I have been an avid book reader since I was a child. I remember books the way I remember people. Their texture, the fonts, pages and book covers. If I am really jazzed, I incorporate the idioms learned into my lexicon as well. I return to certain books time and time again with no cessation of interest. In fact, I have found that multiple readings over the course of time uncover things I failed to notice or comprehend upon first reading. I suppose that says a lot about what the Reader brings to the page, a silent interaction between the tale and your life view which changes perspective over time, thus enabling a more complex comprehension and enriched experience.
As a child, I loved Dr. Seuss. Alliteration was oh so cool and it tickled my imagination deliciously. I recall being obsessed with Little Women and thought Judy Blume was God. I devoured the Iliad and The Odyssey and am positive that they are the foundation of my enduring love of epic tales. English was always my best and favorite subject and I eagerly added the classics to my repertoire. I have never forgotten The Scarlet Letter, One Thousand and One Nights, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant – The Unbeliever, The Black Stallion, Animal Farm and The Hobbit to name a few.
At 14, I wrote my first short story, Goldessa & The Prince for a school assignment. Romantic adolescent hogwash but promising nonetheless. My savvy and very cool English teacher, Ms. Donowitz, encouraged me and with that small nudge an authoress was born. From that day to this, I write, therefore I am.
In my teens, I moved on to romance. Yes, it’s true I was a Harlequin junkie lol. Ah, but I also loved Barbara Cartland and so discovered historical romance. I fell in love with the English and the Monarchy. It was one of my life’s greatest pleasure to visit The Tower of London where I ruminated upon the many famous people whose steps had preceded me. The Tudors, need I say more?
In my 20’s, I finally turned with gravity to African-American literature. Their stories, my story, my history, was enraging, informative, riveting, heart wrenching, soulful and sobering. Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, Richard Wright, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, W.E.B DuBois, Zora Neale Hurston and so many others. The breadth and scope of expression staggered me and still does. If I could, I would be Scheherazade. 🙂
As an adult, I have come to understand that the act of reading was, and always will be, my chosen form of escape from reality. In books, I find heroes, heroines and an exploration of human motivations that never fail to interest me. My mind is adept at teleportation as books enable me to visit faraway places. Books opened the world to me, creating a hunger to learn more about the world, people and culture. They served as guardians against the strife of my childhood and I could sit for hours divorced from my surroundings the way some kids fall into TV or games. I do this still and spend many long hours engrossed in a book needing nothing but the intimacy of the experience and the joy of absorption. Damn is it daylight already? My eyes are burning but my mind is whirring in delight :).
As a passionate creature, I naturally became a student of Erotic Literature. I inhaled the works of Anais Nin, Anne Rice, Henry Miller, Proust, The Story of O, 120 Days of Sodom and many other titillating and shocking tales. They inflamed me as all good erotic literature does and my writing changed as a result. I became obsessed with poetry and erotica and they are my preferred modes of writing.
Each book I read is a microcosm in which I happily engross myself. An excellent tale captivates me in its articulation, informs me with its vision, teaches me something new, reminds me of things forgotten and allows me to teleport, if only for a short while. My lifelong love affair continues….