A world of romance: combining authoring with book reviewing
I’ve been both reading and writing romance stories from an early age. It was my governess, Zula, who first introduced me to the world of storytelling, and with her inspirational guidance by my mid-teens I was devouring romance novels and writing my own stories, which I circulated among my classmates (to their delight, but less so to the pleasure of the Catholic nuns who taught us!).
So when I finally reached the pinnacle of my writing and signed my first publishing contract, I thought, ‘I am really a romance writer now.’ But because reading has been such a big part of my life, and my development as a writer, it seemed wrong to abandon that passion to solely focus on writing. Hence my website, http://hannahfielding.net/, names me as both romance novelist and book reviewer, and as well as working hard on my next published works, I also review one romance novel a week.
There are several reasons that I love the reading element of my week:
Escapism: Writing is a wonderful profession, but it can also be tiring. I love nothing better after several hours’ tapping away on my laptop but to pick up the novel atop my stack, find a quiet corner in my home or my garden and drift away into another world.
Support for other authors: I am deeply grateful to everyone who reviews my novels, whether for Amazon or Goodreads or their own blog. I have found reviewers to be wonderfully supportive, and the feedback is so very useful for my writing. I therefore see it as something of a duty (a happy one) to give something back to other writers myself and review their books in constructive ways.
Sharing and finding book recommendations: I love being recommended a book to read, and I know many others feel the same. Through websites like Goodreads I have discovered many wonderful new authors, and I hope my book reviews allow others to do likewise.
There are times when being both reviewer and author becomes complicated. Sometimes, when I am deeply immersed in writing a scene in my latest novel, I find myself needing to step back from reading others’ novels for fear I will lose the ‘zone’ in which the scene is unfolding. And of course, any author in creative mode knows that ideas flood in from all directions, and you must make sure one of those directions is not someone else’s work!
But overall, I couldn’t be happier with the balance of my week. If you’d have told me, when I was a little girl eagerly showing my governess my latest story, that one day I would be a full-time writer and reviewer, I quite probably would have keeled over with euphoria. As long as I have a book in one hand and a pen in the other, all is well in the world.
On my website, you can read my romance book reviews (http://www.hannahfielding.net/?page_id=759) and find out about my debut novel, Burning Embers, and my upcoming one, The Echoes of Love, which will publish in November 2013. And if you are an author of a romance novel, or a reader with a recommendation, please do get in touch with me via firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to connect with fellow romance book aficionados and find superb new books to add to my ‘to read’ pile!
My thanks to Hannah for her contribution of a wonderful article. Be sure to check out Hannah's new book, Burning Embers, out now!
About The Book:
Coral Sinclair is a beautiful but naïve twenty-five-year-old photographer who has just lost her father. She's leaving the life she's known and traveling to Kenya to take ownership of her inheritance--the plantation that was her childhood home--Mpingo. On the voyage from England, Coral meets an enigmatic stranger to whom she has a mystifying attraction. She sees him again days later on the beach near Mpingo, but Coral's childhood nanny tells her the man is not to be trusted. It is rumored that Rafe de Monfort, owner of a neighboring plantation and a nightclub, is a notorious womanizer having an affair with her stepmother, which may have contributed to her father's death.