About seven years ago I embraced reading like I was a woman obsessed. At the time, life was testing me. My career had changed direction, and I had a baby and a teenage son. I was single and at home…a lot.
The ‘catch up on the classics’ lightning bolt hit me. Why? I have no idea, just this deep urge to read the books that I had somehow avoided in my wild teenage days.
So Jane Austin’s library was devoured, Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White, Thomas Hardy, Far from the Maddening Crowd, Tess. Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, and so on. My favourite? Dorian Grey. Yes, horror, the supernatural. I remembered, as a child I wrote horror stories. A deep sense of grounding overcame me, I needed more. More!
One night, as I watched TV, baby in bed, teenage son in his room ( where he now resided full time and survived on food passed through a gap in the door ) a programme came on. True Blood. Memorised, I fell in love. I went straight to the bookshop the next day, bought all of Charlaine Harris, the Sookie Stackhouse, True Blood novels and ate them up. That led to ‘others’. I remember the staff in the bookshop avoided eye contact, a slight distaste on their lips when I bought more and more Dark fantasy. I got the feeling they wanted to put them in brown paper bags and slide them across the counter. But I didn’t care! Ha ha ha ha ha.
Reading Dark and Urban Fantasy books did more than entertain me, I became happy. I rediscovered a subject I loved. It wasn’t the sex, vampires that lured me, ( only sometimes ) but the stories of the supernatural. The story telling. Folklore, forests, woods, witches and myths. Over time I knew I had to start writing again, I was thirteen when I last wrote like a mad thing, when my new english teacher told me I was rubbish! Don’t ever listen to Mr Sandercock, he’s not up to much!
Well, I’ve learnt something, that it doesn’t matter, it’s all debatable, always someone who isn’t going to like it. So who cares right? The only person that really cares is me and I love it!
It’s never too late to read, to have books in your life. You just have to find a foundation of genre you love. I now read Non-fiction , Science, Bestiaries. YA, anything that interests and inspires me.
But…I will always, deeply be in love with my dark side.