This week’s post is from Australian Rural Romance author Meredith Appleyard.
Meredith has four published novels: The Country Practice (2015), The Doctor Calling (2016) , No Job for a Girl (2017), and Home At Last (2019). Her next manuscript is with the publisher and she’s working on another book. Meredith is lives with her husband and border collie Lily in the delightful Clare Valley wine-growing region of South Australia.
How beautiful is this cover for Home At Last?
Over to Meredith …
One of my favourite quotes comes from Groucho Marx: ‘Outside of a dog a book is a man’s best friend. Inside a dog it’s too dark to read.’ I have a dog and about a thousand books. For me, a life without books and reading is, and always has been, unimaginable. It’s what drove me to write. I thought if I read enough books I’d eventually be able to write them. Sort of like a natural transition. Ha!
You’ll find my books on bookshelves and any other available surfaces. At any one time I’ll have three or four books on the go. However, these days, if a book hasn’t drawn me in after the first couple of chapters, I don’t persevere. Life is too short and there are too many books.
I don’t organise my books and because I’ve moved house many times, out of necessity I’ve parted with heaps of books over the years. And there are the ones I’ve loaned to others, never to be seen again. Alas, I have been guilty of the same transgression. I still have a copy of Donald Woods’ Cry Freedom, and I know I borrowed it from someone…
But books are for sharing and I do like to pass them on. I only keep the ones I think I might read again. And the availability of eBooks has had an impact on the number of books I buy. Being able to borrow them from the library is brilliant. I read a mix of print and digital.
These days crime would be my favourite genre. There are some fabulous Australian crime writers out there. Jane Harper’s The Lost Man stayed with me for days after I’d finished reading it.
The book that always sparks joy in me is Trade Wind by MM Kaye. It is a wonderful story written in the early 60s and set in an exotic mid-19th century Zanzibar. I don’t remember the first time I read it but I’ve enjoyed it many times since and get a warm fuzzy feeling when I think about repeating the experience. It’s my treat for those lazy days between Christmas and New Year when everyone else is watching sport.
Do I read while I’m working on my own books? Yes, of course. How else would I reward myself for making the days word-count! But I do stay away from reading similar stories to the ones I write.
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