Monday, May 07, 2012

Today we welcome MJ Fredrick to Author Monday. MJ has one of my all-time favorite book covers--the one you see here for Midnight Sun. And she has great stories inside all her covers. Take the time to say hello and then be sure to check out her books.

Thanks for joining us today, MJ!  

Thanks so much for having me, Tori!

The other day I was sitting at my desk at school and suddenly got a whiff of the used book store I visited so often a few years back (before Amazon and ebooks). I don’t know what brought the scent to mind, but suddenly I was so happy (and not just because I had a blog topic, lol!)

So many happy memories have to do with books, from getting the Scholastic order forms to book orders in the mail.

When I was in elementary school, our librarian would open the school library one morning a week (or maybe every two weeks) so the kids from the neighborhood could keep reading over the summer. I was there every time. I can still remember the smell of the cool, dark building that had been closed up. The library was in the center of all the classrooms, and carpeted, with a sunken area that I think was for little kid books. I had my favorite books in the library, so I’d check those out first, before venturing to find others to try. Then I’d go home and stretch out on my bed in my bright room and read the rest of the day.

When I was in middle school, I guess, we’d stay with my grandmother during the summer while Mom went to summer school. Once a week or so we’d go check on our house and check the mail and go to the local five-and-dime, Winn’s (where I eventually had my first job). The book racks were up front and loaded with all kinds of books, from thrillers to movie novelizations to Harlequins. My grandmother would buy me a Harlequin every time. I told her I liked the horses on the covers. I think I read most of the Janet Dailey books this way.

The summer after fifth grade, I think it was, my dad and stepmom took my brother and stepbrother and I to California in the back of a Cutlass Supreme. I remember my dad getting mad because I brought my entire Trixie Belden collection with me. But I also remember going into the five-and-dime in Paso Robles, where my other grandmother lived, and finding a Trixie Belden book I didn’t have and buying it. (When I went to go visit my dad a couple of summers ago, I reminded him of the Trixie library--I think it was even in a paper bag--and showed him my Nook with hundreds of books on it.)

Fast-forward a dozen or so years, and I was hooked on romance. It started out with an obsession about Ireland, so I read a Karen Robards book. Then every book that she wrote. Then every romance I could find set in Ireland (not many back in those days). Then England, because, heck, close enough. I read every one of Catherine Coulter’s books. Hard to believe I didn’t used to have a TBR.

And then I discovered the used book store, the one I got a whiff of earlier this week. HEAVEN! I spent many summer and Saturday mornings in the store, adding to my stack, then going home and reading. The cool air, the freedom, the rows and rows of stories--I discovered so many treasures there--Anita Mills, Betina Krahn, Amanda Quick (still my go-to comfort read).

Books have played a huge role in my life, and continue to be important as I add to my TBR and keeper shelves, and as I write more, pouring out the stories I want to tell.

Thanks MJ! What about you? What got you hooked on reading? Are there books from your childhood that influenced your adult reading? Is your Kindle or Nook loaded with treasures like Midnight Sun?

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Nell Dixon said...

My kindle is loaded with stuff. My early romance reading was Victoria Holt, Jean Plaidy and Mills and Boons from Betty Neels, Violet Winspear and Robyn Donald.

MJFredrick said...

You know, I think I've only read Violet from that list. I need to expand my horizons!

flchen1 said...

Wow, MJ--we traveled north one summer (from CA) in a Cutlass S... no AC, vinyl seats... those were the days ;p

I LOVED seeing those Scholastic forms--they were full of books I wanted, but we rarely bought books new. We did go to the library at every opportunity; I'd check out my 8 (the limit; we had to write out all the call #, author/title, etc by hand on those white check-out slips) then I'd try to talk my sibs into letting me check out some more on their cards :) Couldn't wait until getting all the way INTO the house to start reading, but would often drop the whole pile on the sunny top step of the house going in from the garage and read, naturally blocking the way for everyone else into and out of the house... :)

My Kindle IS overloaded, but I still love print books, as poor DH can attest as he trips over another stack in the bedroom ;p

MJFredrick said...

Yuck, no AC!!! How funny about using your siblings' limit too! Too smart! I don't buy print books anymore unless I get a really good deal (like The Iron Duke) because it takes me forever to read a print book with their tiny print. But I still have about 200 books around the house I'm working my way through :)

Tori Scott said...

I can't remember the last time I read a print book. At least a year ago, maybe more. I love my Kindle. I like being able to carry more than I can possibly read in a year in a device that's thinner than a regular book.

MJ, Thanks for being here today! Y'all are welcome to keep chatting all week if you want to, but we have storms moving in and my internet keeps going off, so I'll say goodnight.

MJFredrick said...

Eep! Stay safe! We're supposed to get those storms overnight. Need the rain, though :)