Monday, March 16, 2015

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now #317 -- Readin' & Writin' (But No 'Rithematic)

Time for me to drink my own Kool-Aid and respond to the same question I asked my "roundtablers."

What is your favorite genre to read? To write? If they're not the same, why is that?

My favorite genre to read changes each year. In my twenties, I loved to read the classics, probably because I was getting my B.A. degree then in English. I haven't lost my love for the classic American literature, but in my thirties I started to seek out all the stuff I felt I had missed during my religious seclusion years of my youth. That's when I went back and read the Thomas Covenant books and quite a bit of sci-fi and fantasy "classics" like Dune, etc. In my forties, though, I've been on a kick of reading all the stuff I missed by being born to late to really value it in my childhood -- the books that have influenced most of the writers who influence me. I'm talking about stuff like A Princess of Mars, She, The Maltese Falcon, and The Lensmen series. Or a fun sci-fi satire like Heinlein or Vonnegut.

When I write, I prefer to write pulp-influenced, action stories with a sort of literary leaning when it comes to characters and their interactions. I'm a sucker for a story nugget that triggers a good noir or pulp mystery, and a rollicking planetary romance, or a creepy horror story that plays with tone and atmosphere more so than "scares" or gore. That's just what I'm drawn to, I guess. Even when I write something outside the adventure mold, I still tend to focus on keeping the story moving, and I have a lot of character-driven dialog because that's what I like to read. I love to get to know my characters whether I'm writing them or just reading them.