Authors Whose Books I Love

Lea Wait, here, emerging from writing the manuscript (close to finished!) of my next Shadows Antique Print Mystery. It’s due to my Perseverance Press editor April 1, and, personal issues having intervened, as often happens, I’m a little behind where I thought I’d be by now. So I haven’t been doing much reading recently that’s unrelated to research for this book. 

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t thought of other books. Or that I don’t have a growing TBR pile. Or a stack of reviews in a pile on my desk, ready to be sorted as soon as I have  time to actually do some reading unrelated to my current manuscript, or  to a future one. (A high percentage of my reading in any year is research for one of the books I’m thinking of writing.) 

So … whose mysteries always make it to the top of my pile? In addition to those of my fellow Get It Write bloggers (of course!) I love the books of fellow Mainers Tess Gerritsen, Paul Doiron, Kate Flora, Sarah Graves, and Gerry Boyle. A special “shout-out” to Mainer Kaitlyn Dunnett (AKA Kathy Lynn Emerson) who included me as a character in Scotched, her latest Liss MacCrimmon Mystery, set at a mystery conference.  Who wouldn’t love that? Outside of Maine, I look forward to the latest from Rebecca Cantrell, SJ Rozan, Betty Webb, Lisa Gardner, Louise Penny, Linda Fairstein, Kathy Reichs, and Susan Wittig Albert. A diverse group …. but I love them all. 

Outside of the mystery world (yes, I do read books that are not mysteries!) I’m a fan of Sena Jeter Naslund and Margaret Atwood and Elizabeth Kostova and Geraldine Brooks, whose Caleb’s Crossing blew me away last year. I read it twice, and it’s still on my desk. I may read it again.

Since I also write for children, I cheer especially loud for new work by Katherine Patterson, Joan Bauer, Karen Hesse, Patricia MacLachlan, Cynthia Lord (another Mainer!), Jerry Spinelli, Sharon Creech, Karen Cushman, and Hilary McKay.

Some of the authors on my lists are friends, I’m pleased to say. Some I’ve met. Some I’d be thrilled to meet. But all of them write books that can take me away from whatever my day has been like, and move me to other world … the suburbs of London (McKay) or Nazi Germany (Cantrell) or Quebec (Penny) or New York City (Rozan or Fairstein) or Texas (Albert) or perhaps to the nineteenth century or before (Cushman).  And although as a writer I often get bogged down analyzing writing styles and “how did they do that?” while I’m reading, these special writers write so well that I don’t stop to mentally edit or re-write  …. I’m able to give myself over to their stories, and lose myself in them for a few hours. 

Those hours are gifts I’m grateful for. 

The books are waiting. They’ll be there for me as soon as my manuscript is finished.

I only hope my words will bring a few others the hours of escape and joy that the books I love give me. If they do, then the hours spend writing them will have been worthwhile.


4 Responses

  1. I love your picks, Lea, and best of luck with finishing the new one!!

    • Thanks, Jenny! Edits on the book I’m writing are coming along … I hope well! (My “first reader” husband is standing in my study door, awaiting pages.) And i’m glad you enjoyed my sharing of favorites. Of course there are more. I don’t think there is ever an end of favorites if you’re a reader … which I’m sure you, as a reader and writer, understand!

  2. Delighted to be included in your TBR pile, Lea. Also delighted to know that soon I’ll have another book of yours to enjoy.


  3. Nicely put. That’s what we all hope, Lea — and it takes only one person at a store or a conference or online to say “keep writing” and we’re off!

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