Special Guest Literary Article by Our Friends of TCK Publishing. What Are The 2022 Predictions With Publishing Trends and New In Marketing and Promoting?

by Kaelyn Barron ~ TCK Publishing

Free Photo | Close-up portrait of woman listening to music and reading a  book


There have been many notable changes in the publishing industry over the last several years, from the steady rise of audiobook sales to the introduction of AI technology in book production.

A global pandemic and calls for more diverse representation shook things up in 2020 and 2021, so what’s in store for 2022?

We’ve analyzed some of the most prominent trends based on recent studies and our own data and observations to get a feel for what’s to come in the year ahead.

Here are 6 key publishing trends and predictions to look out for in 2022.

1. BookTok is a marketing must-have.

In 2021, TikTok became one of the fastest-growing social media platforms and an essential tool for branding and marketing. The publishing industry also caught on, with many authors and publishers turning to TikTok to grow their audiences.

Following in the path of “Bookstagram,” BookTok appears to be here to stay, with all trends indicating that even more authors will join the platform to market their books in 2022. So far, the hashtag #BookTok has garnered over 34.7 billion views on the platform.

We’ve seen the impact of BookTok firsthand with one of our own authors, Maclen Stanley, who has accumulated over 424,000 followers and 6 million likes in just a few months since his book The Law Says What? debuted in July. Many reviewers on Amazon have commented that they bought the book specifically because they enjoyed his related TikTok videos.

Book reviewers have also taken to the platform to share their thoughts on new books in short, easily-shared video clips, making them an influential force that authors and publishers cannot afford to ignore in 2022. To learn more about how TikTok can help you grow your platform, check out our post on TikTok marketing for authors.

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#Bookstagram

2. Audiobook sales will keep growing.

Although they’re still nowhere near topping print, audio, and ebook sales have been steadily rising for the past decade or so, with the audiobook industry, in particular, seeing rapid expansion.

One major development from 2021 was Spotify’s acquisition of Findaway, which likely indicates Spotify’s intent to give more focus to audiobooks, in addition to their current library of music and podcasts. Storytel also acquired Audiobooks.com, so there are now multiple players on the expanding audiobook field.

As we watch these companies implement their growth plans in 2022, audiobook sales are likely to continue their steady increase. Authors and publishers will want to keep their eye on these new and emerging opportunities to market their audiobooks.

As for the industry itself, there are a number of developments that will make audiobook production easier and faster, including rapid technological developments like AI narration.

3. AI will expand its influence.

Speaking of AI, it’s already being used to write fiction that improves almost daily. While it’s far from replacing human creativity, AI can help content creators find inspiration, retrieve facts, and outline their writing.

Of course, you’ve probably already used AI to improve your writing in some form or another—for example, if you’ve ever used a proofreading tool like Grammarly.

But publishers can also use the technology for plagiarism checks, editing, translations, SEO, and marketing. For example, if you’ve ever gotten a newsletter email with content recommendations that match your interests, you can thank AI for that.

Think of AI as publishing’s virtual assistant, and one that will prove increasingly helpful in the years to come.

4. Book prices will increase.

Inflation has caused the prices of many goods and services to rise over the past year, and it looks like book prices will be no exception.

IngramSpark already announced price changes that took effect on November 6, 2021, raising their print pricing by up to 6% in the US.

In a public service announcement to its members, the company explained that the changes are a result of “several cost increases for consumables, such as paper and packaging materials, as well as an increase in the cost of labor.”

So since the cost of producing books has risen, so too will their prices.

And on top of growing costs, there’s also a book shortage. As this Vox article explains, back in 2008, the world expected print books to become obsolete after the rise of the ebook, so many companies invested less in printing books.

But instead, the demand for print books has steadily increased (after experiencing a brief drop in 2008), and printers have not kept up.

