Filling Up Your Well

by Katherine Reay, @Katherine_Reay

Writers are readers. There is no way around that. To created deep and meaningful stories, to create fun and fast stories, to create any stories – one needs to read lots of stories. When pushed up against a deadline, it’s are hard to read many or even any books – and I will admit that during those last frenetic days, other writer’s books go away as I get deeper into my own. However, the minute my manuscript is handed in, I’m empty. There isn’t a shred of creativity left…

And that when what I call the “well of good stories” must be refilled. I dig into the world and words of others, relishing their creativity and getting excitement about my own – when it returns.

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Here are a few favorites I’ve come across recently. This list is by no means exhaustive; it’s more of a tasting of good books I’ve read:

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (Death is fascinating!)

Did you Ever Have A Family by Bill Clegg (Incredible narrative voices and so many of them)

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (Multigenerational tale with multiple POVs)

The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge (Delightful retelling/sequel to a beloved classic)

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (Wonderful setting and cadence of language)

Please in the comments add your favorites. We should share because reading is an essential aspect to writing. And winter is a wonderful time to curl up with a good book.



The Austen Escape

Mary Davies finds safety in her ordered and productive life. Working as an engineer, she genuinely enjoys her job and her colleagues – particularly a certain adorable and intelligent consultant. But something is missing. When Mary’s estranged childhood friend, Isabel Dwyer offers her a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in England, she reluctantly agrees in hopes that the holiday will shake up her quiet life in just the right ways.
But Mary gets more than she bargained for when Isabel loses her memory and fully believes she lives in Jane Austen’s Bath. While Isabel rests and delights in the leisure of a Regency lady, attended by other costume-clad guests, Mary uncovers startling truths about their shared past, who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who now stands between them.
Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings play out, and dancing ensues as this company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation, work out their lives and hearts.

Katherine Reay is the award-winning author of Dear Mr. Knightley, Lizzy& Jane and The Bronte Plot, an ALA Notable Book Award Finalist. Her latest novel, A Portrait of Emily Price, released in November 2016 and received Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and a Romantic Times TOP PICK!All Katherine’s novels are contemporary stories with a bit of classical flair. She holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University and is a wife, mother, rehabbing runner, former marketer, and avid chocolate consumer. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine now happily resides outside Chicago, IL.