Really, what I want to talk about are e-books, but Kindle is sort of the original hand-held format for e-books, and it starts with "K." There you have it.
One cannot look at publishing right now without considering e-publishing. Some companies are jogging to catch up, still primarily doing actual paper books. Some companies are moving more toward e-publishing than paper books. Others are right smack in the middle, which is where I hope to find a publisher, though I keep getting mixed reviews on which format actually benefits the author the most.
I'm still stuck on where I stand on e-format as a reader. I love the feel, the smell, the entire tactile experience of reading a book on paper. I love my book shelves full of books. In fact, I have only experienced two novels in e-format. One of those was by Stephen King and was probably about a decade ago, maybe a bit shy of that. I can't remember for certain, but I believe it was either "From a Buick 8" or "Riding the Bullet." I'm fairly certain it was the Buick one.
When you consider that he put that book out in an e-format well before publishers were doing anything like that, it's pretty amazing. Is the man savvy or what?
Know what else starts with "K"? King.
I was such a big Stephen King fan in middle school and high school that friends jokingly called me Shannon King (my true maiden name actually began with a "K," as well, but wasn't King). If there was a lull in the class, you'd inevitably find me consuming a Stephen King novel. Some of those were behemoths, yet I lugged them around from class to class, taking up most of my arm space.
The thing about Stephen King is he establishes a certain cadence in his books. He does this thing where he repeats a bit of an extra theme throughout the story. I don't know why I enjoy that, but I do. It brings me in, makes me feel like I'm a part of the in-joke. It ties together different parts of the book. He is also good at painting a picture of the every-man. Of this typical guy, stumbling through life in Maine (usually, though Colorado gets to claim a few), who happens to run into some really freaky monsters.
I was also a fan of Dean R. Koontz. There's yet another "K" for you. They run rampant in writing circles, I guess, those "K's." Koontz was a little more flowery. His characters a little less "aw shucks" in some ways. I loved the poems he had at the beginning of chapters in some books from "The Book of Counted Sorrows," I think it was. His books mostly took place in California, where there was plentiful sunshine, and where I discovered the word bougainvillea, which I tried to find the correct pronunciation of for years. And he always had a golden retriever in there somewhere. Okay, so I can't say definitively that there is one in every book, but it had to be close, people.
I keep talking about King and Koontz in past tense, but that is when I was their biggest fan (yikes, anyone get that reference? Cockadoodie, dirty birdy). Not to say I don't pick up their books now, but it's not the same mad rush, as I've moved a little ways away from horror. I love to re-read their older books, and they take up quite a bit of shelf space.
K is also for...
I'm afraid she's my new favorite author. Yet again, an example of my having hopped from horror to fantasy. Fantasy has elements of horror, at least the urban fantasy books I've been reading, yet it doesn't set out to scare you in a "boo!" fashion. Instead, it makes you look at your neighbors and wonder if they're actually werewolves that put on a good face. Maybe they're faeries. Who the heck knows? Urban fantasy has taught us that the supernatural can be all around us, yet life just keeps marching on as it always has. No biggie.
And Kelley Armstrong is the Queen of Urban Fantasy. Though I was sad to learn she is about to wrap up her Women of the Otherworld series. Sob. As long as she keeps writing, I'm game, though I will miss the characters she's left behind. Elaina, her werewolf heroine, is one of my favorite characters, and one of the kick-ass chicks that stands out.
Oooo, another "K." Kick-ass chicks.
Who doesn't like kick-ass chick characters? My youth was spent (misspent?) reading stories with male protagonists. The types of books I liked were written by male authors, and male authors tend to write with male protagonists. Maybe that's why I turned to urban fantasy so readily, though. Maybe I was just ready to read about a female protagonist who wasn't in a wishy-washy romance (well, they typically do that, too, but they have other things on their mind most of the time). I can spool off a ton of YA and MG novels with female protagonists, but when it comes to the adult novels I enjoyed, they were usually heavily populated by males. Even mysteries seemed to lean toward males unless they were cozies, and I wanted some real blood shed, not a cozy mystery (though I like at least one series of those, as well). Finally, along came the kick-ass chicks of urban fantasy. I believe it was Laurell K. Hamilton who originally introduced me to that particular genre. Before then I'd hit a bit of a slump and was reading anything that came my way to try to find what I was looking for. (I slipped another "K" in there, haha).
I should really wrap this up, though I'm sure I could expand on each of the above topics enough to create a whole post about each one. I've been doing a bit better at shortening these posts for the challenge, but sort of messed up this time. I hope you'll forgive me, Dear [Constant] Readers, for being a bit wordy this time around.
As for you, have you found that you've stuck to pretty much the same genre throughout your life, or have your tastes changed over time? How? Why? Who are your favorite authors and who WERE your favorite authors?