The silver lining is that with book prices on the rise for both print and digital formats, special, limited-time promos like Kindle Countdown Deals could prove more appealing, allowing readers to benefit from discounts while authors can sell more books in a short period…

Apple concedes on 'anticompetitive' restrictions in App Store | Apple | The  Guardian
Reading Apps


Kindle Cloud Reader


“Introducing Kindle Vella”

Kindle Vella brings you stories released one short episode at a time, available on the web at http://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella and in the Kindle app.

Things to look out for if you’re new to Kindle Vella:

Follow the stories you like to keep up with the latest from your favorite characters.

When you like an episode, give it a Thumbs Up to let the author and other readers know you liked it.

The first few episodes of every story are always free–after that, purchase Tokens and redeem them to unlock episodes. Tokens may only be used to unlock Kindle Vella story episodes in the Kindle app and on the web at http://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella.

When you unlock episodes, you will receive one Fave a week that you can award to the story you’re enjoying most that week. We’ll feature Top Faved stories so other readers can find them too.”

5. Serialized storytelling will continue to flourish.

Serialized fiction on platforms like Wattpad is nothing new, but there are more options than ever for both writers and readers of serials.

Amazon’s Kindle Vella rolled out last year, adding another prominent player to the serialized fiction field.

Some authors are finding serial fiction to be a more reliable monetization strategy than traditional publishing. Self-published authors in particular will benefit from this development, as they’re more likely than traditionally published authors to experiment with these platforms.

Sites like Wattpad, Kindle Vella, Inkitt, Tapas, Radish, and other online reading apps will continue to flourish as more authors experiment with different formats.

6. Calls for diversity will persist.

Calls for more diversity and representation in literature have grown stronger in recent years, and with all the work still left to do, it’s likely that those calls will persist.

In 2020, a study found that just 5% of children’s books published in the UK that year featured a main character who was Black or Asian (that’s actually an increase from 1% in 2017).

Meanwhile, in the US, children’s books featuring racially diverse characters or subjects grew slightly from 29% to 30% between 2019 and 2020.

Since it can take several years for a children’s book to be produced, we can hope to see more of the effects of 2020 and 2021’s intensified calls for diversity in 2022.

And it’s not just children’s books that need more diverse voices—according to a 2019 study, 85% of the people who acquire and edit books for the Big Five are white. This means that the people who decide what gets published by the Big Five, and how the final products turn out, are overwhelmingly white.

One way that publishers have begun to address this issue is by hiring editors tasked with recruiting more minority talent and also enlisting the help of sensitivity readers.

Is Publishing a Dying Industry?

The publishing industry is far from dying; in fact, print books rose 8.9% in 2021 over 2020.

And rather than hurting business, the Covid-19 pandemic actually saw many positive developments and increased book sales in 2020—a silver lining in an otherwise dark year for many.

Regardless of trends, there’s no better time than the present to finally write your book, or apply for that publishing job you’ve been eyeing.

Everyone loves a good story, so while their formats and production may change, books and publishing are here to stay.

Did you find this post helpful?

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About The Writer and Author

Kaelyn Barron

Kaelyn Barron

As a blog writer for TCK Publishing, Kaelyn loves crafting fun and helpful content for writers, readers, and creative minds alike. She has a degree in International Affairs with a minor in Italian Studies, but her true passion has always been writing. Working remotely allows her to do even more of the things she loves, like traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family.

What Have We Learned A Year or So Later From COVID, Media, and Publicity Outreach? My Special Guest Marsha From News & Experts Tells Us. . .



What The Last Year Taught Us About COVID And Media Outreach

Posted on by Miguel Casellas-Gil

“Like me, you are probably saddened by news reports that COVID-19 is making a resurgence. Once again, the pandemic is poised to dominate news cycles and, in addition to worrying about health concerns, anyone who is trying to gain media coverage will need to think about how their message fits into the current media conversation.

