Peggy Bechko: Writers Read and Many Readers Write

scripts shelves by Peggy Bechko

Every once in a while I’m asked by a reader, a fan, “what do YOU read?”

You mean besides my own work over and over and over again to edit, catch mistakes and generally polish?

I read a lot. A lot as in a huge volume of material and ‘a lot’ as in variety of material. So I belong toGoodreads and share some of my books there.

In general what I read is some non-fiction including what I’m reading right now, FreeThinkers by Susan Jacoby a book on secularism in the USA. I also enjoy ‘brain’ books by authors such as Dr. Dispenza (like Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself) and just plain weird books like Forbidden Archaeology . All of these can lead to interesting ideas for stories and just fun food for the brain. Like reading about the new physics of dark matter, string theory and faster than light travel as well. You don’t have to be a PhD to read them either – the more they confuse you the more it stirs up story ideas.

I also read screen scripts of movies I’ve enjoyed, keeping abreast of the latest writing styles; how a certain scene was gotten across on paper before it became film. Scripts are very tight writing, so they’re usually a pretty brisk read.

Books on writing also share space on my shelves. There’s Stephen King’s On Writing, Larry Brody’s Television Writing From the Inside Out, Alex Epstein’s Crafty Screenwriting, The Transitive Vampire by Karen Elizabeth Gordon as a grammar reminder, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Steering The Craft and a whole bunch others that would make a list far too long to put here. I am evolving a small store via Amazon where I put good and interesting books on writing I come across or have recommended to me at Writer’s Emporium.

Now if you’re talking about fiction (my favorite), then I’m all over the place. I’ll be reading Dan Brown’s Inferno next. I also read pretty much anything Dean Koontz, Orson Scott Card, Christine Feehan, Diedre Knight, Anne Rice, or Sherri Tepper writes. Also westerns by John Duncklee along with a host of other authors. I generally go through about two books in a week. Genres are Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Western, Drama, Horror. It would be more, but I do have to make time to write and read my own work as well.

Still, I don’t want to leave out mentioning Ebooks. I’m discovering indie writers there that I enjoy even as I’m reissuing many of my own previously traditionally published books in digital format.

I’ve read books from authors such as Emily Frankel (who’sKaren Of Troy I very much enjoyed) Backworlds Series (first one’s free on Kindle) by M Pax, Beyond Hades and the Prometheus Wars series by Luke Romyn and The Next Planet Over by Dennis Burns. I haven’t stopped there. I have a number of ‘reference’ books on my reader and am finding new writers I enjoy every day. I highly recommend you do some exploring yourself.

There you have it, a very abbreviated list of the kinds of things I read. And, may I add, it does keep changing. Keep reading and writing everyone – it’s a feast out there!