I love finding out what writers read for fun. I like knowing what my friends read for fun. So, I’m going to write a series of posts about the books I read.
My fiction bookshelves are divided into two categories: Keeping and To be Read. I’m going to start with the Keeping shelf, because that means I find the books worth re-reading (which I seldom do), or worth loaning to others (which I frequently do).
Today’s post will be about books by the author Patricia Briggs.
How I Found Her
The first book of the Mercy Thomson series, Moon Called, has stunning cover art. As my fiance so delicately puts it, Mercy has “a great rack”. He bought the book because of this. He read it because of this. Then he handed it to me. I read the back cover and shrugged (another paranormal urban fantasy blahhhhh), and he handed it back to me, pushing it into my grasp. “Read the first twelve pages, if you aren’t hooked, you can give it back to me,” he insisted.
Twenty pages later I was curled up with a mug of tea and quickly discovering one of my now-favorite authors.
I’ve since devoured everything Briggs has put through a publisher’s press (and stuff on her website). I love every morsel. From Mercy to her high fantasy Raven duology and Hurog duology. I love the fairy tale of the Hob’s Bargain.
Amazon knows to pre-sell me her stuff months in advance. Briggs? I’m buying it.
What I Love About Reading Her Work
I love that she continues to surprise me, even though I have read so many pieces by her.
I love her characters, I want to be friends with them. I want to dress in a VW mechanic’s outfit and braids at Dragon*Con and make new friends with anyone who recognizes Mercy.
I love her varied and amazingly rich worlds. I love that she hasn’t limited herself to just one Briggs ‘verse. She has many. I want to do that!
What I Learn From Her Work (As a Writer)
She had the narrative going and me loving a character by page 2 of the first book I read. By page 12, I was worried about Mercy and how everything would turn out. By page 20, forget about sleeping that night.
Plenty of authors write great fast-paced novels (there will be another post about Jim Butcher!), but many of them are actually too fast for me as a reader. I’m an extremely quick read. I don’t take a lot of breaks when I dive into a good book. I will sit and read until the book is done. When the novel is too action-packed and too fast-paced I quite literally get worn out.
I feel bad for the character who has no resting place. I’ve actually stopped reading a series because the character (who I adored) just kept having troubles heaped on her, with no end in sight. I stopped halfway through book 4, and haven’t looked back. I know this conflict is part of the whole point of writing. I also know, thanks to Briggs, that it’s okay for the characters to take a moment to bake when they’re upset.
Briggs manages to set the pace just fast enough to keep you turning page after page, without being so fast that you’re a little breathless and scared the whole ride.