One bright spot in this otherwise dismal situation is that we learned a lot over the last year about the opportunities for and the importance of PR during a pandemic, and we can all put those lessons to use going forward. In the spring of 2020, we encountered something we rarely if ever had faced in the more than three decades that News & Experts has been in existence.”

Practically every single news story every day was about one subject – the coronavirus. Under those conditions, how could we pitch clients whose expertise and messages had absolutely nothing to do with medicine or health? The one-topic news cycle seemed like a barrier – but only momentarily. Quickly it became clear that the pandemic affected more than health. Finance, sports, personal relationships, corporate culture, the workplace, education, travel and numerous other aspects of life were upended by the pandemic.

All of those topics were also ripe to be discussed and explored in the news. In other words, regardless of your message and your expertise, there was a place for you in the COVID conversation if you approached things the right way. That holds true today. This time the pandemic hasn’t completely hijacked the news, but it does still touch nearly everything in one way or another. That’s why it’s good to review any lessons learned from more than a year of dealing with it.


Stay In The Game

One lesson we definitely learned is that you don’t want to put your publicity efforts on hiatus until the pandemic is over, as some people were tempted to do. Who knows when this will all end. Instead, stay in the game by constantly massaging your message so it fits with what’s happening. This really is no different from what we always told clients in non-pandemic climates. You improve your odds of media success anytime you can link your expertise and message to what print journalists are already writing about, and what radio and TV talk show hosts are already talking about. With our guidance, this is what our clients were able to do.

One client who wrote a book on how the pandemic affected schools was able to speak to the difficulties parents and children encountered, and ways education might be improved as a result of lessons learned from COVID. Another whose expertise was remote work suddenly found that lots of people needed advice about her subject. A client who specializes in helping businesses raise capital spoke about funding options for those businesses rebounding from COVID.

So, if you are trying to promote your personal or business brand, explore where you might fit into the current conversation about the pandemic. The media always needs experts to comment on events and you can be that go-to person and share your knowledge.

If you are a business owner or a consultant who advises businesses, that could involve discussing business decisions about whether to require employees to be vaccinated or whether to request that customers wear masks. If you are a medical professional, you might be able to comment on news stories directly related to the virus or the vaccines.

Or possibly you could discuss the impact the pandemic is having across health fields, such as evolving protocols for office visits or procedures that get postponed.
Doing Good While Promoting Your Brand & Expertise

Something I wrote a year ago also bears repeating now as a lesson learned. You have an opportunity to become part of the conversation about the pandemic and its impact, but making use of this opportunity doesn’t mean you should be opportunistic.

You don’t want to approach it in an exploitative way because that would quickly backfire. But, if you have something valuable to share with the media’s readers, viewers and listeners, they will want to hear from you. A bonus is that you will be doing good in the world as well as promoting your brand.

Yes, we all learned lessons in the last year – and likely there are plenty more awaiting us.

And that’s the good news because each of those lessons will assist you in your goal of building a long list of media successes…


Keep Learning and Growing with News & Experts!

Marsha Friedman, CEO & Founder


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Literary Spotlight: Dawn Hill Publishing’s New Author Soleil Collins & a Peek of Her Soon to Release Book of Short Stories~ He Came On A Summers Day…


Book by Author Soleil Collins




Here we go Readers & Visitors!

My amazing UK friends of Dawn Hill Publishing is sharing with Cat an exclusive Sneak Peek of a brand new author they represent and some of the first chapter of her “Coming Soon” new release titled “He Came On A Summers Day.” Dawn Hill has some fantastic authors and writers.

I am confident Soleil Collins is as well. I’m honored Dawn Hill Publishing chose Cat and her readers for this opportunity to have the first preview of Soleil’s which I hear is packed with action, thrills and a splash of romance.

I’d highly suggest you give Dawn Hill a visit as they have more amazing authors, writers, and BOOKS
here: https://www.dawnhillpublications.com/ & make sure you tell them Cat sent you!


