A million love stories later… by SJV
There was a time, not that long ago, when I genuinely feared that everything I thought I was and everything I believed to be true was a big fat hairy lie.
I was settling in nicely to a wonderful book by a wonderful author whose previous novels are all in my Permanent Collection and have been read and enjoyed over and over again, when all of a sudden I was overwhelmed by a huge bucket of blah blah blah. Meh. Yawnsville Ohio. Zzzzzz….
Our leading lady (nice girl, clueless about chaps, damaged by her One True Love, bit of a cry baby, slightly overweight, great set of chums but overpowering Mother) was on the brink of Feeling the Fear but Doing It Anyway (you go girlfriend!), and I rolled my eyes all the way back in my head and laughed. Harrumphed. Tutted. OUT LOUD.
Exactly. Holy crap.
Was the storyline a little predictable? Perhaps, but so what? It’s not like anyone watched Apollo 13 or Titanic without knowing the final outcome. It’s not like you’d go to the station and expect the train to arrive on time just because the timetable says it will…right?
So what was the problem? Was the book badly written? Not at all. Was the concept a little old hat? Sure, but so is Midsomer Murders and I’ve been happily watching them on repeat since the late ‘90s.
So what was it?
All I could think was that there was a possibility that I might have just read one too many love stories and it rocked me to my very core. Cause let me tell you – without my love of love stories I am nothing.
I’ve read a handful of very carefully chosen #griplit novels. SO carefully chosen, that I knew, before even opening the cover that I would love them. And whilst the ones I’ve read, I’ve enjoyed immensely – like really really loved them – #griplit isn’t my natural domain.
I’ve read and sometimes enjoyed the odd non-fiction title. Only sometimes mind. And when I say sometimes, I mean just the once. Not my thing.
SciFi? On your bike. Saga. Get in the sea. Historical fiction? Not my bag AT ALL. Horror? Have we met? Crime? Shut up.
I’ve even attempted a read of one or two – what my industry calls – literary novels (although, isn’t all literature, you know, literature?) – anyway, too many clever words that I need a thesaurus to understand if I’m honest.
And everyone seems to be going on about their passion for the Debut author these days don’t they? But, surely, a debut isn’t a debut once the author has released the Tricky Second Album, so what then? You just abandon them after book 1? They aren’t shiny and new anymore so you throw them out with the baby’s bath water and wait for the next debut to come along? Cray cray.
Anyhow. There I was, bereft, bemused and befuddled. What’s a girl to do?
So I put the book down, turned her over, shuffled her to the side, and took the radical step to step back. Just back away. Give myself a rest. I decided I must have some awful reading-fatigue disease, and only a good solid dose of avoidance therapy was going to fix me. Sure, sure, I had to keep reading for ‘work’. The first few pages/chapters/full script (depending) of every single book I would be selling – so that I actually can sell our books to our customers to the very best of my ability. But Reading for Pleasure books were temporarily on hold.
And you know what? It worked. It works. It has worked.
I had a hiatus and now I’m back in the zone. I’m ready to pick up a love story again. I feel ready. I need some #UpLit. I’m craving some romance.
So what do you recommend? Answers on a postcode, or you know, tweet me.
And no, in case you were wondering, I still haven’t finished THAT book.