Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Are you a Crooked Cat Reader yet?

The delight in being a Crooked Cat Reader

Generally my posts are to do with the fact that I'm a Crooked Cat author rather than a Crooked Cat Reader but this is the other way around.

I joined a Crooked Cat Author Webinar recently and the fun pre- Christmas task was to prepare something to talk about for a 3 minute slot. Since I was late to be added to the attendees, I had to think of something quick and the fact that I'd just started to write a short review of the last Crooked Cat book that I'd read gave me the impetus for my topic.

To narrow my talk/slot down to just less than 3 minutes, I had to do a bit of slash editing but what you read below is more like the original pre-edits. Since it's an important topic and very dear to me, I'm sharing it with you all!

Why I love being a Crooked Cat Books READER

Would you believe me if I said it’s because I love reading books written by people who are becoming familiar to me, some through virtual channels and others that I've met in the flesh? Is it solidarity to support fellow authors at Crooked Cat?  

Or...is there a deep subliminal reason for me liking CC novels?

Like in the ‘My Fair Lady’musical  “By George! I think she’s got it!  
This is where I sing: The Crooked Cats are truly Crooked Categories!

Crooked Categories. Exactly. - but what’s the subliminal deal?

I'd like you to Time Travel with me back to 1957. 
I’m 5 and reading everything I can lay my hands on. Cereal boxes, HP sauce bottle, Sunday Post Children’s Page. What's that? Get our coats on? We're off to the local library with my Dad. He goes every week and loves his reading as well. For him it's an escape to adventures that happen way beyond our Glasgow City streets. My tomboy sister, 4 years older than me is a very good reader, but she prefers playing outside, on her bike or with her friends. I'm too young for my own ticket but her ticket gets me 2 books every week. Yay! I’m already a reading junkie! 

I’m 7 now and reserving Enid Blyton books to make sure I read all 150 plus books that she wrote. And I love fairy tales; myths and legends of Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. I’m a happy bunny in the book neuk!

I’m 9 –and I'm still reading Enid Blyton but I'm onto the much bigger fatter books like her Adventure Series. I love adventures! The Chalet School books are great too and Nancy Drew mysteries. Girls books, boys books, everything in between & I’ve got weekly comics as well- my Bunty, Judy, Diana, June & School Friend. (No idea who her friend was!) 

Looking back I think maybe Wee Slavey – the drudge of the Victorian Kitchen - probably introduced me to historical fiction and Sandra of the Secret Ballet kept my interest in mysteries going as well. 

Big Sis is too old for her comics now, at 13,  but mum still buys them for me - Dandy, Beano, Topper and Beezer. I devour the boys stuff as well…though I don’t think Desperate Dan and his Cow Pie introduced me to Western romance – the jury’s still out on that one! 

I'm often reading under the covers with a torch… illicitly since I still share a room with my sister, and mum complains if the lights on too late. Books are doable under the blankets but comics make a hell of a newsprint mess. Mum wonders if I’ve been kissing the coalman!

I’m 12 and reading absolutely every spare moment. Rider Haggard adventures; classics…I have to wait till I'm 14 before being allowed to get out adult books from the library but my dad lets me read ones he's read and thinks are okay for me.  

I’m 17 and gobbling up heaps of genres for my Higher English Certificate at school and lots of others for the sheer hell of it.

19 already! Sugar! For my Glasgow University English course I’ve got 23 texts to study, as well as all of my Education stuff and my French course is punishing! AARGH! I've got zero time for personal genre choices now.

Skip to the Year 2000.  Being a full time primary teacher and a mum of 2 first year University students means I’m brain dead by 9 pm… but I still need my reading fix!  Phew! Just as well that I can cope with historical fiction, mysteries and romances. What's regarded as the best of literary fiction leaves me cold - I just don't have the energy for it. I dissect novels with my 11 year old Primary 7s in class but in my leisure reading I don't want to read anything that needs that level of concentration.  

Roll on to 2011. It's no surprise that I’m writing historical adventure and contemporary mysteries. But having read countless over those decades, I want my work to be different! The Ancient Roman invasion of northern Britain is bloody hard to research so I’ve mixed the genres of romance, historical & adventure but find that publishers aren’t so keen on hybrids.

2012! Yipee! Crooked Cat love to publish something different that crosses genres.  

YAY! Now I'm back to reading all kinds of genres. mainly those published by Crooked Cat (but I am reading other authors as well) 
Crime; Fantasy; Paranormal; Romance; Chick-lit;  Dystopian; Horror; Political Thrillers; Spy Thrillers
...and you've guessed it -  Mysteries and Histories!

What’s not to like? 

So...that's mine but what's your favourite genres? 


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