enjoy a strong romantic thread, and that’s just what I got.

What was the most out-of-character book you’ve recently read, and what led to your choice?

Okay, {imagine me with pink cheeks}… I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn not too many months ago. I thought it was no more than a psychological thriller, which it was, but the content was a little too risqué for my preference. Well, a lot risqué. Yet, I finished the story and, quite honestly, found it to be disturbingly brilliant. In my opinion Gillian Flynn is an incredible writer. She seems to possess a unique grasp for realistic dialogue. I must admit, since then I’ve taken more care to dig deeper into reviews before plunging into a new book. LOL!

Laughing with you! I imagine you will. Your most recent book in this series released this summer, but you’d better be working on the third book we’re anxious to get our hands on. Do you read during the months you spend writing a book? If so, what did you read while working on your last book?

After a much needed vacation from my non-fantastical day job and from writing, though I love it greatly, I’m definitely working on book three (of which only my amazing editor, ahem…you, and my critique partner know the title). I do not generally read when I’m in writing mode. I’ve so little extra time outside of work and taking care of my three awesome kids that I tend to focus on two of three “hobbies” at a time. Long-distance running, reading, and writing—inevitably one of my loves suffer.

I well understand. (Wish I shared your love of running, been sitting at my desk waaaay too much lately.) What was the last book you absolutely couldn't put down? Why?

Hm, tough question. Most of the books I read consume me until I’m finished. But probably The Selection. I read the entire series in one weekend. What can I say, the romance was fun.

The entire series in one weekend. Well, there’s a recommendation! Did a book recently make you laugh/cry/sigh/shiver?

Ah, how about cringe? That’d be Gone Girl.

Angie, seems someone else I know is “wicked honest”! Were you the kind of kid/teen who loved reading? Which novel do you first remember reading? (And do you still have a copy?)

Oh, yes! The very first book I ever stayed up all night to read and reread was Key to the Treasure by Peggy Parish. I must’ve been in first or second grade then. To this day, I imagine how fun it would be to spend the weekend searching for treasure. I remain a proud owner of the adventurous story, and even my kids have read it.

That’s special! See why I love these interviews? When did you know you wanted to write? Did any or multiple books influence this desire?

Writing became my dream when my fifth grade teacher read aloud to my class The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Adventure and possibility became real to me through Lucy Pevensie’s journey. Most importantly the story opened my heart to faith in the One True God and ultimately led to my salvation. Though it wasn’t until a few years ago when my assistant suggested I take up writing that I admitted to others my childhood dream was to be a writer. I’d kept it a secret until God used my assistant to motivate me, to help me believe in myself. There’s so much more to this part of my journey, way too much to share today with you. But…I welcome anyone to hop on over to my website to read about my journey to publication.

(Folks, you should read her journey.) Has any book stuck with you recently? What created the lasting impressions?

Defier by Mandy Fender. She’s a fellow Indie author and dear cyberspace friend. (Can you believe we both live in Texas and have not yet met?!?) It’s Christian dystopian, but unlike so many other stories of the same genre, readers have the excitement of watching our “normal” become dystopian. Most frightening in a realistic way, the main character’s journey represents the possible future of Christians, at least from a standpoint of persecution.

Sounds like a good book. I do love dystopian done well! With summer in full bloom, what is on your to-read list? And what is your ideal summer reading experience?

Next up for me is A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr. Last summer, I judged a contest in which the second book of the series, The Hero’s Lot, was a part. I loved the story and have been meaning to read the entire series since. And now it’s next on my list—yay! My ideal summer reading experience includes a hammock and uninterrupted reading, though triple digit temperatures in Texas prevent such luxuries this time of year.

Is there a book you are looking forward to rereading?

Yes, A Time to Die and A Time to Speak by Nadine Brandes. She’s my critique partner, and it’s fun to reread her stories just before she sends me the next to critique. I can hardly wait to get my hands on the final installment in her Out of Time series! Truly, she’s a talent amongst her peers.

Another great recommendation. I do have to read those soon…Speaking of reading lists, if Laila, the heroine from your fantasy series, were to choose a book from today’s shelves, what do you think it would be?

Probably exactly what I’d choose. Seriously. In a lot of ways, Laila is like me. As a teenager, I was insecure (probably somewhat annoyingly so) and had to grow into confidence. So she’d adore an adventurous love story…just like me. In our opinion, it’s the best kind of escape story. A lay-in-a-hammock kind of escape story.

Fun to know and so true. Not to mention a kind you write well! Angie, thank you for dropping by. It was a hoot getting to know more about you as a reader. Folks, you can continue to connect with Angie and find out more about her acclaimed books at the links below her bio.

