My love for reading started when I was in elementary school. One of my friends had borrowed a few books from the library and loaned me one. I read it and fell in love. It was one of the Animorphs books, and I was happy to find out that it was a large series. After going through my friend’s collection of library books, I started using my own card to check out the maximum number of books each time I went.
I remember reading books from Beverly Cleary, J.K. Rowling, Amelia Atwater Rhodes, Ann M. Martin, and so many more authors that I never thought to write down (which sucks since I have a bad memory). The series that stuck with me most were Fearless, The Babysitter’s Club, Sweet Valley High, Ramona, Harry Potter, and the rest escape me at the moment.
As I moved more into middle and high school, I started reading more romances and thrillers. I was a big fan of Harlequin books, and I learned about Stephanie Plum’s series. I also discovered Stephen King and Sidney Sheldon. I remember trying Jayne Ann Krentz, but a lot of her novels were cut and paste with male characters being jerks and the female characters having to apologize for being victims. I also didn’t like how she used the word “affair” to describe the relationship between the two main characters. It happened in every book of hers that I read, and it irritated me. But enough about her, I want to talk about my love for Sidney Sheldon.
Oh, I firmly believe that Sidney Sheldon was a creative genius. I read most of his books when I was in high school, and they were all so good that I couldn’t put them down. Sometimes they would end on cliffhangers that I didn’t like or a moral lesson that I didn’t agree with at the time. Still, I tried my best to squeeze in reading his books from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed. In one of my classes, we were allowed to do anything after we finished our homework assignment in class. I would rush through all the questions just so I could get back to reading his books. The characters drew you in, added an injustice that made the character sympathetic, and then there was a lot of build up to a glorious climax, but then the ending or epilogue wouldn’t always be on a happy note. That part I didn’t like, but his books were so good that I got over it. Then there’s Stephen King.
Let me start off by saying that I do not like all of his stories. Some are good, some are bad. I loved Salem’s Lot, Dolores Claiborne, Misery, and the short story anthology Night Shift. I tried reading Cujo, Pet Sematary, and another anthology, but I couldn’t get into it. But the ones I liked were really good. I liked how he introduced horror elements into the story, and I would later learn of his method of putting ordinary characters in extraordinary situations. I’ve seen that method echoed in a few reviews for big time roleplaying video games. Complicated stories are possible, but when you strip a story down to its essentials, it’s mostly a simple plot with an engaging character.
As an adult, I’m sad to say that I don’t read as often as I used to. My current day job and writing business keeps me plenty busy. I mostly read erotica and romance now. Cheri Verset is one of my favorite erotica authors, and she specializes in taboo. I also like Cerise Lush who does more taboo and dubcon. I recently discovered Madison Faye, and you can read my fangirling review about her here. Then there’s the amazing Selena Kitt who wrote the Baumgartner’s series, which I absolutely love. She has a talent for putting real life struggles into her books, and kudos to her for bringing up conditions or issues that usually are referred to as silent epidemics. Then I have two honorable mentions: Caitlyn Lynch and Christina Rose Andrews. Through unintentional means, I’ve gotten to know them very well, and they’re amazing writers. I actually bought one of Caitlyn’s books a year or two ago before we started chatting through social media. Then she introduced me to Christina Rose Andrews, two authors under one penname, who write wonderful erotic romance and offer editing services. They’re all wonderful and lovely people, and I’ve learned a lot from them.
So that’s about it for my story about how I got into reading, and I’m surprised that it’s this short. I know I have a bad memory, so I can’t recall every author or book I’ve enjoyed, but I got most of the basics down. If I remember anything else, I’ll just update this page.
Anyway, that’s all for now!
Much love, Dana Kenzi 🙂