All of my life since I proudly read out loud from an illustrated book of bible stories to my parents, aged four, I have always gained immense pleasure from reading.
Do I still enjoy the process?
Yes, but instead of losing myself in the pages of a book to relax for a couple of hours, these days I find myself critiquing the narrative.
When did this change occur?
It was in nineteen-ninety five when I first began writing. Back then I was still in a period of transition between my being just another avid reader like millions of others, and someone who had decided that he wanted to do nothing else but write.
The more I got into the discipline of writing, the more critical I became. My early stories were very amateurish as you would expect. In those early days whenever errors were pointed out to me, like any overprotective parent I took umbrage when the child of my imagination was attacked.
This year I decided to enter the world of self-publishing. It was a step not taken lightly on my part, after briefly dipping my toes into traditional publishing. Since going it alone it has been a steep but thoroughly worthwhile learning curve.
Besides becoming aware of the pitfalls when advertising your wares, learning about things like publishing, pricing, book ratings and top 100 lists etc, etc, I have made many friends in the writing world, some within traditional publishing, and others independent like myself. From all of the writers I now communicate with on a daily basis, inevitably there are a handful I feel confident enough to talk over the problems which we all experience.
Having just finished writing my latest offering, I asked the three people I trust beyond all others connected with the writing world if they would please read it through. One particular friend of mine and I have just swapped manuscripts. While he reads and edits mine, I’m doing the same for him. We not only trust each other implicitly, but also respect each others views and opinions.
As the title of this article says – reading: pleasure or pain?
For me it’s an equal mix of the two. While as a reader I can happily lose myself in his story, the writer side of me keeps putting the brakes on when a questionable sentence or phrase appears before my eyes.
Meanwhile, in the comfort of his home in a particularly picturesque part of Europe, I know he will be doing the same thing…
Jack Eason lived in New Zealand for forty-two years until 2000 when he returned to his birthplace in England. As far as he is concerned he will always consider himself to be a Kiwi. After military service in the 1960's, he travelled the world, visiting exotic lands and making many friends. Now in his mid-sixties he is content to write and travel via the Internet. Besides writing novels and short stories, he contributes to his own blog “Have We Had Help?” Some of his short stories and numerous articles appear in the No: 1 online E-zine “Angie’s DIARY”. His literary interests include science fiction, history, both ancient and modern, and humorous tales like those written by his fellow writer Derek Haines, such as “HAL”. He lives in semi-retirement in his home town surrounded by his favourite books, ranging from historical fact to science fiction. His literary icons are J.R.R Tolkien, George Orwell, Arthur C Clarke and John Wyndham.
He also contributes to his blog “Have We Had Help” at: http://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/ along with articles and short stories to “Angie’s Diary at: http://angiesdiary.com/. You can also find some of his short stories under the ‘writings’ button at his goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/jackeason