When I first found romance books, the shortest novels I read were Harlequins. I could go to the library, pick up several from the different lines, and have them all read by the time I returned the next week. I preferred my books to be longer—novel length versus category—but I didn’t want to deplete my library’s selection each week. So, I picked up a few novels, several Harlequin categories, and I was set with reading material for another week.
I did that for quite a while until my life got busier and I got an ereader. All of a sudden, there was a whole new world available to me. I found out about the world of ebooks—especially those books that are only available as ebooks and not available as print books.
It was even easier to fit reading into my life because I could make sure my ereader was with me at all times. I found out about new authors by going to the websites and blogs of authors I’d already found out about and getting their recommendations. I had new authors to try out, tons of new books to read, and new genres to check out.
Eventually, though, I added new clients through my consulting business, and it competed for time with my primary training business. Luckily, I’m the boss for both jobs which meant I could plan out my time as needed—maybe cut back on one of them one week while increasing hours on the other.
But then I also had this nagging dream that began burning hotter and hotter inside me: to become a writer.
Now, I knew all that needed to happen to become a writer was to write, so I began doing that. I began writing stories, and rewrote the beginnings of stories, and rewrote the beginnings again, and wrote new stories, and rewrote those beginnings…you get the picture. The thing was, I knew my writing wasn’t good enough yet because I’d spent so much time reading. I’d read so many well-written, excellent books by so many different authors, that I knew my writing wasn’t up to par yet.
But I kept trying.
And only when I finally felt as if I was telling the story I wanted to tell, the way I wanted to tell it—in other words, the way I saw the story play out in my brain—only then was I willing to submit something to a publisher.
But what I’d noticed in both my writing and my reading was that the busier I’d gotten, the more I’d wanted short little quickies to read, to escape into when I did have the time to read anymore. My reading tastes had changed. No longer did I have the time to invest in long novels. I wanted short stories to read in the middle of the day to give my brain a break. Or maybe something quick to read right before bed. I was too tired and too swamped with work to have the emotional energy to invest in a long novel.
At the time, there weren’t a whole lot of novellas or quickies being written. So that’s what I worked on writing. I wrote what I wanted to read—short little stories that allowed the reader to take a brief brain vacation before having to return to the real world.
Now, there are a lot of short stories, quickie novellas, and boxed sets put together with a slew of stories coming in at different lengths. Authors who normally only write novels are now writing novellas to introduce new series or are releasing ebook-only novellas that fit in between their novel releases.
I’m a very happy reader chick these days. I can find any type of story I want to read, from any romance genre, and allow my mind to escape the busyness of the real world for at least a little while.
So you tell me: do you like mixing it up by adding in quickies between novels you read? Do you have time to read novels anymore? Or, like me, do you only have time to invest in the shorter stories during this time of your life?
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Twitter: https://twitter.com/laineyjocharles (@laineyjocharles)
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