Friday, March 20, 2009

What Do You Want?

From a reader's perspective, there are several things I consider before buying a book.

Who is the author? Have I read any of his/her books before? What have I heard about this book?

I look at the cover. I read the back cover. I'll read the first line. That usually helps me make my decision. If I have time, I'll peruse the first chapter.

What I want in a book or series is to become a part of the world the author has formed. I want to step into the heroine's shoes and feel like I'm her for a moment. For a few minutes, I want to live someone else's life. This can be especially delightful in a romance novel because we know the ending will be good.

One series I think about from time to time, that I think the author did well in forming her own "world" was Nora Robert's Chesapeake Bay Series.
Book One was Sea Swept. We were introduced to the Quinn brothers - Cameron, Ethan and Phillip - who were facing the death of their adoptive father, Ray Quinn. All of the boys had troubled childhoods and their adopted parents had raised them, giving them the love, support, and guidance they needed.

The men were different in personality and explored different careers. With each book in the series, we step into each man's life, all back together to take care of Seth, the last boy their father had taken into his home. And this is where the story begins... three grown men who'd gone about their own lives,forced to take care of this troublesome and adorable boy. A boy who is like each of the Quinn men in many ways.

Book Two was Rising Tides and book three was Inner Harbor. In each book we follow another brother as he meets the woman who steels his heart. Each person plays a part in finalizing the adoption of Seth.

Several years later, Ms. Roberts came out with book four
Chesapeake Blue. At the beginning of the book, on a page all its own, Ms. Roberts states "To every reader who ever asked: When are you going to tell Seth's story?"

Now from the Author's perspective. Wouldn't you love to be writing books that people enjoyed and followed and asked that question of you?

I would!

That's what I'm searching to create as an author. A world and characters that people will think about and miss long after they read the final pages. Characters who are strong and wounded. Characters worth fighting for, worth shedding tears for.

I suppose that's what we're all looking for. Even editors and agents. That's why they can tell you what the want, but I don't think they really know for sure until they see it with their own eyes, before they read the prose on the page.

So what do you want? As a reader, or as a writer. I'd love to hear your thoughts.



  1. Christy,
    Stephenie Meyer created her own world when she wrote Twilight. I think that's one of the reasons it is such a big hit series. You follow Bella and Edward through a world that is surreal---yet real.
    I have the series you talked about from Nora but haven't read it. Maybe I should pick it up next.

  2. Christy, I don't think I've ever read any of these. I'll have to check them out to study them! She's such a great writer.

    Thanks for the post!