If you’re a writer, then there’s a very good chance you’re also a reader. How can you not be? Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time reading books which contain the subject matter I want to write about. For example, while working on Our Lady of Righteous Rage, I drew from my own personal experiences, and I also read a lot of books about punk rock; the history of it and punk rock as a culture. Reading books within the same genre you’re planning to write for, can be very useful. If you want to write books about paranormal romance, I suggest reading books in that category. This can help you gain insight into what’s popular in that genre, and what readers may be looking for. If you’re going to write science fiction, then you may want to read science fiction. Plus, you don’t have to stop at books, alone. I can’t begin to tell you the number of issues of Alternative Press , Rock Sound and Rolling Stone Magazine I’ve collected over the years.
At the same time, I believe reading should be a pleasurable experience. I read books in certain genres for research purposes, as well as for fun. I like to see how other writers present similar stories and characters.