Monday, January 02, 2006

Women Writers

Among the numerous nice responses to my year-end wrap-up post was one from Sandra Scoppettone, which also posed an interesting question.

"I like and have read a number of books on your list. But, alas, once again here is another 10 best with no women on it. Couldn't you come up with one? Ray Banks says he doesn't read women. Is that true for you, too?"

No, not really. I do read female authors, but my reading does tend to be mostly males. This is probably due to the fact that I read a lot of pulps, and female authors weren't very common among the Western, mystery, and adventure stuff that I read. I had to go back and check my list to see just how many books by women writers I read in '05. The total is rather shameful: five out of 156. One of them, though, would have made my Top Twenty if I had expanded the list: the romantic suspense novel AN ANGEL IN STONE by Peggy Nicholson, published as part of Silhouette's Bombshell line. The best book by a female author that I read in '05, though, I didn't count officially because it hasn't been published yet -- my wife Livia's A PEACH OF A MURDER. There are a lot of current female authors I've meant to read, just as there are a lot of current male authors I haven't gotten around to yet. One of my favorite authors is Ellen Recknor, who writes excellent and award-winning Western novels under her own name and various pseudonymns. I also particularly enjoy the work of a couple of romance writers, Marsha Canham and Theresa Medeiros. (Medeiros' novel BREATH OF MAGIC is one of the best-constructed, and also funniest, time-travel novels I've ever read.) An area I've neglected, probably unjustly, is current hardboiled/noir by female authors. But I plan to remedy that.

5 comments:

Tribe said...

I don't think Ray Banks said he "didn't read women." It was something akin to "not a lot of women write the stuff I read." Of course, I'm paraphrasing.

Anonymous said...

And what inciteful paraphrasing it is. Tribe's right, I didn't say that. I said "I don't read many female writers". Not a lot of women write the stuff I tend to like. But then not a lot of men do, either.

Frank Denton said...

Lyn Kaczmarek, editor of Mystery News asked her reviewers to list their top five mysteries of the year. Two of my five were written by women; Elizabeth George and Deborah Crombie. Hmmm! Both are are American but write mysteries set in England. What does that say?

Anonymous said...

James,
I'm so glad you liked my Angel In Stone. I hoped it would appeal to men, as well. I've just completed the second in the Bone Hunter series--A SERPENT IN TURQUOISE,which should be out as a bombshell,late next year. (Raine's in search of the dinosaur origins of the Feathered Serpent, down in Mexico's Copper Canyons.) Meantime, I'll keep an eye out for your favorite woman writer.
cheers,
Peggy Nicholson

James Reasoner said...

Thanks for the information, Peggy. I'll definitely be on the lookout for A SERPENT IN TURQUOISE.