What My Characters Are Reading.
It’s funny that in books you hardly ever see anyone reading or watching TV, although most of us spend some time doing both. I suppose that’s because watching a character doing either wouldn’t be very interesting. So what do my characters read when they are “off stage?”
I write about a small town in Texas and my suspicion is that the people of the town pretty much fit in with the general trend that women read more than men. But Samuel Craddock has a lot of interests, and I suspect he reads a bit. Mostly he reads farm and ranch magazines, and because of his interest in art, he looks through art auction catalogues when they come in the mail. Still, I can think of some books that I think Samuel Craddock would like. First of all, I’d be surprised if he didn’t have some books around the house by Larry McMurtry. My brother-in-law was never a big reader, but he devoured Lonesome Dove and his sons even made him a sign like the one mentioned in the novel written in phony Latin. And I know Craddock would like Craig Johnson’s and Bill Crider’s books—Craig’s for when he needs something deep and dark, and Bill’s for a bit of down-home humor. He would also like The Son, by Phillip Meyer. It’s set in Texas and full of the sounds, sights, and cultural habits of Texas.
As for the women characters in my books, I think Loretta would enjoy craft mysteries. As much as she loves baking, I suspect she would like Daryl Wood Gerber’s books and Nothing Bundt Murder by Leigh Selfman. As a quilter, Ida Ruth Dillard would probably like Elizabeth Craig’s quilting books, or perhaps she would enjoy Camille Minichino’s miniature series. Jenny Sandstone has to read a lot as an attorney, but I think in her leisure time she would enjoy hard-edged mysteries. Something like Michael Connelly or Keith Raffel.
Here's a hint to what is coming up: I suspect that in Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek, Ellen Forester would get great satisfaction out of Sophie Littlefield’s “Bad Day” series. And if I’m not very much mistaken, Jessica Reinhardt’s books will be romance novels. Or maybe she has dreams of the bright lights and big city and would enjoy Susan Shea’s smart and witty mysteries. When you read Dead Broke, you’ll know what I mean.