Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Guest Post - Scott Tracey's Teen Reading Collection

Today, Scott Tracey, author of the fabulous Witch Eyesis here to tell us about some of his favorite books and the types of books we would find in his teen library.

My teen reading collection was seriously eclectic.  I read a little bit of everything.  For about a year when I was a freshman, I was really into crime novels.  The Kay Scarpetta novels, by Patricia Cornwell (POSTMORTEM, BODY OF EVIDENCE, etc), were some of my first.  I also read the Sue Grafton alphabet novels (starting with A IS FOR ALIBI)  and the James Patterson novels (ALONG CAME A SPIDER, etc).  This was the period where I decided I was going to go to Duke for college, major in psychology, and work for the FBI as a forensic psychologist.  Then I realized that was a lot of work...and writers get to wear pajamas if they want.  Sold. 

I started reading epic fantasy around this time - starting with the behemoth that was the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan that started with EYE OF THE WORLD.  Which, honestly, I should have put off.  I counsel everyone to put off big series like that.  Because they're good, but the wait between books is....indescribable.  And it's worse, because I'm one of those people who has to reread the entire series before a new book.  Not so bad, when it's George R.R. Martin, and it's only every 5 years, but Jordan was pumping them out every other year for awhile there.  That's a LOT of rereading (each book is somewhere in the 200-300K word range).

I also read a lot of nonfiction - I was interested in secret societies, crystal skulls, and the history of ceremonial magic. Basically anything New Age I could get my hands on, along with religions like Buddhism, shamanistic traditions, Greek and Roman mythology, and anything that had a different perspective of what was out there in the world.   A lot of that's helped with writing, thankfully, so it was time well spent.  I also read a lot of travel books, which was equal parts as a way to plot escape from Ohio, and because I was fascinated by other places.

I also read one of my absolutely favorite authors, Wally Lamb.  He wrote I Know This Much Is True, and She's Come Undone (my favorite of the two).  I remember thinking that all I could ever want, as a writer, was to bring characters to life half as well as Wally Lamb did in those novels.

So there you go, some of my teen reading.  

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