In my opinion if you are going to write fiction for a living you must read constantly. I think most other authors would agree with me on this point. By reading current successful authors- those you enjoy- you hone your skills. From plot lines to narrative exposition and syntax you are always learning from the work of others and weather you care to admit it or not their stuff and style creeps into your work.
I write what I like to refer to as plausible science fiction. Book one in the seed series, Earth Spawn of Kalpeon is prehistoric and historical fiction wrapped in a strong science fiction over lay and presented as an action adventure narrative. It mixes genres and that mix is reflective of the authors I read and enjoy. I usually have three books of fiction on my reading table at any time and another half dozen or so of non-fiction and a stack of pure research material. In the current line-up you’ll find who you might expect: I’ve read all of Crichton’s work and re-read it continuously, James Rollins is a mainstay, Cussler is a constant, Steve Berry is always there, and Nelson DeMille is in the stack. These are just a few. There are dozens more who rotate in and out. They go all the way back to H.G. Wells and include the likes of the greats like Heinlein, Asimov and Clark. The new guys with more recent success like Andy McDermott and Steve Alten are in there too. I’m sure you get the idea, but the point is you must read to write. That’s my take on reading to enhance your writing skills. But the creative process is a whole other ‘story.’ We’ll talk about that later.