BIO: When Angie Brashear isn't working or taking care of her family, she writes. Usually at night after her kids fall asleep. She's a fan of speculative fiction and an avid runner, both of which perplex her football-loving, nonfiction-reading husband. Saved in her early twenties, Angie is grateful for the Lord's presence in all aspects of her life. She is originally from Rockland, Maine and currently resides in Cameron, Texas with her husband and three children. Along with being a Laurel Awards Finalist, her debut book also received these notable considerations:
Clash of the Titles Winner for June 2014
Shelf Unbound Notable BookCategory of Epic Sagas for December/January 2015
Finalist in the Fantasy Romance Category in EPIC's eBook Competition for 2015
Foreword Reviews' INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards Finalist for Romance for 2014


Friday, 14 August 2015

Writer Rebecca DeMarino On Reading

Rebecca, welcome to Writers on Reading! Congratulations on your release last month! To Capture Her Heart looks like a fantastic follow-up to A Place in His Heart. (By now, it’s probably pretty obvious that I love artistically matched covers in a series, and I’d have to say yours came out beautifully!)

Thank you! I love what Revell had done with the covers, and I can’t wait to see book #3.

That makes two of us! As a historical romance writer, do you find yourself reading your genre more often than others? Can you tell us what else speaks to you as you pick your next reading experience?

When I’m writing I do a lot of research so my reading is mainly nonfiction histories and biographies and I’m fascinated by those. When I’m taking a break I love to read historical novels, and if they have romance so much the better! I’m a big fan of Jane Kirkpatrick’s novels and she is an inspiration to me.

Despite the fact that these books are based on your ninth great-grandparents, I imagine a great deal of research went into this series. Between that, and deadlines, do you find time to read during the months you’re writing? If so, what did you read while working on this book? If not, did you treat yourself to a good book, when you sent To Capture Her Heart off to your publisher?

While my reading habits change while I’m in the writing mode, I do love the research I do! While researching for A Place in His Heart and To Capture Her Heart I did read a lot of histories and biographies, and I keep reading that type of nonfiction while I’m writing. Or I might read a writing craft book in the evening. Once I turn the manuscript in I’m ready for a good novel! After I turned To Capture Her Heart in, I read Camille Eide’s Like There’s No Tomorrow, and I really enjoyed it.

Were you the kind of kid/teen who loved reading? Which novel do you first remember reading?

I was! I always was checking out a book from the library, sometimes a stack! As a child, it was The Black Stallion series that really sparked my love of reading. In the ninth grade, I read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, and I discovered a passion for the classics.   

When did you know you wanted to write? Did any or multiple books influence this desire?

I took a creative writing class in high school and always knew I wanted to write a novel. I enjoy reading many genres, but I was reading quite a bit of suspense and thought that might be what I would write. But life took a turn when I went with my mother to Long Island to see the lighthouse named after our ancestor, Barnabas Horton. So much information about Barnabas, so little about his wife, Mary. I wanted to give her a voice! And about that time I discovered Jane Kirkpatrick’s A Gathering of Finches. I loved that book! So while I believe my writing has been influenced by my passion for reading most all of my life, Jane Kirkpatrick’s stories of real people, and in particular strong women, set in fiction have been the greatest inspiration to me.

Oh what a very special thing to discover. Sounds like perfect timing. So, aside from Jane's, has any book stuck with you recently? What created the lasting impressions?

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It’s been out awhile of course, but I just recently read it---it is completely charming and is one you want to hug to you after you finish reading it. I love this quote, “I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”

Very special to find a book you feel that way about. Sounds like another to add to our to-read lists. With summer just starting, what is on your to-read list?

I just finished Karen Barnett’s Beyond the Ashes---great story! I want to read Sarah Sundin’s latest, Through Waters Deep---I love her WWII romances! The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, seems to have everyone abuzz, so I think that is on my list, too!

Indeed it does, sounds like a great list for you this summer! And what is your ideal summer reading experience?

If I find a spare moment during the day to read, you’ll find me on our deck with a view of Mount St. Helen’s, taking a little sun bath! But usually, I like to plump up my pillows and read in bed! There’s a danger in staying up too late, but one I’m willing to risk!

Laughing. Aren’t we all? Is there a book you are looking forward to rereading?

I dream about sitting for hours and rereading many of the classics, but a recent one I’d read again in a minute is Nancy Horan’s Under the Wide Starry Sky.

Thank you so much, Deirdre! I enjoyed the interview!

Thanks for joining us, Rebecca! It was so fun getting to know you as a reader. I know I’ll have more fun reading your books now. Folks, you can continue to connect with Rebecca--and find out more about her books!---at the links after her bio.


Rebecca DeMarino writes love, legends and lore as a historical romance author and lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She inherited her love of baking and gardening from her mother, a love of horses, reading and writing from her dad, and the wanderlust gene from both parents. Her travels have taken her from Alaska to Nebraska and Florida, from Long Island to England and Italy, and from Washington DC to Texas, California and Guam. But usually you can find her at home, enjoying her grandchildren and baking crisp little ginger cakes. From Publisher’s Weekly ~ DeMarino's … strong suit is recreating history and relating it to readers.