Hanna Winter: 'My Reading Habits'
Guest Post by the author of
There are so many good writers, so many good books. But I must admit that I don't really allow myself to read anything of the crime genre during my research and the actual writing process, as it’s just too distracting from my own creative work and ideas. When it comes to the creative process, I actually find myself more often influenced by other art forms, like a morbid drawing, an intriguing painting or a sculpture in an exhibition. I do, of course, have my favorite authors: I’m very partial to the storytelling of Simon Kernick and Karin Slaughter, and the eloquent, polished prose of Tess Gerritson, just to name a few.
But did these authors really have a tangible influence on “Sacrifice”? I'm not sure. And while I do enjoy reading just as much as writing, I do find it increasingly difficult to just enjoy the reading experience as simple entertainment, as my professional background almost forces me to look at structure, plotting, pacing and all that, and give any text – especially when it comes to crime fiction – more of a technical analysis than just a “good read”. Thus, I tend to spend my off-time more and more with “bloodless” stories, and lately those have been novels by Jonathan Franzen ("The Corrections"), Donna Tartt ("The Goldfinch") and Paul Auster ("Winter Journal"). I also enjoy a good short story – I’m a big fan of Peter Stamm ("Seven Years") and Judith Hermann ("Summer house, later") –and every now and then I like to sit back and relax with one of the classics by Richard Yates, John Updike, Hermann Hesse or Patrick Susskind. Next up on my “to-read” list are "The Golem" (Gustav Meyrink) and "Girls" (Emma Cline), the latter of which has been heartily recommended by a dear friend, but I have to be honest: there are so many books I'd love to read, it’s quite hard to find the time. Thankfully many books are released as audiobooks these days (just like “Sacrifice” is soon to be, if anyone is interested), so I can indulge myself even while jogging or on a walk with my dog.
SACRIFICE, out now. Here's an ebook link.