Sundays are usually quiet days for me.

I always have some new materials, assignments and questions to post to the online composition/communications class I teach.

After that, the cats and I usually go outside and do some gardening. Working with my plants always frees my mind to think of the novel I’m writing. So many situations with my characters and storyline become clear after such activity.

Then, after some necessary housekeeping chores, I usually settle down with a favorite book for awhile.

Today, I’m away from home on another pet-sitting assignment, so I’ve had a little more time to read a favorite, Kindred in Death by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts). It’s not the first time I’ve read it but I’m enjoying revisiting Eve Dallas and Rourke and their friends and associates.

From Publishers Weekly

New York City law officers have more technological weapons at their disposal in bestseller Robb’s snappy near-future series, but so do criminals, including the sadistic rapist killer who strikes down Deena MacMasters, the 16-year-old daughter of police captain Jonah MacMasters, in the 30th full-length novel to feature homicide detective Lt. Eve Dallas (after Promises in Death). MacMasters specifically asks that Dallas, who has a knack for clever insights and deductions, lead the investigation into his daughter’s murder. An impressive team of professionals—augmented by Dallas’s husband, Roarke, and his young protégé, Jaime Lingstrom—begins the arduous task of collecting and analyzing data. Clues suggest Deena may not be the only victim targeted by her killer and increase the pressure on Dallas and her cohorts. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) combines sex, horrific crime, forensics and technological wizardry for another winner sure to please her many fans.

I think I’ve learned more about writing from reading master writers’ works than I ever have in a class. Anytime I have problems with a certain scene, description or character development, I often turn to a good book and see how that writer used in a similar situation. It’s not a question of imitating another writer’s style–just a way of observing good writing technique.

I know many writers say they never read other books when they’re writing because they are afraid they will be influenced by another’s style or content. I haven’t found that to be a problem.

In my humble opinion, I believe all good writers are first good readers. They enjoy the written word and are entertained by others’ stories. They are also, most usually, natural story tellers.

Those are two qualities I think are essential for writers: a love of reading and the ability to tell a story.

Everything else can be learned.


About Sharon K Owen

I am a fiction writer, a university professor, a copy editor and an online writing teacher. My first Romantic Suspense: Thicker Than Water (Brands Crossing Series) was published in 2011 and the second book in the series, Whatever Goes Around, will be published in 2016. My short stories and poetry have been published in Descant, Concho River Review, Iron Horse, American Literary Review, Trinity Writer's Workshop newsletter and collections of Christmas stories. I am blessed with a loving, supportive family, a multitude of friends and the good fortune to share a cozy sanctuary in North Texas with my two cats (Matt and Cinders).

Posted on September 4, 2011, in Home and Garden, Pets, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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