marion leigh

"It's Minx, Petra Minx."

Do authors read their own books? Marion Leigh discusses why it’s a good idea

Posted by Marion Leigh on April 13, 2020 . 0 Comments

After all the work that went into writing, editing, and proofreading, the last thing I wanted to do in the months after publication was pick up a copy of my own book. I’m sure other authors feel as I did. After all, the purpose of writing a novel in the first place is to tell a story you want others to read and enjoy.

My three #PetraMinxnovels (The Politician’s Daughter, Dead Man’s Legacy, and A Holiday To Die For) are part of a series where Petra is the protagonist but the plot and most of the characters are different. They stand alone and can be read in any order, though if you read them chronologically, it helps you get to know Petra from the start and understand any references to prior situations.

If a book is part of a continuing story that runs through several volumes, re-reading is a good idea to refresh the author’s memory and highlight important details to build on in future. I don’t need to re-read from the story-line point of view, but it can be useful. It helps me maintain consistency in the way Petra acts and reacts and grow her logically as she becomes more experienced and mature; it gives me ideas for the future; it makes me more creative by pinpointing areas where I was too wordy, stilted, or ambiguous, for example. It also allows me to pick up any typos, errors, inconsistencies and loose ends.

Dead Man’s Legacy is the only one of my novels I have with me during this lockdown period in South Africa. The real test will be if I become so immersed in Petra’s adventure that I feel as though I wasn’t the author.