Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Summer Reading

on June 24, 2013


Although it doesn’t feel like summer in the Pacific Northwest and we’ve been having days filled with heavy rain, I know most of you are enjoying hot days, air conditioning, and swimming pools, right?

So, that brings up…what are you reading for summer?

I am usually not a productive writer in the summer–at least not in June and July. By August, I’m usually back to working on a holiday story (such as ELF SHOES--free short story companion to STAINED GLASS SUMMER or LOVE’S CHRISTMAS GIFT which is the third story in the sweet, contemporary, sailor romance series)

At the end of May, I finished up a six-month post-graduate semester through Vermont College where I wrote two drafts of my memoir, KIDS IN ORANGE: VOICES FROM JUVENILE DETENTION POETRY WORKSHOP. I also submitted my chapter book, LUCY LAVENDER LUCKY JEANS, to a publishing house on a requested full, and then Dad died. And well, about at that point, I felt the energy to write drain away.

So, I did what I always do when I’m not writing–I read. And, as a writer, I’m never really just reading for pleasure. I’m always looking out for what works or doesn’t work in the story I write. Reading gives me a lot of insight into my own writing.

This summer, I’m working my way through two cozy mystery series by Laura Childs. The first series (with twelve books in the series) is The Scrapbook Mystery Series. The series take place in New Orleans and main character, sleuth Carmela owns a scrapbook shop. The cast of characters includes Carmela trying to solve the mystery (which usually takes place at the end of the first chapter–but the thing I like about cozy mysteries is there is no blood and guts, the murder takes place off stage!), also in the story are a colorful group of women who move in and out of the scrapbook shop as Carmela’s students in her scrapbook classes.

Laura Childs’ description of New Orleans is rich, detailed, and it’s what I love the best about this series.

Then, after I finish that series, I’m planning to read her Tea Shop Mystery series which take place in a tea shop in Charleston, South Carolina.

These are quick and fun books to read and I can usually download them onto my Kindle and have them read within a twenty-four hour period or so.

I’m preparing for my Fall trip to Georgia to attend the romance writers conference by indulging myself into the delicious reading world of the South.  But I’m also reading this series of books because I’m playing around with drafting a three-story novella young adult series that has a little bit of romance and a little bit of mystery. I don’t want to talk too much about that idea because it’s in the early forming stages and I think talking about it starts to defuse some of the energy around the story.

So, what’s on your reading list for the summer?


2 responses to “Summer Reading

  1. Kim says:

    Just finished Lessons in French by Hilary Reyl (who happens to be the aunt of one of my favorite MKIS students). Loved the distinct voice of each character.

  2. I am adding that to my “to read” pile!

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