Don’t worry, the title will make sense before you reach the end.
Sadly, I am not reading at the beach today. I am staring at this picture, however, as inspiration for my next beach book. I took this last year at Fernandina Beach, Florida.
A little about me.
I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember. My sister taught me to read when I turned four, and I remember proudly showing off my skills to my kindergarten teacher the next year. I’ve been hooked ever since. I think that might be why I’m such an eclectic reader. I read what we had at home and walking into the school library for the first time was like Belle seeing Beast’s library. Talk about love at first sight.
I had that same moment of awe when I was approached to join the InspyRomance group. I’d been watching their posts for a while, silently dreaming of “one day” when I could say I was part of this amazing group. With my first post going live today, I can say it’s official, though I’m still in a state of shock.
I write mostly small town contemporary romance. I consider my beach books in the Independence Islands series to be small town too.
Speaking of books!
I take books with me everywhere. Sometimes paperbacks but since Kindle became a thing, I always have something to read at my fingertips. I love scrolling through all the options, trying to find the perfect book to fit my mood. So when we took a vacation at the beach a couple years ago, I thought for certain I’d end up reading a bunch of beachy, sun and surf novels.
Nope. I read:
All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant was the closest I got to a beach read. And though it’s a wonderful novel, it has nothing to do with the beach. Think Cupcake Wars meets second-chance romance. Fun and flirty…but no beach.
I also read Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey, which takes place in Alaska and is about the Iditarod. I read that one sitting on the deck, listening to the ocean. While the characters were freezing to death, I was enjoying the heat of Destin, Florida in August.
You’d think after that I’d drag out my Kindle and find some of those fun, flirty novels.
Wrong. I didn’t know what I wanted to read, but it wasn’t on my Kindle.
What’s a reader to do?
Go hunting for a bookstore! And in that bookstore, I came across the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe AND the complete Grimm’s fairy tales. You talk about doing the happy dance right there in the middle of the store. And boy am I glad we were not flying home because those are some heavy books.
Once we made it back to the room and the others saw the books I’d picked up (they were rather surprised at my selections) I thought about how we often are drawn to books depending on our mood or what other people think we should read instead of what we want to read.
I can’t read Poe all the time. I’ve had the books for three years and still have a ways to go to finish either of them.
The same thing happens when I write. Most days, I want to write those sweet beach books. But every now and then, I need to write a steampunk fairy tale retelling (releasing 2022) or a romantic suspense (still working on that). Having the chance to write what’s on my heart makes the stories fly from my fingers and allows me to dig deep into character motivations. And a plethora of settings doesn’t hurt either. Still, those beach books are close favorites.
What about you? Do you have a tried and true favorite that you always fall back on? Are you a seasonal reader who loves mountains and snowy landscapes at Christmas and all the beach books in summer?