Back in the day when learning words and telling time were all I needed to do, I remember my grandmother teaching me how to read from the Dick and Jane books. They were vintage books used to teach children to read from the ‘30s into the ‘70s, and are still sold today. There was a lot of repetition in them, such as “Look. Look Up. Look Up at the sky”, so it was easy for children to learn words and sentences. I also remember the colorful illustrations in these books.
Then many, many years passed before I had any desire to read again. When I started back, I went through a phase where I would only read Sidney Sheldon books. At the time, I had no idea how much this man accomplished with international praise for his scripts, movies, plays and novels, let alone that he was from Chicago. He thought of his writing success as a miracle. “I was born in Chicago during the Depression and both my parents were third grade drop-outs," he recalled. "My father never read a book in his life and I was the only one in the family to complete high school." His books were mostly crime fiction and thrillers. He was the only author I’d read, and that was the last time I ever stuck to only one writer. Unfortunately, Mr. Sheldon passed away in 2007, but left behind a legacy of words.
I then ventured out and started reading Mary Higgins Clark and Victoria Holt, and both of these women wrote suspense with a romantic flare. I’ll admit that I didn’t know what genre any of these writers wrote until now. I always thought they were romance novels with an ingredient of suspense. After these female authors, I started reading Sandra Brown, who also writes suspense.
I find all of this interesting because for a few years I didn’t read many women authors (this in no way suggests that women authors aren’t great writers). Since my early favorites, I’ve gone on to read many authors of both gender and all different genres. After finding out that all of my favorite writers, who got me back into reading, were suspense and thriller writers, it now makes sense that I have written a psychological suspense thriller.
Genres are and will always be foreign to me. Each category has its definition, but some of these definitions blend in with others, such as thrillers and suspense. I believe they both go hand in hand. How can you have a thriller without suspense, and how can suspense not be thrilling? Since I’m not one who has done extensive research in genre categorization, I’ll have to leave it up to the experts.
What’s your favorite genre, or who is your favorite author? Has it changed since your earlier days of reading?
Revisions and Tea,