Here is more about the book:

“Randi Moffatt, bounty-hunter extraordinaire, is looking for an escaped convict – a pirate.

She goes undercover at a popular seaside bar in San Diego, where her prey is known to have frequented, hoping to catch him.

There, Randi encounters several interesting characters, but which of them is her prey? Or is she going to return empty-handed?”


Important disclaimer: 

Just so you know that the content in this new book follows themes and therefore require you to be above the age of 18. These themes are:

– Profanity
– Violence 
– Sex
– Drugs


An Excerpt From the Short Story: 

Days turned into weeks. Joe still hadn’t cracked a smile at me, although Bob did warm up a little. It was understandable that Joe had turned up his nose at the trash that passed for female companionship. I’d even made friends with few of them, mostly hookers who wanted my help setting up customers or warn them of the weirdos.

The daily ritual of sharing my tips was at the end of each day was my opportunity to flirt without interrupting work. It was nearing spring when I decided that enough was enough. It was a quiet night – a Monday, not that it made a huge difference at a Seattle bar by the docks.

      “What’s up, Joe?” I asked him, fluttering my eyelashes at him as I handed him a roll of bills. “Here’s your share.”

He grunted and accepted it, stuffing it into his front jeans pocket.

      “Is that a roll of bills or are you just happy to see me?” I joked.

Nothing. Not even a derisory curl of his lip, which I knew that he was more than capable of issuing. “Go get cleaned up, why don’t you? You stink.”

      That’s the most he’s said since we met. Progress indeed.



* * * * * *



So, who is Author, Soleil Collins? Let me share a little more about her in her own unbridled words…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bonjour.

Ciao. Namaste. And a big, big, hello to everyone. First off, I’d like to thank Dawn Hill Publications for this wonderful opportunity. I was asked to write an introductory piece about my upcoming series of short stories and a little bit about myself.

I wasn’t given a title for this blog, so I’ve decided it to call it fun facts. Now, here’s a disclaimer. I think they may be fun, but you, the readers, obviously decide and let me know.

Let me start by saying that English is not my first language. In fact, I grew up learning and speaking five different languages. Also, I learned to read and write in four of them. Ironically, I understand only three of them reasonably well. I speak only two of them fluently. And I write really well in only one of them. Guess which one?

I’m a bit of a brat. Middle child, spoilt rotten, not by my parents but by a host of cousins, aunts and uncles who forgave my every prank, laughing at my irreverence, egging me to get even more outrageous. I haven’t changed one bit! I’ve enjoyed classical education in a private school where equal importance was given to extra-curricular activities including sports, drama, debate, elocution and politics. Oh, yes, politics. Our teachers were amazing, liberal and broadminded, and allowing us the same liberties to express our views without fear of prejudice or reprimand. The majority of my life has been split between the US and UK, although I’ve travelled widely. I began writing at an early age, mostly short stories, although they were fairly childish, a queer mix of romance and thriller.

They’re not necessarily my favourite songs. In fact, there are a couple in there that I don’t particularly like. They do, however, have a bearing on the stories themselves, which is why I selected them. Either there’s a scene in the video rendition of the song or the lyrics, or perhaps the story the song is trying to tell. The first of them is a song by Looking Glass about a girl who works in a bar who’s in love with a sailor. The protagonist of the story is Randy Moffatt, a slightly slutty, cage-fighting, foul-mouthed bounty hunter who isn’t afraid of a brawl.

Randy’s smart (like me, I think), physically active and able (unlike me – I’m a little lazy), highly sexed (I’d rather not say), sassy (definitely me) and brazen. Which is why DHP have started a new series titled Brazen just for little me, yay! Brazen is the one word which is truly representative of my writing. Who knows? They may even create a new genre called Brazen.

I hope you enjoy my stories. Please do tell me what you think in Cat’s comment section as we’d would love feedback.

Au revoir. Arriverderci. Alvida, for now.

Sol Collins



And to close is a message from the fine folks of Dawn Hill Publishing:

Yay, it’s finally here! 

