cj Sez: As an author and reader, the first thing that catches my eye when I’m looking for a book to buy/read is the cover. It will be someone or something I can relate to in a personal way.
Then I check out the back-of-the-book blurb that gives me a snippet of what the book is about. If my interest is still piqued, I read a couple of first pages then read a couple of pages in the middle of the book. (I check the middle to see if the excitement I found at the beginning sags. No one likes a saggy middle.) Like every reader I know, I do this many, many times before I make a final selection.
When you’re in a bookstore or library, what piques your interest in a book?
I tend to like stories with great dialogue and character narratives. Robert B. Parker, James Lee Burke, and Elmore Leonard are some of my favorite authors. They produce great story content and write wonderful repartee. I want to get most of the story’s sense of place, characterization, emotion, and plot from the action and the dialogue (see the Burke meme).
the dark scenes.
What is your preference . . . lots of delicious narrative or sassy and deep point-of-view dialogue?
Follow-up question: Who are your favorite authors? What about their writing appeals to you?
Exciting ups and downs, i.e., conflicts, must always be in the story to hold my attention, but I’m not interested in grabbing for tissues. I don’t want to cringe at something a character says or does, even if it really does happen in real life. I believe I have enough grief going on in my life, and don’t want to cry while reading. I’m drawn to strong heroines and hunky heroes…they don’t have to be young, wild, and good-looking, but they do have to be likable. (And for me, the villain has to be villainous, even if there’s a hint of sympathy for him.) I want the heroine/hero to win and the story to end with a promise of something positive for the good guys. That’s the story arc I want to see.
What keeps you reading? Obviously, plot and content of any good book are de rigueur, but when those two requirements are met: Is it a strong, smart heroine, an equally smart and incredibly attentive hero, or a perfect ensemble of characters?
Okay, that’s it for today. There’s a storm coming in, and I need to get this posted and the computer shut down. Last month, a lightning strike in a neighbor's yard blew out my son’s computer monitor. Can't afford another right now, so I'm gone. You-all guys, keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.