Hello. My name is Joanne Rock and I’m a bookaholic.
I may as well admit it up front. I’m pretty sure I’m among friends who share my addiction here. It’s a self-indulgence and an obsession – both the writing and the reading – and it gets in the way of other things I should be doing some times. But in many ways, books maintain my sanity and they’re cheaper than the alternatives, I hear. So they are a craving I don’t plan to give up.
Reading has been a pathway to so much learning and self-discovery for me. I discovered my love of all things medieval through historical romances and a lovely John Keats poem. Checking out towering stacks from the library as a pre-teen filled those awkward years with purpose as I read about anything and everything that caught my fancy. For a farmer’s daughter in a small town, I chose books on wine making and ballet, art and Greek Gods. Books were my dose of culture, my touchstone to another lifestyle and another world.
Soon, I began reading incessantly. I got a Master’s in Literature. I read romances whenever I wasn’t reading books that pertained to my studies. But the more I read books, the more I realized I’d never get enough of them. Although, perhaps, I could capture an even more meaningful experience of stories if I wasn’t just reading books. How about if I wrote one?
That epiphany brought me to the other side of the fence and presented me with a fascinating puzzle. How could I ever write a story that would entertain others half as well as I’d been entertained by the authors I loved?
It’s been a long journey since those first tries. Whenever I got tired of trying to figure out how to write a good book, of course, I could always return to my first love. Reading. Thank goodness for that, because it still provided my favorite escape while also fulfilling a new role of inspiring me.
Even now, I spend much of my time either reading or writing. The reading is still the bigger pleasure, but the writing has been my way of understanding books on a whole new level. Writing is also my way of giving back. After all, I’ve enjoyed the musings of thousands of writers over the years. I like to think my books are a way of sharing a favorite past time. I hope my stories will provide someone else with an escape. A fun diversion. A few carefree hours lost to everything but the story.
*Adapted from a post at Writerspace in 2011.