We’re so happy that Soleil’s first short story is ready to go. Soleil’s titles can be described as action thrillers with romance thrown in to spice things up. Soleil has already written all 12 so we’ll be slowly sending them out to Cat.
She’s now started working on her first book with us and that will be in your inbox very soon.

Her 12 short stories is a great way to set up her very own genre at DHP. Which is, Brazen.

~Dawn Hill Publishing Team

Interview with Author Marilyn L. Davis Courtesy of Deb at Book Goodies. It’s Where Readers & Authors Meet…



Meet Author Marilyn L. Davis, a tireless advocate of addiction and recovery and an extraordinary writer. Deb from Book goodies caught up with her as her new book, “Finding North: From Addict to Advocate,” has released on Amazon. So I wanted to share this fantastic interview with all my readers so you can learn more about the woman behind the book. 

I just happened to finish reading and gave her a 5-stars! My review is now on Amazon. Readers Favorite thought her book was also fantastic and gave Marilyn a 5-star awarded book review too. 

Give her author profile visit to read the review! https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/finding-north
*Cat*




ABOUT Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate

New in recovery, a chance encounter with Gray Hawk, a 74-year old Native American, showed her that healing would include looking within, taking Steps, and creating a house of healing for other women.

Today, Marilyn is a Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist, recently celebrating thirty-two years of abstinence-based recovery. From 1990-2011, she opened and managed North House, an award-winning residential facility for women.

Before reaching this milestone, she was a desperate woman on drugs, managing rock bands at night, pretending to be okay, but ultimately giving up on herself, losing her husband, children, family, and friends due to her addiction.

This book is that journey.




In-Depth Author Interview With Marilyn L. Davis


Marilyn L. Davis is the author of the memoir Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate. A chance encounter with a 74-year-old Native American helped her find her purpose. From 1990-2011, she opened and managed North House, an award-winning residential recovery home for women.

She is also the Editor-in-Chief at her recovery blog, From Addict 2 Advocate. She recently celebrated 32 years of abstinence-based recovery and is a Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist.

Before her recovery, she was a desperate woman on drugs, managing rock bands at night, pretending to be okay at PTA meetings, but ultimately giving up on herself, losing her husband, children, family, and friends due to her addiction.

Marilyn is widely known for her writing in many literary communities, including her award-winning website, Two Drops of Ink, where she encourages collaborative writing and is the Editor-in-Chief. The site’s writers are poets, problem-solvers for writers and bloggers, as well as those who educate, entertain, and enchant us with the written word. The writers represent different countries, viewpoints, and opinions.

When she is not writing, Marilyn is an avid reader, enjoys gardening and cooking. She has raised two beautiful grown daughters, both in recovery, and is a Nana to four grandchildren. None of her grandchildren have ever seen their mother’s or their Nana use, so maybe the addiction cycle is broken. She resides in an Atlanta suburb with a controlling cat named Jackson.


What inspires you to write?
I am inspired to write as I believe that writing helps us heal. Whether it’s a journal or a memoir that we publish, writing allows us the emotional safety to fully explore our thoughts and feelings.

Since I was a child, I’ve scribbled down words once I understood that those black squiggly lines on a page told a story. I was bullied as a child, and these passages helped me feel better about myself and my isolated world.

I don’t know that it was ‘inspiration’ that helped me create a recovery curriculum for my recovery home. It felt more like desperation. I got tired of saying the same thing, so I decided to write it out. The response to Therapeutic Integrated Educational Recovery System (TIERS) gave me the confidence to start writing at Two Drops of Ink and ultimately write my memoir.

What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
Each of the following authors helps me learn the craft of writing: Joan Didion, Vladimir Nabokov, Roshani Chokshi, Neil Gaiman, Anne Lamott, Natalie Goldberg, Annie Dillard, William Zinsser, Roy Peter Clark and others.

Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process starts with an idea, topic, or subject that I want to write about, prompted by a conversation, a question from one of my recovery groups, or emails with other writers.

Taking the idea and doing some looping, brainstorming, prewriting, and then creating a first draft complete that phase.

Next, I research the topic, taking into account whether the subject is saturated or is there an aspect of it that I could develop further. At this point, I decide if I’ll write from breadth or width on the topic.

Writing for two blogs, one on recovery and one on writing means there’s always a deadline, and those add incentive to get the writing done.

So the process can be most accurately be described as, “You’ve got to get a post done. Now write.”


What advice would you give other writers?
Advice:
1. Don’t be afraid to write.
2. Don’t call yourself aspiring, soon-to-be-best-selling, or wanna-be. If you’re writing, then you are a writer.
3. Stay with it.
4. Read books on how to improve your writing.
5. Find a website that takes guest posts and submit a post to them.
6. Once you see your writing on a site, let that encourage you to write more, start that novel, write the definitive how-to, or finish your memoir – whatever is your big book.
7. Never throw away your darlings. Keep them in a file and review them monthly. You wrote those for a reason, even if you couldn’t use them at the time.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’d been encouraged to publish Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate by my family, friends, recovery professionals, and writers I’d shown drafts to over the past three years. Fear kept me from publishing it until this year.

However, while procrastinating on publishing my memoir, I also wrote a how-to on memoir writing called Memories into Memoir: The Mindsets and Mechanics Workbook that will be published later this spring.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that traditional publishing will still factor, but with new and emerging platforms for authors, I think we’ll start seeing self-publishing increase.

I published on Amazon and found the experience straightforward. I hired a formatting specialist; my sister is an artist and designed the cover, and I followed the directions once the manuscript and cover were ready.

I also see more diversity in the books that are published. We have lacked diversity for some time. While that may read as “jumping on the bandwagon”, I know that living a counter societal lifestyle in my addiction meant that my memoir did not meet the criteria for certain publishing houses.

I think a problem with traditional publishing is that there’s not a connection to the reader. In contrast, Amazon understands what readers want and takes the time to recommend similar books. While not publishing sites, Goodreads and ThriftBooks do, also.

I also think that print-on-demand factors for the author, reader, and environment, and it would be a mistake to discount those factors when choosing which route to take as an author. Plus, it means not having 75 autographed copies of your book gathering dust in the attic.

What genres do you write?:
Memoir, How to Write a Memoir, primarily non-fiction


What formats are your books in?:
I publish in both eBook and Print


Come Connect with Marilyn on Social Media!

Social Media Links
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn


Spotlight & Guest Post By Ravina Hilliard, a Dawn Hill Publications Author… “Why She Became An Author.”


WELCOME READERS AND VISITORS ALIKE!
Happy Reading!


The First Part of WHY I BECAME AN AUTHOR




NOW, just ignore the above “Click Below, to read more” as CAT was given permmision to SHARE Ravina’s Guest Post in full. I will urge you to go visit “Dawn Hill Publications” as they are located in the UK and have some amazing author’s they publish for and their books! https://www.dawnhillpublications.com


YES, Ravina was born to write! Ravina Hilliard – Nov 5, 2019 – 4 min read

Unlike poorly written mysteries where the plot twists and turns with characters hiding information for no fathomable reason other than to stretch the plot to its inevitable conclusion – the denouement, I am not going to make you read the whole article before answering the question in the title.



The lightbulb moment came to me in a flash of inspiration, born of despair and crystallised by a simple compliment from a great man. Okay. No names shall be shared. No locations shall be shared. But here is how it happened. I was working in a fairly senior position in a private establishment – a software development and training organisation. The noise from the surrounding environment was horrendous.

