Should Authors Be Readers Too?

Should Authors Be Readers Too?

This seems to be a question that comes up quite a lot when I’m chatting with fellow authors. How much do you read? What’s the last book you read? Would you like to read mine? etc. etc.

I can answer the question simply and easily? YES!

Right, well I guess that’s probably the shortest blog in history, so perhaps I should give my personal reasons for reading and see if they correspond to yours.


1/ Reading other author’s works has improved my own writing dramatically. I don’t mean by stealing their ideas or anything nefarious like that but what I mean is by exposing myself to so many author’s styles, their use of colour in their language and their ability to weave intricate plot scenarios and twists, I have gained immeasurably in my own ability to do the same.

In the same way, I have realised my own failures in grammar, punctuation and style that can be the downfall, especially of a self-published novel. I believe I have grown as a writer by being exposed to so many different works, many written by people just like me – “newbies” trying to make it in the cut-throat publishing world.

2/ Reading and being able to interact, especially on Social Media, with other self-published or small-press authors has been incredibly rewarding for me personally. I have met some outstanding writers, some incredibly talented story-tellers and most important of all some wonderfully, friendly, caring and helpful people. Don’t get me wrong – there’s still a few arrogant arseholes out there, but in my experience, in the “indie” author world, they are few and far between.


 In that vein of helpfulness and friendliness, I’ve decided to use these articles (at least for the next couple of weeks, or so) to introduce you to some of the wonderful authors I’ve met and read recently.

You can absolutely check out my reviews of all these people’s books and many, many more here on my website, just click on the link: Book ReviewsI will try to cover four “indie” authors each week, so hope you will check back regularly and follow them up.


1/ Hayden Bradford: 

Now Hayden is an Aussie (Australian to the more civilised amongst us) and his book Travesty is a delight to read.

If you like fun being poked at the establishment and its institutions, then Travesty is absolutely right up your alley. Politically incorrect and laced with profanity it is not for the faint-hearted, but what it is, is uproariously funny. I haven’t belly-laughed so much for years, reading a book, as I did with Travesty. I was drawn to this book by the Author’s promise that “I’d laugh so much, I’d wet my pants.” Thankfully that didn’t quite happen, but he was right, I did laugh – a lot.

You can purchase Travesty on Amazon: 

Travesty (Kindle Edition)

List Price: Price Not Listed
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

2/ Colin Griffiths: 

I first came across Colin on Social Media and to be frank I was intrigued. Here was a man, about my own age, who also had come to writing late, yet he seemed so prolific – he’d already written and published three novels within six months of starting to write seriously. How did he do it?

I’m pleased to say that I’ve read two of Colin’s books now; Never PictureSay Goodbye and Underwood, plus I am really excited to read the sequel to Never Say Goodbye; There Was No Body, in the not too distant future.

Colin is Welsh, and a consummate story-teller. I have no doubt there is a touch of the Celtic in him, which comes through in the richness of his tales.

Colin’s preferred genre is the paranormal and he sucks the readers into weird and wonderful happenings and events, with ordinary people, that defy the imagination.

Truly an author to watch develop over the next few years.
3/ Rachel McGrath: 

Amongst the “indie” authors I have met, Rachel stands tall as one of the friendliest, most helpful and most supportive that I have come across. I’m not sure what her “day job” is, but I’m glad she decided to join the ranks of us “indies”, at least part-time for now. She is a blessing in many ways.Her first book was a work of non-fiction, a memoir in fact. It was her own harrowing tale of a period in her life when she and her husband were trying to create a family. Finding The Rainbow is Rachel’s own story of the excitement, the fear, the sorrow and the anguish of early miscarriage.

For me anyway, Finding The Rainbow is my non-fiction book of the year. It’s beautifully written and wonderfully told. I truly loved it. The great news is that Rachel has followed this debut literary effort with something completely different – a children’s book. She has just published a book called Mud on Your Face, which I have no doubt will be a wonderful tale for the younger set.

This young lady (not so young actually) really deserves to succeed on the literary stage and I firmly believe she will. My only hope is that she keeps writing, she has such real talent.

You can check out Finding The Rainbow by following this link:

4/ Angela Gascoigne: 

I first came across Angela when I offered to read one of her books, Angel of the Willows, and review it for her. I can say that Angel of the Willows is still one of my favourite reads of 2015.I just love the whimsical, almost humorous style that Angela puts into her works. She has written a number of books, both novels and short-story anthologies and it is very much in my plans to read all of them in due course. The gentle, yet fascinating story that she wove around the inhabitants of Willow Close was just endearing and dragged me into the story completely. It was one of those books that you just don’t want to put down, because you always know something really exciting is about to happen.

Her characters, even an Angel, are readily believable and easy to fall in love with. I particularly liked the old fellow with a penchant for cross-dressing.

Her latest offering is written under a pen name, but you definitely want to check that one out too. It’s called the Caravan of Love – Annie’s Journal and is written by Annie Lancaster.

You can check out Angel of the Willows here:

Angel of The Willows (Kindle Edition)

List Price: Price Not Listed
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

Caravan of Love here: 

The Caravan of Love: Annie’s Journal (Kindle Edition)

List Price: Price Not Listed
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

Four new authors next week, so keep an eye out for that.

This article is an abridged version of a much more expansive article on the topic. The full text of the original article can be found here: Grant Leishman’s Blog
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Grant Leishman
I am an expatriate New Zealander living in Manila, The Philippines, with my wife and two step-daughters. At age 55, after careers in Finance and Journalism, I have finally discovered my true passion in life - writing, and I am now "living the dream", writing full-time.

My first novel is a romantic fantasy about the return of Jesus Christ to modern day Manila to try and sort out the problems of the world - yet again! My second novel "Just a Drop in the Ocean" is completed and should be published in 2015.

The sequel to "The Second Coming" - "The Rise of the AntiChrist" is my current project, about 75% complete. .


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