This week, the Wicked team will be writing about genres - what we read, what we write and why. Yes, the title of my post is a cheesy rip-off of the movie title, Sex, Lies and Videotape. And if you're under thirty, you may have no idea what movie I'm talking about.
I've been an avid reader for over three decades. The first book that really spoke to me will always be Jack London's The Call of the Wild. I was 12 years old and the story came alive for me -- as if a movie of the dog and his plight were playing in my head. London's classic novel marks the first moment I can recall when reading really changed for me. It became an escape -- a suspension of reality.
By the end of that same year, I was reading Tolkien and had fallen in love with all things Fantasy. I devoured all the popular authors available in the genre I could find. I borrowed books from friends - I made new older friends who were obsessed with Role Playing Games (RPG). I thought of taking the plunge and trying these new games, but I was so young and the reports in the news of this new "fad" sounded like an addiction to drugs. RPG's were such a time-consuming rage that parents were scared.
I avoided it until college, which was when the craze started dying down. I gave it a go when a very experienced, close-knit group of dedicated gamers let me into their private circle. I only had the pleasure of playing with them a handful of times but I was amazed. It was like living a book. The game masters (GMs) were incredibly gifted and I was sure someone should be taking notes on all the action as we played to put it into a book series because it was one hell of a fun ride.
My love of Fantasy also extended to Romance. How else was a young woman supposed to figure out what really happens when the lights go off? Obviously, older and wiser now as I approach forty, I can see that those stories were essentially fantasies too, but I really loved them at the time. They helped explore the angst and trust issues all young people have in new relationships and I ate them up.
After Romance I moved to Mystery and Thrillers. I'm leaving out a brief stint in high school with a love affair of Stephen King. His books don't fall under any one genre, but at the time - the mid '80s - I read about twelve to fifteen of his books. I only stopped reading him when I had trouble sleeping and his characters invaded my dreams to haunt me. He's just that damn good.
Past dark and light Mysteries, forensic science and lawyer-inspired books, I discovered vampires. Vampires led me to werewolves and other supernatural beasties and it was like coming full circle. These were the modern day fantasy novels that appealed to me the most and I was hooked.
In the most recent ten years, I've read a ton of Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Suspense, Paranormal Mystery, Paranormal Romance and even some amazing stuff that might be called Paranormal Erotica (Emma Holly rocks!). I've loved it all and it was my sincere hope that I could produce something similar to the works I've loved with Vampire Vacation. It's a first-person story done in a present-tense style that reminds me so much of the feeling of immediacy I found in role playing games.
Have I succeeded and will readers enjoy my take on Urban Fantasy? Only time will tell.
What do you read and why? I'd love to see if there are any fellow gamers out there!