It was inevitable, I guess as the location was bang in the centre of a raucous city. Eye of the storm. No surprises there. One day, in a fit of rage, I sent a letter to my favourite columnist, an editor of sorts who covered mostly interesting takes on current affairs. He often mentioned letters he received, summarising their messages. I had written it out of pure spite. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I didn’t even expect my personal assistant to actually send the letter to the columnist – she was smart enough to recognise a temper tantrum for what it was. 

And then, one fine day, as I was sipping my morning cuppa, paper in hand, the unimaginable happened. After skimming through the headlines, I went straight to his column. This great man, winner of many awards for his writing, respected by literally everyone, had not only mentioned my letter – he reprinted it word for word, with the precursor – “I have to admit that is a hoary subject, but I really enjoyed the style of the writer, I would like to share it with you – verbatim.”

None of my family understood my whoop of sheer delight until I explained it to them. An uncle, who was a pretty good writer himself, beamed a smile at me and congratulated me. My heart, bursting from its inadequate confines, was filled with a warm glow. I realised that I had been wasting my time trying to teach Digital Design to eager young upstarts and leading a team of programmers who were one step away from becoming hackers. I was born to write.

“That was the moment that I decided to become a writer.”

Let’s go back to the beginning. In retrospect, I don’t think that lightbulb moment was an accident. As a child, I read voraciously. I skipped the children books phase almost in its entirety and launched straight into crime and romance fiction. I had a penchant for romance, though, letting myself get submerged into heart-rending plots, becoming one with the heroines, riling against the tall, dark and handsome male with a mocking smile and jeer in his voice. I loved him. I hated him. I loved him. The last few pages were of a particular thrill to me, when the hero and heroine confessed their love for one another, hearts beating as one. Those moments were indescribable.

I don’t think my parents noticed me reading these books, or even if they did, bothered to remark about its appropriateness. I was barely old enough to understand sex when I started reading. In many ways, I think it made me a trifle more idealistic and utopian in my outlook towards the opposite sex. When I met my soulmate, years later, our eyes met, and I knew that I was in love. Perhaps I will tell you that love story in another article – it’s full of twists and turns – the stuff movies are made of – er – romcoms, at any rate.

I have to admit that I didn’t stop at lurid paperbacks. I read the classics – the Emily & Charlotte Bronte, Robert Louis Stevenson, Alexandre Dumas, Sophocles, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Louisa May Alcott, Miguel Cervantes, Jules Verne, Daniel Defoe, and later Ayn Rand, Leo Tolstoy, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to name a few – and by no means an exhaustive list.

I even read Sophocles. Romance and crime authors are far too many to enumerate here. Literally thousands of books. I managed to read 180-200-page paperbacks in a matter of hours, more often than not, more than two or three in a day. Some books, I read over and over again. I must also admit that I had a particular fondness for happy endings. Please don’t fault me for that. By the way, I enjoyed horrors and science fiction just as anyone else – Stephen King was one of my favourites, as was Michael Crichton.



What is the fastest you have ever read and why ? Was it an engaging story or are you a fast reader ? Let us know in the comments !

And then there was university, where literature, as a subject appealed to me more than any other. Hint. It was not my major. At school and at uni, I performed stage plays after formal training in elocution. It was a wide range of plays, from comedies written by Moliere to Greek tragedies – remember I told you about reading Sophocles? Of the tragedies, Oedipus Rex was my favourite. Of the comedies, Sganarelle. 

So, it took me time to reach that lightbulb moment. Big Whoop. By that time, I was older, wiser and ready to launch into my new and exciting career as a writer. I spend all my idle time daydreaming of my heroines arguing and making love with their heroes – in equal measure, keeping secrets, solving mysteries, saving lives and finding the bad guys. After all, the influence of reading crime novels has narrowed my niche to writing romances steeped in mystery and intrigue. Thankfully, my experience reading tragedies has had no influence whatsoever. 

After all, I did say that I like happy endings, didn’t I? I like to remain a mystery myself, so I have done some pretty heavy editing. I hope you enjoyed it reading this. I certainly enjoyed writing it!


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